Meet the Don Quixote of Chatham-Kent—Essex.

This guy could only be from South-Western Ontario. Richard (Rick) Nicholls is the Progressive Conservative MPP for Chatham-Kent—Essex in the Ontario Legislature. He also claims to be an evolution denier and is opposed to wind turbines in Chatham-Kent County. He does not think they are good for us.

It has been noted that there are lots of wind turbines in Chatham-Kent but it is an area that can remind you of the wind-swept low countries of Europe. In the Netherlands, for example, they probably have more windmills per hectare than there are wind turbines in Chatham-Kent. They make a very similar and pleasant whoosh as they move in the wind. The Dutch have enjoyed the services of those windmills for hundreds of years and they are something of a tourist attraction.

But Mr. Nicholls is hardly the first Ontario Conservative who has tried to make an issue of wind turbines. He might just be the first in this century to deride Darwinism to his faithful Sancho Panza as he seeks more wind turbines with which to joust.

As an acclaimed supporter of lost causes, MPP Nicholls is one of the few past or present members of the Ontario Legislature to support Barrie MP Patrick Brown for the leadership of the Ontario Progressive Conservative Party. Mr. Brown was one of the 300 members of the public demonstrating against sex education in front of the Ontario Legislature the other day.

Mr. Brown already had the worst record among Conservative MPs for his attendance in the House of Commons but his absence is rarely noted as he has nothing in particular to contribute anyway. What he might contribute to the Ontario party has even more people puzzled. Late this week membership figures will be announced and that will give everyone a fairly good idea of how Mr. Brown hopes to win.

What Patrick Brown has been doing is working among specific ethnic groups in Ontario to try to swamp the party membership. At the beginning of the campaign, he established headquarters in Brampton and Scarborough as bases for his ethnic effort. With Ontario PC membership at its lowest ebb in years, he was attempting to sign ethnic groups in low membership electoral districts throughout Toronto city and the Greater Toronto Area. If his sign-ups can dominate in enough of the districts, he could, in theory, win the leadership. Depending on the detail provided in the membership announcement this coming weekend, we will see how he has done.

But do not worry about the raw numbers. There is a maximum 100 members allowed for each of the 107 ridings. If more than 100 members vote in any one electoral district, the percentages for each candidate will be allocated to the final tally for the three contenders still in the race. Mr. Brown would have had to swamp the membership in more than 54 electoral districts to win this race. That prospect must be scaring hell out of the many progressive Conservatives in Ontario.

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