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Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Patrick Brown given thumbs down by former supporters

Back on May 9, 2015, I wrote that Patrick Brown’s election as leader of the Ontario PCs reminded me of an old adage: Voters get the leader they deserve, which is my variation on Joseph de Maistre’s 1811 quote: “Every nation gets the government it deserves.

At that time I wrote that “I believe [Mr. Brown] is in well over his head…,” referring to Mr. Brown’s then recent emergence from relative obscurity as an Ottawa Tory backbencher who had accomplished little or nothing of substance after nearly a decade in Ottawa. Prior to that I wrote:

In contrast, I don’t see how Patrick Brown improves the Ontario PCs’ prospects beyond those we had under Tim Hudak. Neither do I find anything about him inspiring, nor do I see enough difference between the tone of his politics and that of the past two PC election platforms to give rise to my hope of another Ontario PC government in my lifetime.”

In May 2015, I also expressed my hope the Mr. Brown would “grow into his new job,” while, at the same time, predicting, “Unfortunately, though, I believe that is unlikely.”

Alas, I seem to have been accurate in my assessment, something that gives me little comfort as it will almost certainly lead to a ruinous extension of the term of office of the scandal-prone Liberals and more of their irresponsible fiscal management.

It seems clear that it was Patrick Brown’s successful pandering to the social conservative wing of the Ontario PCs that won the day for him. He promised, for example, to “repeal” the Liberals’ then proposed sex-ed curriculum. Former Whitby-Oshawa MPP Christine Elliott pretty much owned the progressive vote, such as it was.

It is somewhat ironic that increasing opposition to his leadership is coming mainly from that segment of his party. And his flip-flop-double-cross on the sex-ed curriculum is not his only challenge from that quarter. Brown’s decision to support putting a price on carbon has not resonated well with many of his former supporters.

Joe Warmington of the Toronto Sun also reports:

Brown has other issues as well. The party has major debt that sources say is not shrinking, and riding association people tell me they want more decisiveness and consistency from Brown, who has been saying in radio interviews he is attempting to ‘build a modern PC party’.”

So, about 18 months in and already there is considerable dissatisfaction with Mr. Brown’s leadership, which is sad news since there seems little prospect of an alternative showing up, getting elected as PC leader and winning the next general election.

For example, Mr. Warmington tells us Doug Ford, Frank Klees and Lisa MacLeod are names being floated as potential replacements, and that’s sad news indeed for all Ontarians. Lisa MacLeod, perhaps, but as for the other two, let’s hope Mr. Warmington is testing our sense of humour.

2 comments — This is a moderated blog and comments will appear when approved. Please don’t resubmit if your comment doesn’t appear immediately, and please do not post material that is obscene, harassing, defamatory, or otherwise objectionable.

  1. Good grief! Doug Ford? I am sure you are right. Talk about ego. Truly, Brown doesn't seem bad by that standard. But, IMO, Eves and Tory redux.

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  2. My prediction is that the PC's potentially have the election in the bag if the hydro issue blows up in Wynne's face.
    However, as the past has shown, the PC's are masters at blowing every opportunity.
    Hudak had a penchant for pulling policy initiatives from his nether regions, throwing them up on the wall and saying "look at the wonderful ideas I have!" Brown is doing a remake of that movie but without the panache.
    In case the PC leadership doesn't get it...this election is all about economics and getting us out of the debt hole plus retaking control of hydro generation , returning us to sanity. No need to mention anything else in the campaign. NEVER let the party leader stray from that.
    Always bring questions or discussion back to this and brook no deviations.
    And do not any grand statements about saving X amount of dollars with a specific plan, that only invites experts to shoot holes in the plan with their numbers....it is beyond dumb....and naturally it was a Hudak "feature".
    Also....replace Brown NOW.

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