From the first meeting with Patrick Brown some 15 years ago, I did not like him. He was a sallow-complexioned little man with a bad haircut. He wanted to shake my hand and I rudely pulled my hand back. I’m not usually so rude but I must have seen the conservative blue of the pamphlets in his other hand. It was the first federal election in many years where I did not have a horse in the race. I knew I would never warm to this guy.
In subsequent years I have never changed my opinion. Seeing Brown around Barrie did little to change my mind. Watching how he behaved in Ottawa put me off even further. One time, I was sitting behind him at a Canadian Radio Television-Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) hearing in Gatineau, Quebec. He never caught on to where he had seen me before. I watched him deliver a presentation to the commissioners that was most likely written for him by Bell Canada writers. He had difficulties with some of their words. I wasn’t impressed with the way the Bell people fawned over him.
When he knew he was in trouble, was in 2015 when he saw it would be tough getting re-elected in my Barrie riding. That was when he decided to take a run at the Ontario conservative leadership.
He must have used the same tactics at that time as he used earlier this year in the federal conservative run-up. In the Ontario contest, it was easy for him to swamp the signed-up conservatives with members of the South Asia diaspora in Ontario. A Sikh friend told me that in one of their communities’ house parties, they were asked to sign up to support Brown. They were told that paying the membership fee was optional. I wish I had been on the inside to tell you how he pulled that off but paying for membership has always been a no-no.
I am not sure that the conservatives insiders will ever say exactly why he is out but I expect they have been looking for a way to block him.
I am more interested in where that leaves former Quebec premier Jean Charest. The deal was that when Brown dropped out, his votes were supposed to go to Charest. I wonder if Brown is going to keep the scam going and get his legal sign-ups to vote for Charest. Would there be enough legal conservative voters to matter? I expect Pierre Poilievre is smiling.
Copyright 2022 © Peter Lowry
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