Posts Tagged ‘Patrick Brown’

Money has its privileges.

Tuesday, September 12th, 2017

They named the provincial Conservative candidate for York-Simcoe the other day. There will be no sweaty contested nomination meeting for former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney’s kid. Caroline Mulroney got a free pass. And just to drive the point home, at the announcement, she harangued the provincial Liberals for wanting to raise the minimum wage in Ontario.

Obviously Caroline Mulroney has never walked in shoes where the soles were falling off. Her life of privilege at the Prime Minister’s residence and at university in Boston and New York hardly prepared her for the ardour of representing the rural and the rich in their estates in York-Simcoe.

Or is she still remodeling that estate in Georgina as a weekend home for her family? Her husband works for New York’s Blackstone Investment Group of hedge fund fame and probably will want to spend the work week in Toronto.

But maybe it all depends on the schools their four pre-teens are attending?

It is what Caroline Mulroney can possibly contribute at Queen’s Park that has us stumped. She has absolutely no grounding in provincial matters. Reading what someone else thinks about the raising of the minimum wage in Ontario would take a lot more understanding of what poverty means and the trials of living on less than a minimum wage.

Mind you Caroline Mulroney will make an attractive candidate for Patrick Brown to hide behind. He wants people to forget the sleazy way he swamped the membership of the Ontario Conservatives to take the leadership by default. Nobody had thought of signing up more than 40,000 temporary members of the Ontario Progressive Conservative Party. They were mainly from the Indian Sub-Continent and nobody questioned whether they had paid their own membership or not. The 20,000 long-time members of the Conservative Party never had a chance.

But that has nothing to do with Caroline Mulroney. She had to listen to people commenting on how sleazy her father was all her life. She probably learned to ignore it.

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Copyright 2017 © Peter Lowry

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

The Conservative knives are out for Brown.

Wednesday, September 6th, 2017

Have you figured out why Ontario Premier Wynne is looking so smug lately? It has finally occurred to her that she not only has a chance to hold on to power in next year’s election but she is even getting help from Conservatives. Rather than support some of the extreme right-wing splinter parties that are forming, such as Trillium, these Tories will give Wynne more time to hang herself while making sure they have an honest choice to replace Tory leader Patrick Brown. And believe us, the political knives are out for Brown.

Those of us in Brown’s Barrie area electoral district could almost form a three-party campaign to ensure that Brown is defeated.

From the first time I met the little weasel 13 years ago, I wondered why anyone would ever want to vote for him. It took a short time to find out that he was a user and he used whatever lie was needed to bring people into his web. There are hundreds of people here in Barrie waiting for the opportunity to turn the tables on him. They are a force.

But like most of Brown’s problems, he brought it on himself. His upbringing is as a right-wing Catholic. He has proved to be anti-abortion and anti-same sex marriage. Not that he has any success with the ladies. What we hear in his home town is that women do not like him. Even the ones on the religious right are just not interested.

That enables Brown to concentrate on politics. That seems to be his primary and only love. He never seems to let the truth stand in the way of a good story. He certainly used dishonest tactics to win the Ontario leadership. When confronted on issues, he tends to consider a nimble turn-around to be the best defence.

Brown is a marathon runner and a mediocre hockey player. He has never contributed any thinking to Conservative party policy and has always avoided getting involved in it. He is desperately hoping that the Conservative Party will come up with some ideas for next year’s election. He is a political organizer, not a thinker.

The preliminary website for the Conservatives creating “I’m Out.ca” for Ontario Conservatives is honest and straightforward. They certainly do not like Mr. Brown. It will be fun to see how that movement grows before next spring and the June 7 election.

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Copyright 2017 © Peter Lowry

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

Fear of Ford.

Monday, September 4th, 2017

Is he, or isn’t he? Is Doug Ford running for the mayoralty in Toronto next year or for the Progressive Conservatives in the provincial election? And who cares anyway? Oddly enough that is a matter that is mainly of concern to provincial politicians. Incumbent Mayor John Tory, who wants another term, could care less. The fact is that nobody expects Doug Ford to discover a magic elixir for winning in politics.

Doug Ford will let us all know where he is headed at Ford Nation’s annual backyard barbeque later this week. The reality is that Doug Ford reminds us of the old story about the erstwhile fisherman who goes to the fishing hole where his brother could always catch fish. He spends a day fishing with no luck. He is giving up when a fish jumps above the water and calls out: Where’s your brother?

Well Rob Ford is dead and Doug Ford in no fisherman. And Ford Nation is just a bunch of freeloaders.

The reality of the story, as any knowledgeable political apparatchik can tell you, is that Doug Ford is appreciated for his money and his name but he is a political liability. If there is fresh dog poop anywhere within range of the political Doug Ford, you can be sure he will step in it.

