Within the last year, Thomas Mooney was vying for the Ontario PC candidacy in Guelph, quit the party, joined the Ontario Alliance, then became an independent.
On election day, Mooney’s name will now be on the ballot under the newly-formed Ontario Party.
“There’s been lots of changes happening, as the world turns,” Mooney told GuelphToday.
Mooney said the Ontario Alliance was not living up to its own constitution and a number of riding associations were dissolved — including Guelph.
The Ontario Alliance Party did not return calls for comment on this story.
Jay Tysick, former president of the Ontario Alliance, tweeted on May 17, “Big News! After much effort and a long road this last 2 years, we are now officially the Ontario Party, and have candidates registered for this election.”
In a second tweet, Tysick added: “Despite roadblocks and sabotage and challenges, we stayed true and have emerged on the other side stronger.”
Now, Mooney and a handful of other former Alliance candidates are running under that newly-formed party.
“I am now registered as an Ontario Party candidate, which still allows me to run — in essence as an independent — but with the backing of a party,” said Mooney.
Mooney said the Ontario Party executive are on the right track.
“It’s basically going to be the same mandate. They are going to be adopting the constitution of the Alliance with a few adaptations to ensure what just happened can’t happen again,” he said.
Among the party ideals Mooney holds dear is that member votes are not whipped — meaning they can vote in the best interest of their riding, not simply toeing the party line.
Election signs for Mooney began going up across Guelph last week.
“It’s at the point where we have already had to order more. Things are looking very positive and I have been overwhelmed at the support,” said Mooney. “The message is getting out there that people are not happy with the status quo.”
It has been disheartening, said Mooney, to watch the current state of politics in Ontario.
“I would much rather be working together than throwing stones at each other. It’s a really sad situation that we are in with politics today, because it’s causing a rift between people to the point they don’t even want to vote anymore,” he said.
That’s the situation Mooney said he was in after his decision to quit the Ontario PCs and join the Alliance.
“That’s what drove me to run this year,” said Mooney.
The fact that he is now running for the Ontario Party changes nothing, he said.
“I am here to speak for the voice of Guelph, not to be on a puppet string for someone in Toronto,” said Mooney.