Posts Tagged ‘Patrick Brown’

In search of a Red Tory in Ontario.

Sunday, February 25th, 2018

There are two former Conservative Members of Parliament whom I could vouch for as Red Tories. They are both very fine and principled gentlemen. They are Patrick Boyer and David Crombie. If you told me that you believed Patrick Brown MPP was a Red Tory, I might wet my pants laughing.

Patrick Brown is whatever you want him to be to get your vote for the conservative leadership.

There might be about ten per cent of conservative party members in Ontario who could be what are considered social conservatives. These people are not likely to cast a vote for Patrick, as they consider him to be a back-slider. He was raised Catholic and anti-abortion and is only allowed to fool them once. They are voting for that lovely Ms. Granic Allen. Brown is a pariah to them even as second choice.

There is another sizeable group of conservatives, you can think of as “Mad as hell and not going to take it anymore.” They are not all that sure of what they are as mad as hell about but Doug Ford will tell them when he gets around to it. And their anger will be muted as they tend to be concentrated in about 20 per cent of Ontario’s provincial constituencies. They also share those electoral districts with less vociferous conservatives.

One of the demographic characteristics of conservatives in Ontario is that they tend to be older than the average of other parties. They would include many who remember the halcyon days of Bill Davis’ Ontario. These people, with their faulty memories tend to be the ones who might vote for an older, more soft-spoken candidate such as Christine Elliott. And I will bet you a penny or two that if ballot figures are released, Christine will have the highest number of votes on the first ballot count.

But Christine’s luck might not hold. The voting system works against her. It depends on Brian Mulroney’s kid. Brian might have been hated by many Canadians at the end of his reign in Ottawa but the ones who still loved him were Conservative Party members. These people tend to see Caroline Mulroney as heir apparent to a saviour. They see her as successful, solidly conservative and the successor to the Tory tradition in Ontario.

If Caroline would only stop dissing Patrick Brown, she would be the natural second choice for all those people picking losers on the first ballot. She also needs those second-choice votes from people foolishly voting for Patrick.

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Copyright 2018 © Peter Lowry

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

Don’t count the Liberals out in Ontario.

Friday, February 23rd, 2018

It has been a bit disquieting lately to see the progressive bloggers’ web site infiltrated by conservatives. In checking to see what people are saying these days, I came across a conservative who was telling readers why he was voting for Patrick Brown in the Ontario PC leadership fiasco. Rather than just write him off as an idiot, I actually read all of his 2500 ill-chosen words.

First of all, this guy seems to have bought into the assumption that the Ontario Liberals are going to lose the June election. If I knew him, I would offer to make a substantial bet on those Liberals.

The polls favouring the Tories should have crested last month but the Brown fiasco sucked all the media oxygen out of the air. It was a good time for the Liberals to go low key, do town halls and mend constituency fences.

Think back over the past four weeks and ask yourself what did you learn that was positive about the Ontario PCs? Is Tanya Granic Allen with her anti-abortion bigots a good choice for a leader? How about Doug Ford as a pale imitation of Donald Trump? There is former MPP Christine Elliott who took off rather than stay at Queen’s Park with Patrick Brown as PC leader. Lucky us, we are being honoured by the candidacy of Brian Mulroney’s little girl—she has never held public office but obviously learned a lot from “Lyin Brian.” And then, there is Patrick Brown.

Patrick Brown proved his mettle on January 24. The putz refused to listen to his staff. He went into a news conference—that he called—with all the emotion showing and made an ass of himself. And then he did a perp walk down the stairs and out to his car. There certainly are not too many people in Ontario who would consider that scene as appropriate for someone who thinks they should be premier.

When the people who really run the PC party in Ontario said—by a 3 to 2 vote—that Patrick could run for leader, they did it with the knowledge that he could not win. They had no legal ground by which to refuse him as a candidate anyway. So, they are letting him make a fool of himself and letting him make a bigger fool of anyone who wastes a vote on him.

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Copyright 2018 © Peter Lowry

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

Terminating the Tory Turmoil.

