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At least a wake was in order

For the record, don’t even bother asking  me to run for the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario in Guelph.
Policy aside, I was taken aback and saddened by the reception that local Progressive Conservative candidate Anthony MacDonald received at his après-election get-together. There was only a small handful of supporters there to greet him when he landed at the Western Hotel.
Quite depressing. The sound of one hand clapping. MacDonald, despite his early detractors, apparently carried his party colours well. One wag suggested he would receive the Most Improved Candidate Award if there was one.
And this is the thanks he gets? A bank of television sets, an empty room and some cold food.
If this is how provincial Conservatives treat their candidates, count me out.
With friends like that . . .
• • •
Compare the PC dirge with the Green Party and NDP post-election shindigs. They, too, lost, but claimed victory in fighting the good fight.
Of course they were sad that they did not do better, but they partied nonetheless. They had fun. They gave it the old college try, as it were. They were pleased that their respective platforms resonated with some of the electorate. That proved satisfying.
• • •
I had a nice chat with MacDonald at his non-party post-election party. He was impeccably dressed, smarting a bit from his showing but seeming to take it in stride.
“There are a lot of Liberals in this town,” he said, smiling. “It’s tough to take, but you win some, you lose some. I race horses for a living. You win, you lose.” He noted he wasn’t the only Conservative taking a hit. Summing up the party’s showing, he said, “It was a bad night to have a bad night.”
I wanted to, but felt it best that I didn’t ask him why some of the more than eleven thousand people who voted for him weren’t at the hotel? Whether he was also wondering, I do not know.
• • •
I asked several notable Conservatives why there was no party wake. If they know, they are not saying. So take your pick as possible reasons: PCs don’t know how to party; they’re so fiscally conservative they won’t shell out for a brew or two; what’s to celebrate when their leader snatched defeat out of the jaws of victory; or maybe they are just poor losers. Whatever the reason, policy aside, don’t ask me to run for a political party that does not know how to party – regardless of the final results.   cclark@guelphtribune.ca

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