Saturday, February 17, 2018
Patrick Brown and the Fabulous Con Clown Show
I always knew the Ontario PC's leadership race was a Con clown show.
But who knew it could be THAT funny?
I knew Patrick Brown could play a really good mummy.
But who knew he could also play a really scary Con zombie?
And that he would come stumbling out of his crypt at the midnight hour, and announce he's running to replace himself.
Ousted former Progressive Conservative leader Patrick Brown is running again for the right to battle Premier Kathleen Wynne in the June 7 election — even though he has been banished from the Tory caucus at Queen’s Park.
“I think my name has been cleared and now it’s about getting Ontario back on track,” Brown proclaimed as he led reporters and cameras on a chase down the stairs at party headquarters and along Adelaide St. to a taxi.
With his People's Guarantee still plastered all over him and his bus...
But now, as Martin Regg Cohn points out, with a brand new agenda.
The disgraced, discredited, disbelieved politician is vowing to clear his name while tarnishing the name of the party to whom he once promised power: Watch him settle scores against detractors, file lawsuits against alleged defamers, defy party elders, ignore elected MPPs, lash out at his accusers.
And please don't call him crazy.
Is he out of his mind? Don’t count him out.
The membership is mostly his, despite assertions by interim leader Vic Fedeli that the lists are highly inflated. And the policy platform that his rivals have disowned still has his picture on the cover.
For while his rivals aren't happy, it's not like they're exactly star material...
Doug Ford, described by the Globe and Mail as a drug dealer in his youth (he denied it and publicly mused about a lawsuit, but the paper tells me none was ever filed); Caroline Mulroney is a dual citizen (interestingly, the U.S. oath of allegiance requires newcomers to “renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign … state, or sovereignty”); Christine Elliott quit her seat in a huff and walked away from the party (after losing the the past two leadership races.)
With three of them only fit to star in a low budget remake of the Three Stooges.
And the fourth one, the religious fanatic Tanya Granic Allen, who is only interested in attacking the province's sex-ed curriculum, sounding like she's auditioning for another kind of movie...
Or just interested in pleasuring her most rabid supporters...
Leaving Brown to look almost like a winner.
Win or lose, allowed or disallowed, Brown has pulled off a spectacular publicity stunt — reclaiming the media spotlight, reasserting his innocence, rebranding himself as victim not victimizer. But his damage control campaign has done untold damage to the Progressive Conservative brand.
And the PC party in ruins...
Oh boy, I can't wait to watch THAT movie !!!
While it and the Cons are still around...
And the best news?
Once that Con clown show is over, we get to watch another...
With the same happy ending.
The Cons are born losers.
First we laugh at them.
And then we destroy them....
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Wynne must win!
This PC race is really shaping up and Tanya's bringing the heat. From Tanya's Twitter:
I welcome @brownbarrie to the leadership race, because finally, he will be held to account for his political crimes. #PCPOLdr #PCPO #onpoli #ONPCldr
The NDP could really be making headway if it weren't for their lackluster leader. Too bad, really, the other options are likely to be bad and worse.
Wow! is all I can say at the moment!
I kind of feel sorry for the guy. I believe what happened was a “palace coup” within the Ontario PC party. And that Fideli should kick him out of caucus on what appears to be weak “evidence” kind of puts the icing on the cake. Brown is fighting back in probably the only way he can. The PCs have brought this on themselves and it appears that the current caucus doesn’t seem to have the same political interests as the membership.
This should continue to be interesting. At least the political entertainment is local instead of US for a change.
All the horses are in the starting gate... And they're off...
In alphabetical order.
Tanya Granic Allen: Based upon her performance in the TVO debate she thinks she's got a chance, not to win, but to influence the ultimate outcome. She's a mysterious person who does not have a wiki page, and claims no qualifications in her "About" page on the Parents As First Educators website. Her cause received inordinate attention and forced the other candidates, who knew next to nothing about the current Ontario sex education curriculum, to take a stand. Knowing her social conservative supporters can occasionally swing a riding, witness Sam Oosterhoff, a ranked ballot gives her big leverage in the leadership race. She's already accomplished her objectives even though she'll finish last. Well done Tanya.
Patrick Brown: Bad judgment. The sexual misbehaviour allegations aren't criminal, as far as we know. It is everything else he's done that got him in trouble. (How's that "Wynne's guilty..." libel defence coming along Patrick?) Which "party elite" is Patrick complaining about? Are he and Doug Ford complaining about the same people? So much of the appeal of the modern conservative organization is irrational that casual observers shouldn't try to figure it out. What passes for "conservative" today doesn't make sense. Accept it. Of the 200k, or 120k, or 70k, or however many PCPO "members" are on the rolls a majority may still be Brown people. And many are angry about everything that's happened to him in the past few weeks. No process! They don't care what Vic Fedeli and the elected members of caucus think. So Brown's entry in the race might be entirely rational from his point of view. He's already signed up more members than any of the others could possibly do in three weeks. Bad judgment? He might win the leadership race, again. With just a fraction of his original members. But I don't sense a man with charisma who inspires loyalty.
