Here's the thing. If Patrick Brown really wanted to greenify the PC Party of Ontario, then he shouldn't have to explain himself to us.
He shouldn't have to point to some nebulous policy proposal at the convention which was unanimously endorsed. He shouldn't have to try and convince people it's going to be revenue neutral or distinguish it from Wynne's slush fund at all.
He shouldn't have to name-drop Ronald Reagan or pretend that climate change is something "our generation" needs to confront.
All he should need to have to do is say, "We're going ahead with this. Don't like it? There's the door."
Because, don't you know, Patrick Brown has been to every riding in the province?! He beat Christine Elliott handily.
He's got the most open and consultative policy process ever.
And as a result of all of that hard work, P-Bizzle should have identified a pool of voters that are just itching for cap-and-trade here in Ontario. He should have identified a pool of soft Liberal voters, or people who've never voted before, to replace all the people who are tearing up their membership cards or wondering just who is driving this bus.
That way, when the "climate-change deniers" reacted, he could have comfortably wished them well and gone on his way without having to encourage them to go to forontario.ca
But we all know that that isn't what happened. There is no reason for the PCPO to support cap and trade because a conservative party supporting cap and trade is like the NDP supporting balanced budgets. The rank and file don't want it. The rank and file didn't expect it.
Nobody found a magic pool of 905 voters who were waiting for the PC Party to embrace carbon pricing.
No, what happened here is clear enough. Some Bay Street corpo-cuck caved to peer pressure from his or her Liberal friends and employed the trusty PCPO back-channel rather than trouble themselves with what the riff-raff thought.
That's why this backlash occurred.
It actually has nothing to do with carbon pricing at all.
If Patrick Brown had decided he was changing the brand of tea they serve at PCPO headquarters without asking the people who worked there first, the result would have been the same.
And then, if that wasn't bad enough, Patrick Brown then had the gall to stand before the assembled faithful and tell them they would never have to defend faith based schools or 10,000 job cuts on the campaign trail again.
Well, Patrick, let me break it to you:
From now until whenever the call comes over on the back-channel to rescind this revenue-neutral brain fart, you will be asked about it, Tim Hudak-style, at every single press conference you hold.
And if you don't rescind it, it will become YOUR faith based schools.
And no, cancelling Wynne's pension plan scheme isn't going to distract anyone. Nice try. The way you get out of this mess is by being what it says on your business card- being a leader.
Leadership is not beating the so-called "old guard" into submission with political machinations.
It's having the courage to admit the truth.
Or, alternatively, listening to the people who are loudly telling you, today — at NoCarbonTax.ca for instance — that this is not something they're interested in.