May 09, 2015

Congratulations to Patrick Brown

Mitch WolfeRebel Blogger

This was supposed to be a coronation for Christine Elliott. Instead, the queen in waiting pulled a Hillary Clinton circa 2008 and lost to a relatively unknown candidate, who out hustled and out organized her. And thoroughly destroyed Elliott in all parts of the province. Even in the GTA. Even in Ford Nation, notwithstanding the support of the Ford brothers. 

I like Christine Elliott as a person. She has substance. She was a practicing lawyer, a business person, a mother who raised three sons, and a terrifically supportive partner of her husband Jim Flaherty.  She has been a tireless campaigner for the Conservative cause and an excellent MPP for her riding.

Ms. Elliott has integrity. She has character. In sum, a mensch.

But she is not and has never been leadership material.

Notwithstanding all of Elliott’s strong qualities and intelligence, she performed very weakly at Queen’s Park. Her opponents Vic Fedeli and Lisa MacLeod - though not as well known as Ms. Elliott - day by day hammered the McGuinty and then the Wynne government over its many scandals: OLG, Ornge, the cancellation of the gas plants, the deletion of the emails,  and MARS2.

For the most part, Elliott was missing in action. She just did not come across as tough and strong, even in opposition.

Despite all of Elliott’s experience and intelligence and alleged knowledge of the provincial issues, Elliott’s campaign was a disaster. She came across as painfully boring and a totally uninspiring speaker, reminiscent of the disastrous Olivia Chow, during her pathetic attempt to win the Toronto mayoral race.

What were Elliott and her brain trust thinking when they assumed the same Yonge Street location as the political headquarters of Olivia Chow? Talk about bad karma. Talk about guilt by location.

To a large extent Elliott snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. She showed very poor judgment in apparently just relying upon support from her caucus, who failed to deliver their own people in their own ridings. Elliott also seemed to just rely upon the same political advisers and political elites who were responsible for Tory defeats in the last four elections.

Talk about the gang who could not shoot straight!

To Brown’s credit, he was not another right wing tone-deaf socially conservative Tim Hudak clone.

To the surprise of Elliott and her people, Brown pulled a Jason Kenney and he went out to all the socially conservative new Canadian groups, in the 905 areas and beyond, and brought in a ton of new Conservative supporters, among the South Asian, Tamil, Arab, Muslim and Asian communities.

Brown and his people did what Elliott should have done. Gone out and brought in new members, from the ethnic communities who had gradually gravitated to the federal Conservative fold through the efforts of Kenney and Harper.

Instead, Elliott played it safe. She made few errors, but she was destroyed nonetheless.

Though the left wing media has and will paint Brown as a hard core right wing nut, he is and will be a formidable opponent to Premier Wynne. He is very likeable. He is charming. He is young, smart and very aggressive.

Not only did Brown attract thousands and thousands of new members from previously non Conservative communities. More importantly he and his organization were able to successfully get these new Conservatives to come out and vote – a true test of Brown’s organizational skills and formidable ground game, in this case reminiscent of Obama’s successful ground game.

Premier Wynne, be afraid. Be very afraid. Your time in office is well past due. And the new invigorated Conservatives are stronger than ever and they are coming after you and your scandal-ridden government. 


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commented 2015-05-11 00:16:02 -0400
Sandy Wynne (See? I can misspell your name too.) - :-)

Your “first off” point is nonsense as it assumes Brown only recruited members at the first protest. If that is your best shot, you are in it up to your nostrils!

But listen, I didn’t say he supported the dis- – not mis- – information. I said he exploited it. Because he did. Brown knows the sex-ed curriculum advises students to abstain from anal sex, that it doesn’t expect students of any age to explore each others’ genitals or to cross-dress, yet he did not correct these and the many other falsehoods uninformed parents believe.

Twitter is replete with posts from new PCPO members from ethnic communities who believe Brown promised to get the sex-ed curriculum scrapped. Now, I’ve listened to Brown enough, in debates online and in person at our local fundraiser, to know he is clever with words and can twist them so the less-than-savvy may believe he has promised something he has only hinted at. But it is dishonest to exploit such misunderstandings and I call him on it because he has no intention to scrap sex-ed.

He exploited parents’ outrage to sell memberships and win the election. But he hasn’t got a seat – or, therefore, a voice – in the Legislature and by the time he does, the sex-ed curriculum will already have been taught for a term or two. And it will have been taught for three years by the time he gets the chance to get any real power to do anything, if he wins Ontario in 2018. Which he may not.

It is not only or even primarily Wynne whom Brown must beat in 2018 but also Horwath. If diverse, tolerant and progressive Ontario thinks Brown discriminates against the LGBTQ lobby in his own party, against the mentally ill and disabled, against women, against the poor, they will vote NDP.

And by 2020 the kids of upset parents who voted for Brown will have graduated – or not – depending on the quality of their education and whether their parents stayed out of jail.

As to your second “point” – you agree with me. That is exactly what I have said all along.

As to your attempt to slur my character as a liar -NO NEED TO YELL – it’s abusive.

But to the point, it is you who has your facts wrong. I do not spread misinformation. I am not a liar.