Christine Elliott: I truly thought that Christine had the best chance to win the race and defeat Kathleen Wynne. Like I thought the party would have chosen her the time before, and the time before that. What happened? Her time out of politics didn't leave her tanned, rested and ready to run. What should have been easy, dominating the debate by showing up the inexperience of the others, didn't happen. She should have been unmistakably in charge, showing mastery of all the intricacy of politics and debate. Everybody's second choice isn't much recommendation to become Premier.
Doug Ford: What a fucking liar. He's the only one with governing experience? Has Doug become inhabited by the ghost of Rob past? Go to the "liberry" Doug, get some facts. Why won't anyone in the party confront him with his part in his family's criminal drug dealing? The Globe and Mail did years ago. Ohhhh, wait a minute... that's one of those elitist media outlets owned by Bell. The one which is connected to the Mulroney family. Don't worry Doug, Paul Godfrey and the Sun organization is on your side. Well, they're on Patrick Brown's side too. The millionaire son of a Harris government cabinet minister, brother of the mayor of Toronto, speaks for the little guy? He does have his followers, but does he have any traction among the tractor drivers north of Highway 7? That's the provincial mullet divide. He's got name recognition, some organizing skills, a solid third of the party. Maybe. Ontario, in my opinion, isn't ready for an ignorant whiny bully.
Caroline Mulroney: The Dauphine. Did I mention conservatives aren't rational? Some of them remember her Dad fondly but old age will do that to you. (Hint: From biggest majority to 2 seats.) She's not her Dad. Give her a chance. Name recognition gives her an early advantage but it is up to her to close the deal. It is rather audacious to go from never holding office to running for leader. Quite frankly I like that, poor results in the USA not withstanding. If the "elites" exist, if they got rid of Patrick Brown, if they were looking for an "establishment" candidate, well Caroline's their choice. The numbers out in the hinterland remain unknown. Her performance in the debate wasn't quite as good as I had expected but it was her first time out. We'll see.
Finally, taking Simon's advice I did observe some of the debate without the sound. Based upon visual imagery and body language Caroline Mulroney was the winner. She was best dressed, looked the most confident, most telegenic. If someone walked into the room and had to make a decision about who was in charge based upon presentation, it was Caroline.
As an aside, Kathleen Wynne should not be underestimated. She defeated John Tory, a well liked, decent man who's political pedigree goes back generations. Unexpectedly she won a second term. She's one of the best politicians out there. And sometimes it is better to be lucky than to be good. Don't mistake the personal vitriol and hate directed her way by talk radio (I'm looking at you 640 and 1010) and the media oligopoly (yellow Harper voting instructions on the front page of every paper in Canada, save one) for the voices of the people.
Whoever stabbed Patrick Brown didn't get the job done, he's the monster raised from the grave. You are correct, Simon.
So now that Brown has retrograded to his Con roots and has foisted his implausible deniability upon us, we are suddenly to believe that he is the victim and not the young females.
All of this seemed to change when one of the accusers changed her timeline to when she was 19 though the accusations remained the same. Does Brown really believe that because she was of drinking age, it was okay to do what he did? Is it normal for a middle aged man to bring an inebriated teenage girl to his home? And for what? Stimulating conversation?
If Patrick Brown were truly innocent of any wrongdoing he never would have resigned, regardless of the me too movement. He simply sees a legal means now of shaming the victims and hoping he comes out smelling like a rose. Good luck with that one.
Simon, I think Kathleen Wynn should start working on her victory speech.
?Brown might win. Roy Moore did reasonably well, even though he didn't win against the democrat in the actual election. People are people and Ontario's P.C.s may do as the Republicans did and give Brown another try, especially if he can throw doubt upon the accusers. The P.C.s may decide better an alleged abuser who might win than the others who won't win. its all about the power and the money, morality, well it doesn't make money.
There will be many who want Wynne gone. She has raised the min. wage, they have the "experiment" on guaranteed income. Hell, if her plans work the financial elite will be very unhappy. it could go federal and then if there were a rise in income tax on the corporations OMG the end of the world and better an alleged abuser than some progressive who wants to put an end to income inequality.
Well said, the CONS do not watch enough carnage movies and tv. Double Tap, always double tap.
My daughter won an award that was presented at the annual Teachers convention in Toronto. At that time I had no idea who Kathlye Wynn was if she was gay straight or any part of the alphabet. There where probably 3000 people in that room and she held them in the palm of her hand. That person has power.
For the sake of you folks up there, the mincome project is probably the #1 reason I hope Wynne pulls off another mandate. After all, it was the 1979 federal election (Joe who?) interrupted by Pierre's last victory lap in 1980 but then (ironically) the Mulroney Sr. election in 1984, that put a kibosh on the one in Manitoba. It was all but forgotten about for almost 40 years until 1) Trudeau fils got into the top job and 2) Finland and other countries started rolling out similar projects nationally, and top-level economists even in the U.S. started talking seriously about what to do with the people who are going to be permanently left behind due to automation. If you read Trudeau's interview from May of last year with Bloomberg Businessweek, he says very clearly that the automation crisis is a priority for his government. No doubt it would be, and is, for Wynne's provincial government too.
