Saturday, February 10, 2018

Patrick Brown, Doug Ford, and the Collapse of the Con Castle

It's hard to believe that just over two weeks ago Patrick Brown was the king of his Con castle.

And getting ready to bury Kathleen Wynne's Ontario Liberals in the next provincial election.

He had chiseled the rough edges off his Cons, made them look like a bluish version of the Liberals, a party fit for the 21st Century.

But then as we know, his whole world fell apart, and the beast came roaring back.

And now the brutish Doug Ford isn't just dismembering everything that Brown built, he's already making it the Ford Party. 

You don’t have to wait until March 10 to find out who won the Progressive Conservative leadership race. We already have a victor. 

Never mind if Caroline Mulroney or Christine Elliott triumphs in the end. No matter who takes over, it’s now Doug Ford’s party. 

Win or lose, he’s not just setting the agenda. He’s undoing it.

And forcing his rivals to abandon any plans they might have had for that most shiny symbol of Con modernity, a carbon tax.

Declaring his candidacy last month, Ford demanded an end to the carbon tax at a time when his rivals were both trying to have it both ways — a carbon tax if necessary, but not necessarily a carbon tax.

Within days, Elliott buckled — first claiming she was personally opposed but would consult caucus (pro-tax) and membership, before finally siding with Ford. Mulroney held out until Thursday before acquiescing to the pressure of a Tory tidal wave against any global warming measures.

Which not only makes the Cons look like climate change deniers, and makes Elliott look like relic from the past, makes Dougie look, and makes Mulroney look like she's just not ready.

It also blows a massive hole in in the PC platform.

The political dishonesty and intellectual vacuity behind vaporizing the carbon tax has left a $4 billion hole in the PC platform — forcing Mulroney, Elliott and Ford to claim they’ll just zap fat from the provincial budget (waste that wasn’t visible to the party brain trust when crunching their numbers mere months ago). 

But as Dan Robertson, a senior member of the PC campaign team, observed succinctly, “If you drop the carbon tax, there is no ‘rest of the platform.’ No middle class tax cut, no child care refund, no mental health investment, no dental care for low income seniors.”

Which should leave whoever wins fighting charges that they are planning to blow up such things as welfare rolls, schools, and hospitals...

And if that isn't enough to destroy any chances of masquerading as a modern party, then there's the invasion of the social conservatives. 

Ontario PC leadership candidate Doug Ford recently accepted endorsements from a pair of controversial pastors with a history of preaching hate. 

Charles McVety and Paul Melnichuk, two pastors with a well-documented track record promoting homophobia and anti-Semitism, are singing Ford’s praises as he works to lock-down the support of Ontario’s social conservative fringe.

Or the return of the bloated bigot Charles McVety, who Patrick Brown had exiled from his new/nouveau party much to McVety's displeasure.

Isn't that a pretty picture? 

And do you think we might use this video, where one of those religious fanatics says McVety should be the Deputy Premier of Ontario?

Oh I think so. Praise the Lord !!!!

And if that's not enough to send the Cons to hell and back, we can always use this. 

Or all the other scandals.

And so much for the new party Patrick Brown created.

And so much for the Con castle...

Golly, talk about a divine intervention.

Just when it looked like the Cons were on the verge of victory.

The tide of history came in and washed them away...


Anonymous said...

I don't know Simon, don't count them out just yet. Never underestimate the stupidity of the average person.

Steve said...

Simon you are not keeping up. Ms Mulroney has squared the revenue circle with a brilliant plan. I dont know why Wynee never thought of this. Mulroney is going to cut goverment waste, she have put her derailment machine in front of the Ford engine. Her gravy train will not even have a scent left when she is finished. Its so sad a dillitente like her was the first to recognize this painless solution.

Doug Ford is going to say billions on sex education, with a simple PSA. Just say no to your uncle Dougie.

Steve said...

Way to much sludge in the Liberal MaCHine after 15 years. If only the NDP would present a credible alternative. Andrea Howorth is a mealy mouthed as any political animal ever cataloged. She stands for power.

Jackie Blue said...

You know what's really troubling, Simon, is that the silver-tongued cult leader Jordan Peterson almost decided to throw his Kermit -- er, Pepe the Frog MAGA hat into the ring for the Ontario PC race. You've probably seen this guy. He's a mental health practitioner? Yet he's a bigot and a grandstanding narcissist if there ever was one. He probably figured he could grift more money from his Pied Piper audience continuing on the wingnut welfare circuit and promoting his new "self-help" book, and by self-help I mean help yourself and to hell with everyone else. Nevertheless, if/when the Regressive Conservatives crash and burn in the upcoming election, I wouldn't count out this guy getting successfully recruited by the party next time around. He's got a massive enough ego and a militant agenda of his own against his colleagues at U of Toronto, that he'd fit in perfectly with Scheer's "defund the campus snowflakes who make me be polite to trans people" agenda.