Why not try to debate my points instead of making ad-hom attacks? It is because you think I am an appropriate target for hatred because I disagree with your views on sex-ed. Not cool, Sandy.

Elliott’s platform dialectic is the right one, the true, blue, traditional Conservative platform. It is with fiscal conservativism and social compassion that we build a strong, secure, prosperous and united society, not with hate and bias and mean spirit.

True Conservatives don’t hate gays, or disabled, or the poor or the different. We don’t discriminate based on race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, conscience or any of the human rights protected under the Constitution Act of Canada. Conservatives are generous and inclusive.

True Conservatives care about children, all children, more than we value our privileged indulgence of Disney and Hollywood fantasy culture. We care about all children, including those at risk of exploitation by childhood sexual abuse, at risk of female genital mutilation, child marriage and honour beatings/rape/kills, at risk from parents that digitally “fist” them in the bath, that pimp them for drugs, that sedate them so it is easier to neglect them, at risk from suicide because no one ever tells them what is happening to them is criminal and can be stopped if they have the right information and tell the right authorities.

That is why Ontario has made the changes it has to the sex-ed curriculum. To save lives.

The best thing Brown can do for disaffected parents is counsel them on their rights under a majority Liberal government that has the right, under our democracy and rule of law, to introduce the changes to the sex-ed curriculum it intends to. He needs to explain to the upset parents who helped elect him what their rights and responsibilities are to educate their children under the law, including the law that governs home and private schooling. He must explain that while parents have the right to exempt their children from sex-ed classes and/or to home/private school them at their own expense, they do not have the right to deny those students who desperately need sex education the opportunity to survive their childhoods.
commented 2015-05-10 21:02:01 -0400
I live in Thunder Bay. Patrick Brown has visited my city 9 times and has visited Northern Ontario on many occasions. I voted for him because he invited me to a meeting of PC party members, he was holding while in town, where I could hear, in person his platform (which I liked) and ask questions. I was also impressed that he showed an interest in this part of Ontario – yes there is a population north of Barrie. When Elizabeth Elliot came to town, I heard about it after she had left and although I got lots of emails from her, that personal touch was just not there. I think Patrick will be good for the party and look forward to seeing what he accomplishes in the future.
commented 2015-05-10 13:35:15 -0400
Congratulations to Patrick Brown. Christine Elliott is just too “wishy-washy” as a leader. Let’s hope Patrick will stand up to Wynne and her cronies.
commented 2015-05-10 10:52:12 -0400
Joan Abernathy. First off, when Patrick Brown spoke at the first protest in February in support of the “Say NO to radical sex-ed”, the pamphlets (which do have misinformation in them) had not yet been printed, let alone distributed. So how could he have “supported” the misinformation?
Secondly, the position that Mr. Brown has taken on the curriculum, is that he is “listening” to the concerns the parents have, agrees that parents were NOT consulted and has stated that there are some subjects that are age inappropriate.
Maybe YOU should get YOUR facts straight Joan, instead of spreading around your OWN misinformation.
commented 2015-05-10 04:29:59 -0400
Gerry Kelly: Falsehoods about the sex-ed curriculum were written in pamphlets, mostly in Arabic, and distributed to families in person and online. They included the falsehood that children will be instructed in masturbation and anal sex. In fact, anal sex is mentioned in grade seven as risky behaviour students should abstain from, not engage in. And masturbation is described as normal for adolescents, not encouraged or instructed. Some of the falsehoods are worse. Like that children in grade one are taught to explore each others’ genitals. That is simply not true. And that children are required to cross dress. That is also false. The six genders are taught in the context of Canadian law as those recognized and protected under the Constitution. Children are not expected to try them out, as the disinformation alleges, but only to respect them as they respect racial differences.
commented 2015-05-10 04:19:07 -0400
John Allen, good one!!
commented 2015-05-09 21:54:48 -0400
Does anyone else get tired of pundits who can explain with perfect clarity the election outcome but only after the election has taken place? This article would have been truly impressive – three days ago.
commented 2015-05-09 21:47:37 -0400
Contrary to your headline I would like to say " congratulations" to Christine Elliot. I think that judging by the PC’s past record pf selecting leaders who turned out to be useless it should be nice to know that you were not the one they picked. Obviously you were not quite “down to their standard.”
commented 2015-05-09 21:02:13 -0400
Joan. Could you elaborate on the “false beliefs” you mention were exploited by Brown?
commented 2015-05-09 18:42:51 -0400
Yes, Brown is aggressive. A go getter. And true that like Kenney, he reached out to ethnic communities and he sold memberships. He has the energy needed to oppose the Liberal majority.

But it appears that unlike Kenney, Brown exploited bias, prejudice, intolerance and fear to sell those memberships. He appealed to fears of and beliefs in the gross falsehoods spread by the disinformation campaign, much of it written in Arabic, about the Wynne government changes to the Ontario sex-ed curriculum. Instead of responsibly correcting the false beliefs, he exploited them.

By doing so, Patrick Brown may have won the leadership battle for himself but lost the war for Ontario.

Unless … unless he adopts the platform Christine ran on. Not bigotry, exclusion,and police oppression but fiscal conservatism and social compassion. If he can sell that true, blue, truly Conservative dialectic, Brown has the other skills to win. But he must abandon bigotry.