Ontario PC leader Patrick Brown is running a fragile campaign into next June’s provincial election and he hardly needs a loose cannon like Ford on his team. The younger Ford brother is a guy who thinks of Donald Trump as his hero. Brown wants the kind of candidates who can slide in under the radar. His campaign will be built on vilifying the Liberals and creating a massive vote against them. It is the only way a putz like him can get elected.

Patrick Brown is the type of candidate whom nobody has ever voted for as an individual. He is a wasted vote. He offers nothing other than a vague support for his party and not being the other guy. He is a user. And he is dishonest. He took the leadership of Ontario’s Conservatives by skulduggery—signing up temporary members of the party and paying for most of their memberships. His hero is former Ontario Premier Mike Harris.

But as much as Doug Ford would worry Patrick Brown, John Tory could care less about him. Lord knows, John Tory is not the perfect mayor. It is that Doug Ford is the kind of candidate who makes John Tory look good.

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Copyright 2017 © Peter Lowry

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

What’s wrong at NDP HQ?

Monday, August 28th, 2017

There was a promise that Babel-on-the-Bay would publish its Morning Line on the New Democratic Party leadership today. That is hardly possible when we have been stalled by the party not yet releasing its new membership figures. Without these figures to analyze and compute along with our knowledge of the people involved, we have no hope of providing readers a reasonable handicapping of the race.

There is little point of either research company polls or our more in-depth analysis without the new membership figures. With a membership of less than 200,000 nationally before this contest got started, anyone who can sign up more than 50,000 new members has to be taken very seriously.

There is no point in denying that the only leadership candidate who could have signed up in excess of 50,000 new members would be Ontario MPP Jagmeet Singh. He has easy access to South Asian immigrants across Canada and is very popular in those communities.  In the Greater Toronto Area and in Vancouver and Lower mainland alone, there are enough potential supporters to practically guarantee him the leadership.

But whether he was organizing the effort early enough is just one question. The more important question is whether he would be wasting his time if he did not have broad support throughout the established party membership?

We are seeing now what is happening to the Ontario Conservatives when a leadership candidate imports temporary members to swamp the established membership. Patrick Brown is being challenged by break-away groups, improper tactics in local nominations and friction from all sides because he disrespected the traditions of his party.

Jagmeet Singh also has the problem of Quebec. As he admitted in yesterday’s debate in Montreal, a turbaned Sikh would have a struggle for support among openly tribal and racist elements in Quebec. While MP Guy Caron tried to make secularism a solely provincial matter in yesterday’s debate, there is no denying that a two-country solution will not fly across the rest of Canada.

When we see the new membership figures, we will let you know the Morning Line. There is little question that the decision is between Ontario MP Charlie Angus and Ontario MPP Jagmeet Singh. Of course, Manitoba MP Niki Ashton already knows she is having twins! We also wish her well.

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Copyright 2017 © Peter Lowry

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

Barrie’s Bad Boy Brown.

Tuesday, August 15th, 2017

There is no reason to worry. The next provincial election is not scheduled until June 7 next year. By then, we should expect that far more Ontario voters are going to realize what a screw-up Brown would be as premier. It is not that he is dishonest, devious and dumb, we have had all those traits in previous premiers. Hell, just look at President Trump in the United States. He beats Brown six ways to Sunday.

But at least everyone knows what Donald Trump wants. You cannot say that for Patrick Brown. Sure, Trump lied all the way to the White House. We know that Brown simply stole the leadership of the Ontario Tories by swamping their membership. He signed up close to 40,000 new immigrants from the Indian Sub-Continent and nobody checked to see if they paid their own memberships.

Recently an interviewer noted that Brown was there in the front row at the Barrie Country Club when former Tory leader Tim Hudak announced his ill-fated pledge to fire 100,000 Ontario civil servants if he won the last provincial election. It was very funny when Brown said how concerned he was about this policy—despite the television people having the shot of him being the first to jump up to congratulate Tim Hudak on his brilliant speech.

But you can hardly deny that Tim Hudak had some ideas—as bad as they were. Brown is not giving us anything other than platitudes.

All we have to go on with Brown is how he voted in the House of Commons on free votes on subjects such as women’s rights—he is against them. Since then he has kept flip-flopping on subjects such as sex education. His remarkable conversion to recognizing gay rights seemed to be based on how many times he could get the news media to get another picture of him in Toronto’s Gay Pride Parade.

Politically, Brown is a user. He uses people. He uses charities. Instead of putting forward proposals to help people live better, he uses their problems to promote himself. Later this month, he will once again be taking the credit for a hockey event in Barrie for charity that we suspect his political staff organizes. He promotes it but seems to have stopped taking the direct responsibility for it. This might be because some people have been wondering what an audit over the years of the of the event might reveal.

But if you think we are being unfair to Mr. Brown, we would certainly like to know about it. My e-mail address is below.

