Here's what a sitting MPP brings to Leadership
Voters expect a Leader to have a seat. Voters expect Leaders to have shown they can win their own riding. Voters want to know that the Leader is fighting for them now, in the legislature, against Premier Ford and his government, not three years from now.
A sitting Leader of a Party can:
- Table Bills
- Table Motions
- Table Questions (which Ministers and their Ministries must respond to in writing with exact answers)
- Ask questions in Question Period
- Participate in Committees
- Use the Queen's Park Press Gallery to hold press conferences, which get captured for nightly news.
Let's also look at some history.
Former Liberal Leader Steven Del Duca - Because he did not have a seat in the house, Steven Del Duca could not go toe-to-toe with Premier Ford when it counted most, the years leading up to the 2022 election. People did not have a chance to get to know him, his style, or examples of where he would focus his energy and policy goals. The election period was not enough time for the people of Ontario to get to know the Leader.
- Former Progressive Conservative Leader John Tory - Tory was elected Leader without a seat in the Legislature. He subsequently ran in a by-election in the safe riding of MPP Ernie Eves, who was retiring. Tory sat until 2007. However, in the 2007 election, when he attempted to run in his own riding, he lost. He then tried to run in another safe riding by-election and again lost. Meanwhile, the Progressive Conservatives had to appoint a "Leader of the Opposition" for the legislature, MPP Bob Runciman, who held the title two times while Tory was Leader of the Party.
Having a seat in the Ontario Legislature matters.