Saturday, January 27, 2018

Ontario PC Leadership

1. Did Patrick Brown have to go? Yes.

2. In the medium term, is the party better off without him? Yes.

3. Was he going to win the election that is coming in a few months? I doubt it--the Wynne government has been showering key groups with money. The piper will have to be paid after the election, but the polls showed the Libs getting back into majority country.

4. Was the party correct to first choose an interim leader, than call for a leadership race which will somehow coincide with a general election? All parties now talk about being as democratic as possible. Leadership races and nominations at the riding level can be "gamed" by someone who is aggressive in selling memberships to newcomers who have no previous experience with the party or the process. Candidates and leaders can fall into the "who is she/he? category. On the other hand, having a leader chosen only by the present elected caucus (which skews older, male, and rural--the party needs to get votes from none of the above) is undemocratic and perhaps strategically flawed.

Robyn Urback of the CBC says the party may be better off without Brown, even with a greatly compressed leadership race.
Martin Regg Cohn of The Star has more: ambitious candidates for leader/Premier, Rod Philips and Caroline Mulroney, influenced party officials to call a leadership race. Perhaps they're willing to sacrifice one more election to Kathleen Wynne for the sake of their own ambitions? Rod a one-time senior staffer, more recently in the private sector and a kind of public-spirited group called Civic Action; Caroline the daughter of a former Prime Minister. They are both declared candidates for seats in the Legislature.

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