For a short hour, my home turned into a dog and pony show starring Tim Hudak.
Interestingly enough, it was off-camera that was most fascinating.
Details of when the cameras were rolling; http://www.therecord.com/news-story/4523020-hudak-touts-income-tax-cuts-at-breslau-stop/
I intend to offer an analysis on my time with Mr. Hudak for the purpose of informing Ontario voters what it is like to engage with him.
I am an owner of an Aerospace machine shop. My job as CEO in a 25 employee company is to soak in as much data as possible then make sound and accurate judgments for the purpose of better serving clients and employees. Increased profits/wages and productivity is my means of survival (especially coming off of 2 very challenging years in which a few ventures that did not work out).
Contray to @WendyGoodes suggestion -that the free Kobo bought our vote- please note: ever since I was 13 years old and witnessed the horror or Bob Rae, I have had disdain for socialism and appreciation for the free market. I have only ever voted conservative. With this being said, the Kobo did however make my wife smile (therefore made me smile). Several of my blogs are quite hard on the conservatives. My bias is “free market is good, family is good and (any aspect of) socialism is bad”. Of note, this entry is of my own initiative and has not been edited by the PC party and therefore may not reflect their views.
Guts of my time when the cameras were off:
1. Tim made excellent eye contact, had a firm handshake and his smile was genuine.
2. My wife said she felt quite comfortable with his mannerisms; they were confident, yet humble and respectful knowing he is in our home.
3. His interaction with our children was natural and affectionate. He seemed relaxed and engaged. I got the sense he was glad to "be himself" with my kids.
4. When my daughter went to hug him, Tim hugged Alexis like she was his own. This surprised me a bit as I did not expect Tim to be so engaged "off the camera". Alexis is a hug-giver, and it seems Tim is too. You may have observed the photo above, Brent Davis from the record captioned Alexis being very relaxed and “un-fazed” by the attention. I submit I can show you why she was so relaxed. When the media was not in our home, Tim was able to connect with my daughter(s) and make her jitters calm down (seen in pic below)
5. Tim asked questions...and surprisingly to me...he asked follow up questions. His interest was authentic.
6. His tone and personality was the same regardless if the cameras were on or off. I have been told that I speak to customers the same way as I do suppliers and employees. I explain it is easier to live life this way. I believe Tim agrees with this mindset. When you see Tim on camera, you are getting the "real Tim".
7. He is astute, smart and flows with conversation very well; he adapts to topics and can reference multiple data points in a short time.
Here is what surprised me the most:
I observed compassion is at the center of his plan for Ontario; contrary to twitter and a good portion of the media.
When the cameras were off (afterwards), and we left the sofa, I asked to speak plainly with him. He said, "no problem". I said, "I read your platform and I believe it seems you made a concerted effort to demonstrate compassion to each Ontarian.” His response floored me. His body language spoke volumes. His head swiveled directly to mine and his arm came in front of his body, as if to express a pause or halt in our walking direction (or at minimum a flow in our conversation). Tim leaned in and said with an expression of inquisition, "You got that from reading the plan? How did you see that?”
I said, “Certainly I did. Your plan speaks about leaving no Ontarians behind; you seem to have a passion for increased wages through increased skills in Ontario. You speak of improving education, particularly in math. Your desire for lower taxes appears to stem from a respect for Ontarians hard work. The plan comes across as frustrated with 290 billion of debt. Out of that frustration, it seems you seek to control that by eliminating a deficit and making government services more efficient. You tie that deficit elimination and improved efficiency of government services to giving Ontario hope. Tim, compassion is rooted in action and it appears your plan sees the action required to help improve Ontario”.
He looked at me square in the eyes and said, “You captured the essence of what we are trying for”…and shook my hand.
I then made another comment. “You are accused of not having compassion.”
I then proceeded to make an argument to Tim, I said:
“Kathleen Wynn is going nuts that you are hurting the economy by giving 100 000 public sector employees their pink slips. What appears to be missing from her analysis is that the government is large, some portions lethargic and there is unproductive employees who could better release their skills elsewhere. People like to be productive and contribute. If they are not being productive and contributing, the most loving and compassionate thing you can do is release them into the job market where they can be productive. By her criticizing you for allegedly pushing the fragile economy into recession through the proposed layoffs, she is accusing those 100 000 people of being unable to find suitable jobs at good pay within the free market (for if each one found an equal paying job…the net loss to the economy is obviously $0.) I find this to be a devaluing accusation by Kathleen towards those 100 000 people. Is she admitting they have low skills not needed in the free market, therefore the economy will contract and recession ensues? It seems the argument for lacking compassion should be directed towards Kathleen Waynn in failing to serve Ontario with efficient services. She is also failing any unproductive civil servant by refusing to release them into a more efficient work environment. The notion that “the left” has the corner on compassion is illogical and weak. There is nothing compassionate about doubling our provincial debt to 290 billion and having the nerve to call that “investments”. Tim, by simply acknowledging the debt exists and is a problem that should be fixed…you are marked by the left as reckless and heartless.”
I will not give Mr. Hudak’s response to this but I will say he agreed that the left does not have the corner on compassion.
I have observed that Mr. Hudak’s passion and bold plan stems from his love for Ontario’s families. It is evident in his eyes, observable in his plan and consistent with how he related to my children. His heart is great. His plan is open to scrutiny. Just because a conservative views compassion differently than the left, it does not follow that conservative’s lack compassion: it simply means he is choosing to show it differently. Mr. Hudak’s plan is compassionate because it upholds the family through:
1. Tackling debt by getting it under control
2. Improving education standards through increased accountability
3. Improving wages through developing skilled trades and lowering red tape
4. Making government more efficient (civil servants, hydro rates)
5. Valuing time of families by reducing gridlock in the GTA
6. Lowering taxes—motivated by respect for hard work and families spending where they see fit
7. Eliminating red-tape, allowing business to flourish and releasing government to do what it does best.
8. Recognizing the foolishness of skyrocketing hydro rates and how so many behind that mess make over 100k/year (in the real world if you make 100k, you create value…not destroy it by charging more).
Keep in mind when you see tweets or left wing media making fun of Tim’s economic plan (or my daughter for simply existing within 5 feet of him),
just remember, it is unlikely they have rolled up their sleeves and taken risk to build a business or hire people. It is unlikely their risk took a turn for the worst and money was lost…and they are fighting to get their business back on track and keep people employed. For if they had, they would rally behind debt control, tax savings and re-directing and streamlining unproductive civil servants (or unproductive systems) in the public sector. It is therefore fair to surmise many of these low-information tweets echo the same ignorance of Kathleen Wynne when it comes to building the economy. Strengthening the family is the most compassionate action any politician can facilitate to grow the economy. For more reasons than one, I can see why Kathleen Wynne is stumped by this concept.
Mr. Hudak, before meeting you, I intellectually stood with you. After seeing the consistency of how you speak to the media, constructed your million jobs plan and related to myself, wife and children… my heart now stands with you.
Readers, let’s articulate a message of hope for Ontario’s families, business and economy. Some of Mr. Hudak’s vision and passion rubbed off on me and I truly hope…a bit rubbed off on you. Let’s get passionate about a better Ontario; if this entry finds favor, please share it and let’s start a conversation!