John Tory is already preparing for his own defeat:
LONDON -- John Tory says the buck stops at the top, and he will take full responsibility if his party goes down to defeat Oct. 10 over his policy on funding for religious schools.
"I have had lots of leadership positions and you know that that's where the buck stops and you have to accept accountability," Tory said at a campaign stop at London's Covent Garden Market, when asked if he'd personally be accountable for the policy.
Tory has all the makings of a "one election and gone" party leader, which is too bad. In another four years I might be able to forgive the Ontario Conservatives for Mike Harris, and give a moderate Bill Davis type (which is what I think Mr. Tory has the potential to become) another chance. But when you embrace a hugely controversial social policy (public funding for religious schools), do it in opposition to many in your own party, and then make the election all about your leadership, I guess you're looking to either score big or flame out.
And the pity is, it usually takes an election and some time afterwards for a party leader to grow into their role. Look how lousy Dalton McGuinty's first Provincial campaign was.
But John Tory is on a whole different level of disastrous. I can't think of anything along these lines beyond B.C. NDP Leader Bob Skelly, who basically started crying on the first day of his only provincial campaign.