Thursday, February 22nd, 2018

Has peace been restored? Has the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario come back to its senses?

There was a wonderful shot on Global Television last night of a lone television reporter standing vigil on King Street in front of the Albany Club in Toronto. The sheen of that heavy wooden door has guarded the club and conservative secrets for some 125 years. It is from this club that all decisions of the Ontario Conservatives are believed to be made.

And it was from the Albany Club that we found out that Patrick Brown could run to replace himself as conservative leader. Mind you, why not? It is obvious to any savvy politico that Patrick Brown cannot win.

The situation was out of control. Temporary caucus leader Vic Fedeli had willfully ejected Patrick Brown from the conservative caucus at Queen’s Park on the flimsiest of grounds. He did not want Brown to run in Barrie–Springwater—Oro-Medonte. He said he had not been vetted!

The gal who might be the wicked witch of the north who is running for leader on behalf of the religious conservatives: nobody bothered to vet her!

And did anyone think to vet Doug Ford? That guy never read the rules for candidates for the leadership and says he is running against those Albany Club elites.

But the Tory caucus’ loose cannon, Randy Hillier, has jumped into the various arguments with his irrational charges. Many thought Randy was going to run for the Ontario Landowners’ new political party.

And who is surprised that Patrick Brown has bought himself a little get-away place in Shanty Bay (where Barrie’s rich live) for just $2.3 million? (It might cost $8 million in Toronto.)

Brown can come up with a $600,000 down payment on that shanty but it takes him four weeks to find a woman who will tell the media she is his girl friend and that he is a swell guy. Those of us in Barrie who know Brown by sight have never seen him with the same woman for more than ten minutes. They leave.

You do have to wonder at the reputed price offered for Brown’s share of Hooligans bar. That $375,000 offer seems a little excessive but then I have no idea what 200,000 Aeroplan miles are worth. All I know is that after close to a decade going back and forth to Ottawa and all those trips the taxpayers paid to India, he probably has lots of Aeroplan miles to redeem.

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Copyright 2018 © Peter Lowry

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

Ontario PCs: The Morning Line.

Tuesday, February 20th, 2018

It’s a muddy, cold day at the track but thankfully this race is not too long. The candidates for the leadership of the Ontario Progressive Conservative Party will be At Post before you know it.

Tanya Granic Allen: 20 to 1 Why anyone would want to put up a $125,000 entry fee to include this person in the race is hard to believe. Maybe the point is that social conservatives really are a force in the party and they want to be heard. They should have picked someone who is less shrill and more credible. She does not seem to understand that with a preferential ballot, you really need to make friends of the other candidates. She needs to tone it down, deal rationally with the non-social conservative issues and act less aggressively. Until then she is wasting the party’s time and Tory voters can ignore her.

Patrick Brown: 10 to 1  A late entry, Patrick is well known to Conservative voters. His problem in this vote is that people either love him or hate him. He earns few second-choice votes. There is little sympathy for him. The larger problem is trying to figure out where his second-choice votes go?

Christine Elliott: 4 to 1  This is the former Oshawa-Whitby MPP’s third try at the leadership. In a one person-one vote election she could win, but in the conservative’s equal weighting of electoral districts, she loses much of her advantage in the GTA ridings. Maybe Premier Wynne will give her back that patronage job she dumped to run this time.

Doug Ford: 8 to 1 If you saw him struggle with the moderator’s questions at the TVO debate, you would know how ill-equipped Doug Ford is to vie for the leader’s job. He will get a reasonably good showing in the GTA but has little chance in the rest of the province. He might as well head back to the stables.

Caroline Mulroney: 3 to 1  Brian Mulroney’s kid is about as slippery as he was as prime minister. She lacks experience but shows the instincts of both a piranha and a politician. Her trainers need to teach her to hang on to that rail position by moving out from the rest of the pack. As long as she shows that originality of thought, she is the forerunner. She has to continue to build her brand.

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Copyright 2018 © Peter Lowry

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

Food for ‘enquiring minds.’

