Pictured above: Characterization of PC Party Members – Photo: Jon Rawlinson
In what could have been a well-executed criticism of the Working Families Group, the Ontario PC Party’s attempt to vilify its executives quickly backfired as the party unintentionally skewered its own voting base.
“But there’s a reason these men hide behind the name Working Families,” the campaign ad narrates, “because it looks like this organization that tries to scare women from voting PC is actually run by old, white men. Working Families: Male, Pale and Stale.”
The YouTube ad was met with swift backlash from many members of the party and also included some vocal members of the party’s caucus.
“I was deeply offended that the ad suggested that being old, white and male made someone out of touch with women or reality. This ad was just like a liberal women’s opinion: aggressive, misguided, and flat-out wrong,” remarked PC MPP, Doug Holyday.
Long-time PC party member and crude oil magnate Eamon Wells was quick to express his grievances publicly. “We donate thousands so we can save millions, but this doesn’t open the door for the party to denigrate their base. The first rule in politics is don’t bite the hand that feeds you. l, along with my colleagues, have cancelled our memberships and stopped all contributions in order to remind Hudak’s team that we judge people not by the colour, age or odour of their skin, but the content of their wallets.”
Press Secretary Jacqui Delaney later admitted the ad was “poorly worded and insensitive”. “We would like to apologize profusely to Ontarians and PC supporters for the unkind message,” she said at a campaign stop at Chartwell Tranquillity Place, Brantford’s premier retirement residence. “It is not unusual for us to routinely exclude or otherwise disenfranchise select segments of the populations – youth for example are easy because they are irrelevant, and don’t vote, so we can make money by raising tuition. Where we misfired was attacking those voters that mattered the most and it is costing us,” said Delaney.
When asked who Wells would vote for as a result of his recent falling out he responded, “I might just have to go green… at least they are inclusive.”