Dunlop does it up Brown.

When a respected member of the Ontario Legislature resigns his seat so the new party leader can contest the by-election there, the party owes him something in return. But Simcoe North MPP Garfield Dunlop is the real winner as he will not have to serve under Ontario Progressive Conservative Party Leader Patrick Brown. It is very much a win-win situation for Dunlop.

It has been no secret that Garfield Dunlop had been watching Patrick Brown’s embarrassing performance as a Member of Parliament for Barrie with growing distaste. He has made no bones about Brown’s lack of effectiveness in Ottawa. It was obvious to all people in the area that Brown had no future in a Stephen Harper government.

The gentleman that he is, Dunlop had all the right words ready when announcing his decision to Conservative Party supporters in the Town of Coldwater in Simcoe North electoral district. With Brown there to accept the offer, the two men might have appeared to be friendly but sometimes you have to hide your real feelings in politics.

Back when Brown announced his provincial leadership bid, Dunlop told Post Media Network that “He (Brown) knows nothing about provincial politics.” Dunlop added that “He’d be the last guy I’d choose.” Being the party supporter that he is, Dunlop said at the Coldwater love-fest that he was wrong to have made the comments.

The Member of the Legislature for Simcoe North had no idea when Brown announced his candidacy how the younger man was going to win the Ontario leadership. He was probably not aware of the close relationship between Brown and Minister of National Defence and Multiculturalism Jason Kenney. It is Kenney who has been leading the drive to win over new immigrants to the Conservative Party for the past nine years.

While Brown had his ties to the pro-life organizations—and ultimately had MPP Monte McNaughton’s pro-life supporters as well—he could never have won with just Ontario PC Party members. It was the ties to recent immigrants from India who support Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi who he signed up as members and swamped the existing Conservative membership. With 40,000 sign-ups who might or might not have paid their own membership fees, there was no way to stop Brown.

We will see further erosion of the long term stalwarts of the party if Brown continues too long as leader. The greatest favour the voters of Simcoe North could do for the Conservatives is to reject Brown in the by-election.

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Copyright 2015 © Peter Lowry

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