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Copyright 2017 © Peter Lowry

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

Jagmeet’s ‘means test.’

Thursday, August 10th, 2017

It is a trap that more and more New Democratic Party spokespeople are falling into. By denying universality of programs, they think they are attracting voters from the right. They are not. They are setting themselves up for failure with their traditional supporters. It is a losing proposition.

And when Jagmeet Singh poses his challenge to the universality of Old Age Security, he is annoying seniors and winning no new friends. To suggest that he wants to create a means-tested Old Age Security replacement wins him no friends either.

With the universal delivery of Old Age Security, it is easy to deliver and easy to claw back from pensioners who do not need it.

It is interesting that Jagmeet has gotten on board with fellow leadership candidate MP Guy Caron’s suggestion of a guaranteed income supplement for Canadians. Like all economists, Mr. Caron makes a strong argument for his plan but he also makes it too complicated. Jagmeet might just be looking at the likelihood of Guy Caron not making it past the first ballot in the upcoming voting. The Ontario MPP thinks he can pick up those mainly Quebec votes to help put him over the top.

A key factor in the New Democratic leadership race will be the new sign-ups by each of the candidates. Considering the number of South Asian immigrants across Canada, it depends on how much time Jagmeet Singh’s supporters have had to line up memberships in that community. Jagmeet must have noted the ease with which Patrick Brown lined up enough supporters in that community to swamp the existing provincial Conservative membership in Ontario. We will know the answer after the membership cut-off scheduled for August 17.

(It would be interesting to run the new Ontario NDP memberships against the Ontario Progressive Conservative memberships of 2015. You might be surprised at the number of one-time Conservatives who have seen the light and have now joined the NDP.)

The final membership figures will be the key to a reasonably accurate Morning Line from Babel-on-the-Bay on August 28. Judging by what we have seen so far, the hunch is that we will know who has been chosen the new leader of the New Democratic Party at the closing of the first ballot on October 1, 2017. There might be no need for subsequent ballots.

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Copyright 2017 © Peter Lowry

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

She could use her married name.

Monday, August 7th, 2017

The question was: What would help Brian Mulroney’s daughter win a seat in the Legislature in the next Ontario provincial election? The obvious answer is to use a different name. It might be a quarter century since Canadian voters turfed Brian Mulroney’s Conservatives (then led by Kim Campbell) and left the party with just two seats in parliament, but the odour lingers.

But Caroline Mulroney has other concerns. She is mother of four pre-teens at her and her husband’s estate in Georgina between Barrie and Toronto. She is a principal in BloombergSen investment firm but seems to lack political savvy. For example, it is not the amount you spend on an announcement but the creativity, competence and thought you put into it.

Her timing is bad because the provincial party is currently mired in claims and counter claims about the problems created by the party’s leader and his team in attracting and nominating candidates. Throwing a name candidate such as Ms. Mulroney into the melee seems unfair to her.

And since not much happens in York-Simcoe riding without the blessing of Conservative MP Peter Van Loan, we wonder what is going on?

What really turns us off in this announcement is that her husband Andrew Lapham is an executive of New York’s Blackstone investment firm that has fully functioning offices around the world but apparently not in Toronto. Maybe Ms. Mulroney intends to keep her husband in the background.

The believable aspect of Ms. Mulroney’s candidacy is her claim that York-Simcoe voters tell her they want change. Since voters in that area both federally and provincially have been represented by Conservative politicians for the past two decades, we can understand that desire for change.

But knowing she grew up as a child of privilege and went to University in Boston and New York does not warm us to her compassion. Her philanthropic efforts show little depth of understanding in societal needs.

What really turns us off is her glowing description of Ontario Conservative leader Patrick Brown. Her father addressed the Conservative caucus at Queen’s Park a year ago and told them how important he thinks it is for caucuses to support their leader. Brian Mulroney probably knows a thing or two about that problem.

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Copyright 2017 © Peter Lowry

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

Jagmeet Singh: Not just a pretty face.

Saturday, July 29th, 2017

The New Democratic Party’s federal leadership race is getting a little more heated. With less than two months to go, the race has taken on some disturbing aspects of the last Conservative leadership in Ontario. It is turning into Jagmeet Singh’s race to win if he is using the same tactics as Ontario Conservative winner Patrick Brown.

Brown looked at the almost one million recent immigrants in Ontario from South Asia (mainly Hindu, Sikh and Muslim from the Indian Sub-Continent) and signed up almost 40,000 temporary Conservatives. It is even easier for Jagmeet Singh to organize among this group than Brown and Singh can add another 30,000 potential supporters in B.C.

You can also assume that more than 50 per cent of the 100,000 plus NDP members are already from British Columbia and Ontario. And with all votes counting instead of balanced across the country, it is winning in those two provinces that matters.