Also, being American I am sick and tired of the daily harassment of women and violent threats (sometimes carried to fruition -- see 1996 Atlanta Olympic bombing and George Tiller assassination egged on by Bill O'Reilly) against doctors by religious kooks at abortion clinics, and was proud to find that the entire province completely banned protests outside women's health facilities. If the cons win, the Bible-thumping nutters will be back with a vengeance, claiming "freedom of speech" and a moral victory with God on their side, like we've allowed to go too far out of control in the USA.
The cons will never become sane any more than our Republicans. Hopefully the broken cuckoo clock Andrew Coyne is right for once, and Wynne, for all her missteps, remains in charge for a long, long time.
Unfortunately the Con Clown Show plays like a low budget Canadian remake or the Trumpian 2016 - present horror show. The plot line is simple: the RepCons spend years framing the opposition, especially the leader to be, as hopelessly corrupt and evil. They have a leadership convention leading up to election day and presto! as if by magic a dark horse appears throwing the party into turmoil. The party elite reject him but he speaks in a crude simplistic language that resonates and fuels the huge but emotionally challenged base. Against all odds (helped by dark money, free media attention and social media fakery) the Champion wins the nomination and uses the additional momentum to slay the already framed corrupt elitist opposition. Like a vampire warrior getting an extra shot of virgin blood at the last minute.
Dougie is their man, by utter coincidence (ha!) he is already gaining traction on the "I hate Trudeau" social media pages and will soon likely have a viral "I hate all elitists" presence of his own. Due to political polarization, media manipulation and lack of focus in the early stages the US zombie is still roaming freely, lets not make the same mistake in Canada. Although we may not agree with them we need opposition parties and although potential leaders like Elliott and Mulroney might be suspect in our minds the alternative horror show is far worse.
Hi anon...well let's hope she can hang on, and if she can't let's hope Andrea Horwath can rise to the occasion. Anyone but the Cons, for they won't only ruin the province, they will break the country. Try to imagine a Canada with Rob Ford in Ontario and Jason Kenney in Alberta, and I think you'll see what I mean...
Hi anon@9:59 AM...Granic Allen was the most lively performer at that hideous debate, but she should be held to account for her obsession with the perfectly reasonable sex-Ed curriculum that she tries to blame for everything including low math scores. She is a religious fanatic and the last thing we need in Ontario. As for Horwath, I have always found very uninspiring , but if she has to be the one who keeps the Cons at bay, so be it...
Hi Kathleen...well wow is a good word for what's happening to the Cons. Although if I had to choose one word I'd probably choose GOODY !!!! 😀
Hi UU4O77...I have to admit I felt sorry for him when he held that tearful news conference, and I too feel that it does resemble a palace coup. Also it must be noted that Brown had driven the SoCons out of the party, marched in a Pride parade, and agreed to a carbon tax. However, a Con is a Con, and I'm not sure I could trust Brown more than I could trust any of the others. And as I said above I truly believe that a Con government in Ontario, and a Kenney government in Alberta, would be the end of Canada as we know it...
Hi p2p...thank you for that excellent summary. And thank you for reminding me of Brown's slandering of Kathleen Wynne, and his even more alarming friendship with the Hindu extremist Modi. Of all the candidates Mulroney strikes me as the one who could do the least harm, and best resembles a Red Tory,. However, she is seriously out of her depth, and I strongly suspect that she could end up being controlled by the Bay Street mob, like a puppet on a string. So I only hope this scandal will do them all in...
Hi Steve...I had high expectations when Kathleen Wynne became Premier but she has disappointed me for being a little too bland and institutional. Still, she has brought forward some good bills recently which may revive her or save her...
Hi JD...I would like to think that Wynne has it in the bag so to speak, but I'm not sure how this situation is going to end. I can't help that some unseen hand or hands are orchestrating this chaotic situation, or feel that anything could happen. So let's just keep our fingers crossed, and prepare to attack whoever the Cons crown as their leader, with all the strength we can muster...
hi Jackie...I honestly don't know if Wynne can win the next election. I hope she does because she has recently brought forward some very good and very human policies that will greatly benefit the poor and the vulnerable. But if Wynne doesn't win, the NDP would probably replace the Liberals or form a coalition with them, so all would not be lost. And as long as the Cons are kept from power, I will be satisfied...
hi RT...well it's certainly a low budget show, that debate reminded me of a high school production. Not mine I hasten to add for I was absolutely brilliant, when I wasn't challenging my opponents to fight me or shut up. ;)
But seriously, I do agree that Elliott and Mulroney are better than the bestial Ford. For if Dougie does to Ontario what Robbie did to Toronto, we'll all go down in flames...
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