The Ontario Tories will remain the party of government, at least for a while. Ernie Eves, the former provincial treasurer and apparent favourite, looks right out of a Bacardi advertisement and speaks in such a fashion as to make former premier William Davis seem Periclean.
Apart from Ms. Witmer, Mr. Eves's other serious opponents (we thus exclude Chris Stockwell) are even more fire-breathing than him. Only by contrast could Mr. Eves, axeman for the Common Sense Revolution, seem like a moderate.
The Ablonczy-Witmer dilemma -- moderates among the ideological heathen -- is part of a wider dilemma for women in politics. Politics remains a man's game, not just because there are more of them but because its adversarial nature contributes to a kind of macho I'm-tougher-than-you debating framework.
This framework is especially evident within the cloistered worlds of the Alliance and Ontario Tories, where core support is far stronger among men than women. Obviously, some women endorse these parties' agendas -- more women voted for the Alliance than the federal NDP, the putative party of "women's rights" -- and very few women are motivated politically by anything artificially defined as a "women's agenda."