Potential Tory leadership candidate says listening to the people will help party regain its stature

Monique Chiasson
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TRURO - There are simple ways to get the Progressive Conservatives back to the top, says a former chief of staff to premier John Hamm.
"We need to rebuild and there's no quick fix ... but listening to what people are saying goes a long way," said Jamie Baillie, 43, a former Truro resident who is being courted to run for the Tory leadership in Nova Scotia. He expects to give his answer in the spring.
Baillie was in Truro Friday night for the Truro-Bible Hill Progressive Conservative Association's annual general meeting. Baillie, now a Halifax resident who is president and chief executive officer with Credit Union Atlantic, was the guest speaker. He said getting the party back on track and renewing public confidence in politics can be achieved with simple tools.
"We need to build a party plan and use modern tools - websites, fundraising, one-on-one (opportunities) to reach out to people," he said. "There ... are people in their 30s and 40s with young families who are ready to step up."
Baillie said he is frustrated, however, with lack of political enthusiasm.
"I'm frustrated with the seeming endless cynicism at the PC party. After an election defeat people do leave the party ... but politics, warts and all, remains the only way to make decisions and there's a time of renewal after defeat."
Baillie was referring to the New Democrat Party taking over the province and local riding in last year's provincial election.
"Voters sent a message ... to not take any riding for granted and we have to earn it back," he said.
Local Tory supporters echoed Baillie's thoughts and believe it's possible to rebuild the party to its former glory.
"We have to go back to our roots ... a lot of people are disillusioned with what we brought in (NDP leadership) because it's not better," said Bible Hill's Murray MacCormick.
Truro's Shirley Sears, 74, has voted Conservative all her life. She said it can be a blessing to be defeated.
"It's a good thing to get shaken up because you get in a rut," Sears said. "We need to accept change even if" it means losing at the polls.
Bible Hill's Christine Grimm agrees with Baillie in regards to listening to the people, as well as being innovative. "We need to be bringing new ideas both from the public and politicians ... and not do the same old, same old," said Grimm. "Cynicism is a waste of time and energy; it's time to move on."

mchiasson@trurodaily.com

Organizations: Tory, Progressive Conservatives, Truro-Bible Hill Progressive Conservative Association New Democrat Party Credit Union Atlantic

Geographic location: TRURO, Nova Scotia, Halifax

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  • Reg
    March 01, 2010 - 14:40

    PC's are at least 2 (and probably 3)elections away from being in power again no matter who leads them...

  • Mickie
    March 01, 2010 - 14:39

    At least Jamie's got his age on his side because it will be years out and take his type of detrimination.