When the music stops.

The game is called Musical Chairs. You might have played it as a child. If there are ten players, you start with nine chairs together in line, alternating facing in opposite directions. When the music starts the players are lined up and walk around the line of chairs. When the music stops everyone scrambles for a chair. The person who does not get seated is out and gets to take a chair and themselves out of the game. And then the music starts again.

It is also a game for adults. It can offer interesting variables. A political version has been going on recently in the Ontario Progressive Conservative Party. Instead of chairs in the line-up you have potential party leaders. The people marching around the line of politicians are political apparatchiks looking for candidates for whom they might work. When the music stops, they can pitch the closest possible candidate. Those who make successful pitches get to carry off a candidate. And then the music starts again.

I remember one time standing in the middle of a crowded ballroom in one of the larger hotels in Toronto, deep in conversation with a key candidate for a party leadership. It dawned on both of us that as long as we continued the conversation, nobody would bother us. We continued discussing—the relative merits of Tahiti for a winter get-away. We had both enjoyed the brief break from the political subject de jour. And then the music starts again.

I mention this political game because one of the factors to which I tend to pay attention in writing a morning line is which apparatchiks are working for which politicians. It is a bit like picking horses based on who trains them. For example, I noted today that Patrick Brown’s key guy is now working for Caroline Mulroney. It was something of a warning sign. It means that Patrick is quite unlikely to seek to succeed himself. He would need his friend Toronto lawyer Walied Soliman to tell him what to do.  And then the music starts again.

If the entire field in this current PC race are these three candidates (See No Evil, Hear No Evil and Speak No Evil), we will still have an interesting race. It would be Ford versus the elites, Mulroney versus the news media and Elliott versus the caucus. Each has their strengths and weaknesses. And then the music starts again.

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Copyright 2018 © Peter Lowry

Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be sent to  peter@lowry.me

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