Congratulations to Patrick Brown, who has passed his first official test: keeping Whitby-Oshawa in the PC fold.
This is a high point for the PCPO, in that they are not losing safe seats anymore. Yaaay!
Conservatives in this country have been down (more so than usual) for about five months now, so this single byelection is going to be treated as very big up.
Prepare yourselves for lots of tweets about how this was a repudiation of the Trudeau-Wynne axis of evil and their high-tax agenda and their allies at the CBC, and a vindication of the safe, stay the course, light on specifics, heavy on talking points conservative agenda offered by both the provincial and federal parties.
As such, the PC Party Convention in Ottawa in early March is doubtless going to be a joyful affair, with lots of chest-thumping about how Wynne is in a tailspin and a stiff breeze could knock her off.
Lorne Coe is going to be treated like a rock star. The entire Ottawa Press Gallery will likely use this as the moment to proclaim the shine is off the Liberal brand as a whole.
So while I may be spitting in the wind here, I must caution you all:
Don't you believe a word of the hype. Because it's all part of the Media Party's game.
They *want* the PCPO to go back on cruise control. They want to build Patrick Brown up just to let him down.
The last three elections have been "Idiot PC's snatch defeat from jaws of victory," and you had best believe they want a fourth. That cant happen unless they pull the wool over P-Bizzle's eyes and convince him a win is imminent.
Ask Tim Peterson what it's like to be the PCPO's hero only to be washed away by a red tide that "nobody saw coming."
Or Doug Holyday.
Or maybe Patrick Brown could ask his friend, Barrie's very own Rod Jackson, what it's like to go from hotshot city councillor to elected provincial official to casualty of a PCPO policy fail.
Think about all the usual factors that come into play during an election that were absent in Whitby Oshawa.
There was no blitz of misleading and contradictory polls.
There was no mobilization of those darn unions.
There was no shift of the NDP strategic vote to the red team as they discovered for the 100th time that the NDP "isn't progressive."
All of that, and more, will happen in the 2018 election. Patrick Brown's team better prepare, and they had better prepare NOW.
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