Mr. Brown is no chess champ and no leader.

There is a big difference between a manipulator and a planner. Mr. Brown, the current leader of the Ontario Conservative Party, is a manipulator. He uses the system to his advantage. Maybe he does not play chess as that is a challenge that requires you to think ahead of your moves. Watching Patrick Brown in politics for the past nine years, it is our opinion that he is no long-term planner.

The recent fiasco at a Conservative Party training session was a good example of his inability to see ahead or lead. Having been involved in what the Liberal Party called Campaign Colleges for many years, we always had good crowds for our sessions on campaign tactics. (Using von Clausewitz’s On War as our text helped.)

But as much as some people thought they were going to hear about dirty tricks, the grim reality they discover is that winning in politics requires a lot of hard work. These are motivational events where you hope to meet and train the campaign managers, candidates and party organizers for years to come. Nothing can be left to chance or an individual’s ego. And the province-wide events require the party leader to close off by schmoozing the faithful.

Obviously at the recent Ontario Conservative Party event, Mr. Brown failed to do his job. There seem to be too many complaints by the participants. And for the price they paid to participate, they have a right to complain.

What we cannot compute is that after all the trouble people went to last year to get this guy Brown a Toronto hair style and some decent clothes, he has gone back to the nerdy look that we know so well.

But we also know that the party did not really choose Mr. Brown. He bought the party with South Asian immigrant memberships that swamped the party’s existing province-wide membership. Nobody in the party called him on the obvious breaking of the rules and the Ontario Progressive Conservative Party is stuck with him.

They now have a leader who is an unattractive small-town nerd, got his leadership lessons from former Prime Minister Harper and is only interested in how to manipulate the system. In the tradition of Mad Magazine’s Alfred E. Neuman, Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne says: “What, me worry?”

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Copyright 2016 © Peter Lowry

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