All is not too friendly in the federal Conservative camp these days. Patrick Brown is bad-mouthing Pierre Poilievre. And this is not friendly banter between two gentlemen who both served their party in Stephen Harper’s conservative government.
In fact, if the conservatives manage to arrange another leadership debate, they might have to keep those two from getting physical about it. Brown has already said that if Poilievre wins the leadership, Brown will not return to parliament in the next election. Mind you, Poilievre might not sign his acceptance of Brown as a conservative candidate, in any event.
Despite both being career politicians and knowing little of real life, the two men have never been that friendly, Brown must have been very surprised when Poilievre claimed to have beaten him at Brown’s specialty of signing up temporary conservatives. With Poilievre’s team claiming more than 300,000 new sign-ups to Brown’s 150,000, Poilievre could have a chance at a first-round win.
There is no way of knowing where the candidates really stand until they can see what electoral districts the new sign-ups are from. There is also the opportunity to challenge sign-ups that might not have paid their own membership or are known members of another political party. And postal codes should not be for a cemetery.
Patrick Brown has stated flat out that he won’t run for the federal conservatives if Poilievre is leader of the party. He made it clear though that he would be on board if Jean Charest or Leslyn Lewis were leader. Since it highly unlikely that Lewis could win, that shout-out to her was in aid of getting second vote consideration from her social conservative supporters.
If Poilievre does not win on the first complex ballot count, it will quickly come down to second vote considerations. Even if Poilievre leads but does not get a majority in the first three counts, it is hard to say where he would get any second vote support.
As it stands today, the Brown-Charest alliance is the only possible combination that might beat Poilievre. Brown is probably right that Poilievre would never be the darling of the Greater Toronto Area. Nor would Brown, despite his being popular with the South Asian diaspora community in Brampton.
Copyright 2022 © Peter Lowry
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