Monday, February 19th, 2018

If this writer told you that Ontario Progressive Conservatives might not all be on the up and up, you would likely brush it off as fake news from a raving liberal. Okay, I will give you that. Brush me off as you wish. (Which is why I rarely bother to try to tell you what crooks and thieves they are.)

But what if the reporter saying it is Bob Hepburn of the Toronto Star? Does the Toronto Star often feed you fake news?

After all, you believed CTV news when they told you the nasty news about Patrick Brown. This was hearsay at best and slander at the worst, yet many of you wanted to believe it. It cost the poor putz his job as leader. There was no judge, no jury and no due process. It was a summary trial and death by news media. (The fact that I stood cheering on the sidelines was irrelevant.)

But when it comes to unveiling the inveterate corruption of the Conservatives, the Toronto Star editors afford themselves some protection. They move the story to the op-ed page and label it as opinion. I often agree with Bob Hepburn’s opinions. I also often agree with Chantal Hébert, Martin Regg Cohn and Linda McQuaig but this takes someone of Hepburn’s gravitas to carry it off.

He was hardly the first to note the consistent lying of the Conservatives at all levels about membership numbers. It is part of being a conservative. The only nomination fights more venial than Conservative ones are some Liberal and NDP fights. Heh, nobody is perfect!

It has always amazed me that we can elect people we did not know where under indictment for fraud to senior party office and then let them vet our candidates. The vetting of candidates by parties today is more corrupt than the time when we were practically inviting organized crime to run for office.

Telling Toronto police, with a straight face, that the wholesale destruction of lawn signs is just high school hijinks is just minor criminality. What did the Conservative hierarchy do when Patrick Brown’s team paid the memberships for almost 40,000 immigrants from the Indian Sub-continent? Everybody in the Queen’s Park caucus knew that Brown had broken the rules to become their leader. It was to Christine Elliott’s credit that she would not serve as a Conservative MPP with him as leader.

Getting rid of Brown, party president Rick Dykstra and a few of the riding nomination problems is a long way short of cleaning up the mess of the Ontario Tories. And if you think that it is the Tories’ turn to take over at Queen’s Park, first ask if the Ontario taxpayers can afford it.

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Copyright 2018 © Peter Lowry

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

“Patrick! Come back!”

Saturday, February 17th, 2018

In the iconic western, Shane, the gunfighter rides off into the prairie night and the movie ends. I had no idea that Ontario Conservative MPP Patrick Brown would come back. I have written about the reality that running to replace himself is his only road to redemption but why would the damn fool listen to me? I was as stunned as everyone else when he jumped into the leadership race at the last minute.

What is Patrick Brown coming back to? By joining the race to replace himself, Brown faces further humiliation and sure defeat. His Sub-Continent temporary members of the Ontario PCs are gone. There is no time to sign them up again. When temporary leader Vic Fideli went through the supposed 200,000 members of the party, he would at least have scrubbed most of the obvious Indian and Sikh names Brown signed up from two years ago. Why would they renew their membership? They can no longer vote for him.

But how can anyone who watched that perp-walk with the media out of the Ontario Legislature on January 24 welcome Patrick Brown back? The caucus have now made it very clear that they never wanted Patrick Brown as leader. They certainly do not want him back.

And this situation has very little to do with the supposed indiscretions of Brown. The claims of CTV as to his impropriety with young women are scurrilous at best. They were just a good excuse to get rid of the wrong leader. He is hardly going to be successful in suing the television network.

What it is about was the stupidity of how Brown handled the charges. It showed him as immature, emotional and unable to deal with crisis. His appearance before the news media that cold January night was an embarrassment for the Conservative caucus and the Conservative Party. They had to get rid of this jerk and they got lucky. He resigned in an emotional state. He could not control himself. Those are characteristics we can never have in a party leader or premier.

What annoys me about this is that I have been working on putting together the Morning Line for the Ontario Tory leadership race. Now I have to tear up all my figures and recompute. Brown has created a wild card. He has always been a bother.