His Reddit cult wants him to go all the way to being the prime minister because they hate Trudeau, call him a "socialist" and any number of transphobic/homophobic slurs (and even Trump Jr. has now jumped aboard the bandwagon), and are demanding the repeal of C-16, which Peterson willfully misrepresented both the letter and spirit of in order to ride this wave of trans-hatred to his 15 minutes of fame.

There's a feminist blogger who goes by the name Echidne of the Snakes, who has a very good takedown of Peterson's B.S. The Guardian, as linked to in her post, says he's "dangerous" because, as MacLean's also puts it, he's the stupid person's idea of what a smart man should be. Some con here called me a dime-store Freud. I think that fits Peterson more than anything. Also a dime-store Carl Jung, dime-store Joseph Campbell, dime-store inferior white guy to the great Edith Hamilton and Zora Neale Hurston... I hope his trash theories end up eventually in the dime-store discount bin (and by that I mean rubbish bin). He's Fox News' favorite shrink, that should tell you a lot right there.

Be on the lookout for him, though. Especially if the cons get desperate enough for legitimacy and Peterson goes looking for a fight in his own backyard.

Jaundiced Eye said...

Gotta feel for real conservative minded citizens: they got no tent of their own so they couchsurf in other tents—much to those campers’ happiness, both federal, provincial and municipal. In this supersonic-paced world it was never gonna be easy for a political ethos that champions tradition; in the tabloidesque, minfo, news-bighted world, the defenders of God, Queen and country are looking defenceless. But before another neo-right pitbull chows down on another dog breakfast of Chow-Chow-Chow, we should acknowledge the many worthy contributions old fashioned Red Tories have made to our nation; most, if not all, have been benefiting the Libs, Dips, Greens and Blocs, not the least being a sometimes-obscured demonstration why our status quo electoral system is way first past the post. (Again, when anything traditional is bad and anything else—or whatever—is good—or whatever—the status quo is eliminated before the starting pistol by Mensa-oblivioids who prob’ly think single-member-plurality is how elitist dinosaurs use snail-mail to elect any number of extremophiles—when it’s all right, there’s nothing left.)

My dad would have blamed Dief the Chief. Me, I just don’t know where to begin: Preston and Lucien? Brian, Margaret and Ronnie? Kimmy and Jean? (No! Surely not Elsie or Joe...who?) Or MacKay and Harper? At the risk of looking like a conservative myself by looking back to the past, I hasten—as fast as this walker will go—to emphasize: if we keep throwing away our history books, the highway will simply fill up agin with more histories of ‘the end of history.’

The question remains: what came first? Moderate cons bailing on their nominal parties cuz the extremists have moved in? Or fringe, right-wing wackos moving in because moderates have (pick one) left for heaven, left for Dotty-Potty rest homes, or left for the left? (Ms Wayne would have settled for two-outta-three, bless her heart.)

I think the simple fact is that neo-rightists like Stephen Harper or Gordon Campbell usurped conservative parties (not always so-named, as in BC, Sask or PdQ), drove moderates out, thence depended on extremists of all sorts, now running amok as neo-rightists are found out and booted out. We might example Stockwell Day, Christy Clark, May and Trump, Kenney and Scheer—and now Patrick and another Ford. A circus, a farce.

And now orphaned Red Tories serve Canada in other-party disguise. Who can blame them. Neo-rightists haven’t destroyed real conservatism, the best of which now informs every other party, (much to their benefits), but they’ve made the name a gut-hurling stench.

It’s Schadenfreude of Schadenfreude.

Jackie Blue said...

"Mulroney is going to cut goverment waste"

...through private-sector contributions in duffel bags just like dear old dad? Or has her campaign manager Hambone Marshall decided to pick them up at Uncle Ezra's house in his Pepe the Frog lunch box?

Steve said...

red tory is an oxymoron. lets be serious, the only thing the people who run for election care about is getting elected. Rule is so far away from their skillset they need Bruce Lee.

Anonymous said...

Horwath is to the right of Wynne.

Anonymous said...

