So it’s rapidly becoming clear that there are no wholly good actors in the evolving saga of Patrick Brown. Everyone’s got dirt on them and picking a side is thus very difficult.
To that end, while my colleague Graeme Gordon tackles the maelstrom of back and forth allegations and counter-allegations in his latest for Canadaland, I will be focusing on the leadership race.
After my piece on how the PC Party of Ontario fostered a partisan culture of silence was published, I got a lot of flak from people for alleging that their own personal silence with respect to what they knew about Patrick Brown led the party to where it is now.
There were those who claimed they didn’t know, and there were those who didn’t appreciate being singled out. Naturally. Of course.
Well, here we are, a couple of weeks later, with all that has transpired since with respect to Brown — the redemption tour, the media joining in on the pile-on on CTV so they could score some points, the defenestration by caucus and the eleventh-hour filing of nomination papers — and those two excuses are officially null and void.
By now, everyone and their dog knows about Patrick Brown, and everyone who is a member of the PC Party has a stake in choosing who the next leader is. So you can’t say you don’t know, or that it’s not your problem, anymore.
If your reason for tolerating Brown’s antics before this bomb detonated was that people don’t care about inside baseball matters like nominations and ballot box stuffing and sketchy membership sales, we’re way past that point.
And if you supported his self-aggrandizing comeback tour on the basis that you didn’t like him as a politician, but he deserved an opportunity to clear his name as a person? Well, guess what: Brown the politician is trying to resurrect himself. You already said you didn’t like his political incarnation, so what excuse could you have for putting him at the top of your ballot?
Think the other four people in the running are worse? Maybe. But maybe not. And there’s no maybe with Patrick Brown. Once again: You know what you’re getting with him as leader. And you know it isn’t good.
Oh, hold on… I forgot. Brown, in the minds of some people, was a great leader because memberships and donations were up under him and that was the pathway to victory. He was great for the party, and therefore nothing else matters.
OK. Except him running again and knowing that the unanswered questions are going to follow him everywhere he goes, as well as everyone who chooses to run under the party banner, is very, very BAD for the party. Being in a (possible?) legal fight with a major news organization is bad for the party, if only for the fact that it’s a distraction from getting rid of the Liberals, governing, and all kinds of good stuff like that.
I guess what I’m trying to say here is that Patrick Brown’s defenders don’t have a leg to stand on, and they know they don’t have a leg to stand on, and it’s transparently obvious that they are trying to rationalize their way towards making him leader again.
But hey: we all know they’re going to keep trying to make the case, so I say let them fill their boots. It should be entertaining at the very least.