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Copyright 2018 © Peter Lowry

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

Righting policy on the right.

Friday, February 16th, 2018

Former Tory Leader Patrick Brown thought he had it made last November. He had the policy for the 2018 provincial election nailed down. He had what he thought was a wonderful book that could grace the coffee tables of the province with a great picture of him on the cover. Patrick’s provincial Progressive Conservatives were going to destroy the Liberal dynasty in Ontario.

But some dirty dog destroyed Patrick’s dream. It might not have been Ford that came up with the scheme to wreck the ‘unsinkable’ Patrick Brown but somebody pulled the plug on him. Maybe it was Caroline Mulroney. Her kid brother Ben works for CTV. Did he feed the gossip about Brown to the CTV news department? It depends on whether you like conspiracy theories.

Whatever. The problem is that Brown is out and somebody has to replace him. You would think that whomever the new leader of the party might be, they would be smart to put a new cover on the old policy book. It would save a lot of time, money and grief.

But millionaire Doug Ford would never worry about that. It was the Ford father who made the millions. The problem is that even while smoking crack cocaine, Toronto’s late Mayor Rob Ford was always twice the politician than his brother.

Four candidates are out on the campaign trail these days playing havoc with Patrick Brown’s carefully crafted, supposedly middle-of-the-road policies. If you are a social conservative, you might even have your own candidate—ditzy enough to pay $125,000 to lose. This fourth candidate is no D’Artagnan. Mind you Porthos, Athos and Aramis (otherwise known as Doug, Caroline and Christine) have been mining that social Conservative vein for the past week with their various ‘accommodations for sex education.’

It is the same with a carbon tax. Even an arch conservative such as Preston Manning says that a carbon tax is probably the only effective way we will ever find to start reducing the amount of carbon spewing into our environment. Again, Doug said he would fight against any carbon tax. Despite the rule book for this leadership saying candidates have to toe the line on policy, it is Doug Ford’s lead that other candidates are following.

The Ontario Conservatives have a situation where Doug Ford is turning out to be the de facto leader.

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Copyright 2018 © Peter Lowry

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

Out of the limelight for Patrick Brown.

Thursday, February 15th, 2018

Have you heard that old politicos just fade away? Younger ones are noisier. For example, take Barrie’s favourite son, Patrick Brown. If you hitch your horse in front of any of the many saloons on Barrie’s main street, you are welcome inside but you best not say too loudly that Patrick Brown is a putz. There is some of misplaced loyalty here about.

But, Patrick Brown needs to look for a new way to make a living. You have to realize that a guy like Brown has nowhere near the savior faire of TV anchor Steve Paikin. There are venturesome ladies who might like to cut a notch in their bedpost for a TV personality such as Paikin. And if he really did invite (in a gentlemanly manner, no doubt) publicity-hungry Sarah Thomson to enjoy some casual sex with him, she should have been flattered. All she needed to say was a polite ’yes, please’ or ‘no, thank you.’

Brown is an entirely different matter. This is a guy who appears to be awkward and immature with women. He is no ‘playboy.’ No doubt he could possibly achieve some success with understanding women in their 30s. Yet, he goes after the much younger who are initially attracted to his political position but then find he has nothing of interest to talk about.

There is certainly nothing for those young ladies to complain about to CTV. If they were invited to Brown’s home after drinking too much and accepted, did they think he was looking forward to a spritely game of Monopoly? In both cases, they said they lost interest and asked to be taken home. He did. What is the problem? Is CTV complaining about his bad judgement or bad politics?

Brown ended up with three problems. First he was too upset to listen to his staff. He was paying them for advice and he was stupid not to listen to them. Being upset on camera is not a sympathetic position. It is too much like regretting being caught.

The second problem for Brown was that in his absence from Queen’s Park, the knives came out. Conservative MPPs could now say what they really thought of Brown.  They do not like him.

The third problem is that he will never get elected in Barrie—Springwater—Oro-Medonte, unless the Liberals run someone as immature against him.