And Quebec voters would be the least likely to support a party headed by a turbaned Sikh—no matter how much GQ Magazine admires and approves the rest of his attire.

The main difference between Conservative Brown and New Democratic Singh is that Jagmeet is a hero among the Canadian Sikh community. He has also supported Sikh candidates for the NDP across Canada.

Jagmeet (at 38) also has more life experience than contemporary Patrick Brown (at 39). Jagmeet has had considerably more experience and success as a lawyer than Brown, has proposed more bills in the Ontario Legislature than Brown did in both Ottawa and Queens’ Park and Brown would hardly want to even arm wrestle with a trained athlete such as Jagmeet.

Oddly enough neither Brown nor Singh has much to say about their policy direction. Brown does not seem to have any and Singh seems to be hoeing to the standard New Democratic policy book.

Whether either of these two men is at all ready to lead their respective parties anywhere is a very large question mark. The knives will be out for Brown after the next election in Ontario in June 2018. Jagmeet Singh would be wise to ride out that election as Ontario Deputy Leader and be ready to take over as Ontario leader when Andrea Horwath steps down. In the meantime, he can study where the NDP’s future might be.

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Copyright 2017 © Peter Lowry

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

Brown’s battling beginnings.

Tuesday, July 25th, 2017

It is getting so bad that even PostMedia writers are wondering when Ontario Conservative Leader Patrick Brown is going to show some maturity. They are starting to question Brown’s ability to run a political party. He is certainly not getting the nomination process right.

Many want to write it off to the vulnerability of the Wynne Liberals. The only problem is that Brown has no leadership skills and he sends the wrong signals to the party. He is the guy who stole the party leadership through signing up thousands of new immigrants from the Indian Sub-Continent. Nobody thought to ask if all those people had paid their own memberships.

And so why should people who want to run as Conservative candidates want to play fair? Conservative Party nomination meetings all over Ontario are turning into fiascos. There have been claims of ballot box stuffing, illegal memberships, party officials’ interference, incompetent meeting management and candidates who might or not be the type of Tory they say they are.

It is such a mess, we are starting to wonder what is going on in Barrie, a town which Brown has always pretended to run. We have it on good authority that Brown will be the candidate in the electoral district of Barrie—Springwater—Oro-Medonte. The last federal election in this riding had the Conservative winning by 86 votes. They lost the city but won the rural vote. There are lots of us who are laying in wait for Brown. We will roast him.

Brown is so arrogant that he is running his former executive assistant in the new companion riding of Barrie—Innisfil. Shawn Bubel who worked for Brown over the years is running for the nomination in that riding that includes the south half of Barrie. He has the same weakness as Brown as a candidate in that he lacks the life and business experience that makes for a good politician. People who have run businesses, met a payroll, worked daily with people and shown real leadership have a far better understanding of peoples’ needs than people like Brown and Bubel who have devoted themselves to political manipulation and using people.

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Copyright 2017 © Peter Lowry

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

 

Is there any hope for Horwath?

Monday, July 17th, 2017

Every once in a while, we are reminded that there are three parties at play for the right to hold the lease on the Pink Palace looking down University Avenue from Queen’s Park. We know lots about the Liberals that currently hold the lease. We know more than we want to know about the Conservatives and their corrupt leadership. What has us stumped is the lack of direction of Ontario’s New Democratic Party.

It is easy to blame NDP Leader Andrea Horwath. After eight years of her desultory leadership, you really wonder about the death wish of her and her party. If she ever had a good idea, the Liberals have stolen it. And she spends most of her time trying to explain why the Liberals are not going far enough or fast enough. Even when she is right, she does not have the political smarts to take advantage of being right.

Earlier this year, Horwath received a letter signed by 34-longtime party supporters in the Toronto area questioning her leadership. Frankly, they could have asked ‘What leadership?’ The very fact that one of those signatures was that of long-time NDP supporter Michele Landsberg, wife of former party leader Stephen Lewis, was serious enough.

You would think that Horwath would take some of this criticism to heart. She seems to have no understanding of the art of leadership. She almost seems to be apologizing for her concerns. Her policies appear to be borrowed from the right wing rather than developed on the left. She seems to lack any understanding at all for social democratic politics and where those politics could take us.

Given the chance to reprise her almost absent-minded campaign of 2014, Horwath will find herself well behind the political sentiment of the province. People are uneasy about the stability of the recently improved economy. The number of jobs might be growing but how many are part-time, lacking benefits and insecure? They see the political situation in the United States as dangling us over a precipice. They are worried about the chances of bringing the continued turmoil of the Middle East to North America.

What all Ontario parties lack is leadership. There is no trust for any of the three leaders or their parties. Leadership polls at this stage are meaningless. The election is scheduled for next June and somebody has to get serious.

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Copyright 2017 © Peter Lowry

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