Much like a tobacco or alcohol tax the carbon tax is meant to encourage society to reduce its carbon footprint by shifting some money away from large footprint sources to encourage alternatives. The money generated stays in the province and is distributed as the government sees fit. In a smart move Brown chose to redistribute it in the form of tax breaks to middle class and some social benefits. Overall a good plan, moderately push the transition from carbon intensive industries and habits while compensating its citizens with a tax break or better social services. The only potential losers are carbon intensive industries past their life cycle midpoint and high disposable cash individuals who will have to make the transition to a lower carbon footprint on their own. Obviously the losers are not happy and will pump enough money and confusion into the political system until the masses self flagellate themselves into a frenzy. Seems to be a thing these days.

e.a.f. said...

At one level it works for me. It was a bit worrying that Kathleen Wynn might not win another term as Premier. It would have put a stop to the "experiment" of a guaranteed income. Its not like their government is perfect but it is trying a few things which may prove good for the whole country. (they do need to do something about seniors abuse)

It is a problem when a major political party starts to fall apart like the provincial Conservatives. To make a democracy work well there needs to be several viable parties for people to vote for. Just having two viable parties isn't enough, in my opinion.

Those running for office of the leadership, not great. All have baggage. Of course one ought not to tag Mulroney Jr. with the sins of her father. Don't know what the late Flaherty's wife is like, but some of the other candidates, well everybody knows who they are, YIKES. OF COURSE it worked for dtrump so I would suggest Ford thinks it might work for him.

jrkrideau said...

I think things started really going down the drain after Stanfield and Joe Clark.

Still much as I detested him Mulroney, albeit a wee bit ethically challenged, was not a vicious, crazed fundie out to steal candy from children and imprison anyone who was charged with jaywalking.

He even had some excellent humanitarian impulses. His steadfast opposition against apartheid had a lot to do with getting rid of it. And he had Canada accept thousands of Vietnamese Boat people.

The real rot started when Reform took over the Party and allowed Harper in.

Harper enjoys knowing that people are suffering. See Omar Khadr for an extreme example.

Simon said...

Hi anon 1:12 PM...Im not counting them out, the Liberals have made mistakes, and the NDP has its own problems. But with only a few months to go before the election both of them are in a better position than they were before Brown went down in flames. And as you may or may not know, I'm the only person in this country who is naturally optimistic... ;)

Simon said...

Hi Steve... the daughter of the bloater has a plan? Will she stash the savings overseas or place them in brown paper bags in her mattress? I saw an interview with her yesterday, and when they say she's not ready, they're not kidding...

Simon said...

hi Jackie...I've been trying to ignore Jordan Peterson and his slack jawed cult of daddy worshippers, bigots, and misogynists. Anyone who uses the Bible as a teaching tool is below my intellectual radar. And I couldn't agree more with this description of him:
He's the stupid person's idea of what a smart man should be.
I understand he's taking those suckers to the cleaners to the tune of about $15,000 a week. Good for him, and too bad for those dummies. If he ever steps into the political ring we'll be waiting for him, and they better have an ambulance parked nearby... ;)

Simon said...

hi Geoffrey...nice comment. I have no problem with Red Tories. I appreciate their contribution to Canada, and although I wouldn't vote for them, I wouldn't be worried that they would destroy our precious Canadian values. I blame the destruction of the once proud Conservative Party of Canada on Preston Manning, and Stephen Harper. Mulroney may have set the table, but even on his worst days he was not one of them.
Whenever the Red Tories are ready to take their party back, they can count on my support...

Simon said...

hi jrkrideau... From what I've read Stanfield and Clark were the last of the classic progressive Conservatives. And I've met Joe Clark and consider him to be a classy gentleman and a good Canadian who must be extremely distressed by what happened to his party. As I told Geoffrey, I think Mulroney helped pave the way for the Reformer takeover, but he was still way better than them. And Manning and Harper, and the idiot Peter MacKay, are the ones I blame....

Simon said...

hi RT...I give Brown the credit for finding a good way to sell a carbon tax, for I'm afraid so many Canadians are so greedy, helping save the planet isn't good enough for them. Deranged opposition to a carbon tax now seems to be the gold standard for all reactionary Cons. I would normally lament that, but since the Ontario Cons have left themselves with a four billion dollar hole in their platform, I couldn't be more delighted.
Austerity may have worked once, but as the British Cons are discovering it doesn't work any longer...

Simon said...

hi e.a.f...the best thing the Ontario Liberals have going for them is some new and good policy, because if they had to rely on Kathleen Wynne alone they would be going down like the Titanic. They may still go, but hopefully if they do, the NDP might still block the Cons. For as you know I'm not a partisan fanatic, and I will support whoever can keep the Cons out of power....

Anonymous said...

Simon, the most enduring politic I follow