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Copyright 2018 © Peter Lowry

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

And now there are three.

Wednesday, February 7th, 2018

Even in this shortest of all leadership races, it is too early to produce a morning line on the Ontario Progressive Conservative Party contest. How are you expected to consider workouts and past performance for this mixed bag of candidates? And when you only have three—so far—you have to wait until the official cut off.

Doug Ford was the first out from his mother’s basement. (The media love the inference that the millionaire Ford lives in his mother’s basement.) The former councillor and the guy John Tory beat for the Toronto mayoralty, Ford is probably the richest wannabe in the race.

Ford is busy rallying his late brother’s Ford Nation to his cause but how many will pay up to become short-term Tories is a good question? Here is Ford running a campaign against the Toronto elites when all the time, he is one of those elites.

And speaking of elites, this will be the first chance anyone will have to not vote for Caroline Mulroney. If the name sounds familiar, it is because her daddy was one of the most vilified prime ministers in Canada’s history. It was a quarter century ago but many of us remember ‘Lyin’ Brian.

Caroline Mulroney has a father who is a liability, four children in private schools and an American husband in Toronto. And they recently bought a week-end country estate in Geogina, Ontario. It is so that Caroline can run for a seat at Queen’s Park in the safe Conservative electoral district of York-Simcoe.

So far, it is two wannabes taking on the older pro. None of them have a seat currently at Queen’s Park. Christine Elliott walked away from her Whitby-Oshawa seat when Patrick Brown stole the leadership from her in the last race. She was so angry at the time that she never went back to Queen’s Park. Premier Kathleen Wynne gave her a way out by offering Christine a plum government appointment. She was ideally suited to the job and it is reputed to have paid $220,000 per year.

But there must have been some other offers made to bring Christine back to Queen’s Park. She might have lost twice already in tries for the leadership but she is the widow of Conservative icon Jim Flaherty, Stephen Harper’s finance minister. She likely has a base of at least 15,000 Ontario Tories ready to vote for her.

While most political observers assumed that Brown lied about the 200,000 members of the Conservative Party. Vic Fedeli might not even have the right figure at 125,000. The better guess is that there are between 60,000 to 75,000 votes to go after. We will give you an idea where they might go, after the candidate cut off.

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Copyright 2018 © Peter Lowry

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

Brown’s fans fight for fairness.

Friday, February 2nd, 2018

How do you petition public opinion? How many signatures on Facebook would impress the hoi polloi? Would you send the results to Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook? Just how do you defend against accusations handled entirely within the court of public opinion?

Talking to one of the people behind the Facebook petition on behalf of the fallen conservative provincial party leader, I tried to dig into the effort. It seemed to be such a terrible waste of time.

It appears they just want to get their former MP, now former provincial party leader Patrick Brown, a day in court. They consider the media’s treatment of the case to be unfair. They see the entire situation as unfair. Which it is. The problem is that Patrick Brown dug his own grave. He never accepted any of the help that was there for him.

As a public relations professional and a political operative for many years, I see various strategies that might have rescued him. None of them would have worked with an overwrought, out-of-control client. When he failed to pay attention to his campaign staff, he left them no option but to resign.

Not that this writer is going to miss Patrick Brown. Watching him in action in Barrie and Ottawa, I would not cross the street for him even if he was handing out $100 bills

But, in answer to the people who want a day in court for Patrick, the one avenue left open for him is the PC leadership convention in March. That is his only road to redemption. He has to run to replace himself. Nobody can block him in the leadership. Vic Fedeli said he would not let him run as a PC candidate but the interim leader cannot stop a fellow MPP from running for the leadership.

Brown can brush off the allegations of the young ladies as an unfortunate attempt to get rid of him. He is a lawyer and he knows what their testimony would be worth in court.

He has to run in the campaign on his platform that he introduced in November. His people wrote it and his picture is on it. Why pay for a new front cover?

But the putz has to remember that when he hires people to tell him what to do, he should do what they tell him. He has to stop making an ass of himself.

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Copyright 2018 © Peter Lowry

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