Discovering Barrie’s Patrick Brown.

It has taken on all the elements of a farce. The Ontario news media are discovering Patrick Brown MP for Barrie. They are running lengthy, laudatory articles about him with flattering pictures. (And getting a flattering picture of Brown is no easy task.) The media think he has a lock on the Ontario Progressive Conservative Party leadership.

This is not good news for the Ontario Tories. Turning a ward healer into a party leader is a tough challenge. It has all the earmarks of changing a toad into a prince. Nobody has the stomach to kiss the toad.

Brown is a member of the Jason Kenney school of ethnic pandering. By being both minister of defence as well as multiculturalism, Kenney can make war on the newcomers who fail to vote Conservative. He taught Brown well. As a ward healer (Brown likes to refer to it as being a retail politician) he turned the sub-continent into a bank of new party members. He has somehow enticed a large number of new comers from there to take out party memberships and to maybe even support him in next month’s party leadership vote.

We would still like to know who paid for these instant Tory memberships. This question, may be mute when we find out May 9 how many each of the two candidates turn out to vote. Best guess, we expect that Brown will win by something like 25,000 votes to less than 20,000 for Christine Elliott, Jim Flaherty’s widow.

The first beneficiary of this outrage will be federal Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau. After the initial shock of Brown as Ontario leader, the Conservatives will want him to be hidden somewhere until after this year’s federal election. His loss is certainly no skin off Prime Minister Harper’s nose. Brown was never going to go anywhere in the Conservative caucus anyway.

But the absolute paucity of plans for where he wants to lead the Ontario Conservatives has to be discovered at some stage. With the news media today, he is already in constant denial. The facts are that Brown is very much a social conservative. He is strongly anti abortion, anti same sex marriage, anti sex education in our schools and completely out of step with the majority of Ontario citizens.

And that is why the secondary beneficiaries of him being chosen Conservative leader are the Ontario Liberals. Brown with his lack of appeal to women could even erode the Ontario Tories rural base. As they say: This guy ain’t going to do no good for nobody!

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Copyright 2015 © Peter Lowry

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