A politico posits on Patrick Brown.

One of the more interesting aspects of some politicians is the effort they will take to make sure you do not know them. It is like Ontario voters should be less worried about Ontario Conservative leader Patrick Brown’s lack of policies than his lack of personality.

Having moved to Barrie 13 years ago, we were still unpacking when the 2004 federal election was called. The first election worker at our door was calling to promote the local Liberal candidate. The second was the Conservative candidate in person.

Patrick Brown is not an impressive person. This anaemic-looking little man was at our door with his hand out offering to shake hands. He introduced himself in that whiny adenoidal voice and that was when we found out who he was. It convinced us to make sure we were on the voters’ list to vote Liberal. Brown lost that election. He won in 2006.

For more than 12 years now, we have watched Patrick Brown in action (and in in-action) here in Barrie and when in Ottawa. He has never really represented Barrie. He never did anything in Ottawa other than what Stephen Harper’s people told him. And when they did not instruct him, he voted against women’s rights on the Conservative religious right.

Once when this writer was in the nation’s capital to make a presentation to the Canadian Radio-Television Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), one of the speakers earlier on the agenda was Patrick Brown M.P. It was very obvious in his remarks that he was not speaking on behalf of his voters. When he sat down beside a young man in front of where we were sitting, he did not recognize us. The young man was quite effusive about the MP’s speech and we got the impression he had written it. That made sense when seeing his badge that identified him as a Bell Canada employee.

Brown was known as the king of parliamentary mailers in Ottawa—using his free mailing privileges to voters—usually to support charities because he had nothing to say for himself. We used to hate meeting voters who told us what a wonderful job he did for the charities. They had no clue what he was elected to do in Ottawa.

Patrick Brown lives and breathes politics. When he saw the hand-writing on the wall for the Harper regime a couple years ago, he flipped to the provincial scene. He looked at how small the Ontario Progressive Conservative membership was and swamped it with 40,000 mainly Hindu and Muslim temporary membership sign-ups from the sub-continent. He appeared to defy the rules of the party and nobody called him on it.

Brown is relying on the party to provide him with some polices for next year. He might also lack principles but nobody can help him there.

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Copyright 2016 © Peter Lowry

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