Musings —05.12.2015 09:00 AM—
Who am I?
Chantal Hebert has a column in today’s Star about the new Ontario PC leader. I’m biased, but I think she pulls her punches.
Here are some of the things you need to know about young Patrick, who to me bears a striking resemblance – ideologically and otherwise – to someone else.
- He is slippery about the past. For example, he claims that he considered Tim Hudak’s disastrous 100,000 job cuts pledge “ill advised” – but he was present to wildly applaud Hudak, when he made that promise, exactly one year ago this week.
- He is truthy about his voting record. He claims, for instance, he won’t reopen the abortion debate. But, when he had a chance to reopen that divisive issue on Motion 312, he did – thereby disregarding his own Prime Minister’s clear position.
- He is a trougher. And this one should concern every true fiscal conservative – Brown ran for Ontario PC leader, full time, on the federal taxpayer’s dime. The PMO didn’t seem to like that, saying they “expect [him] to continue to fulfill [his] Parliamentary responsibilities.” All told, this means taxpayers were paying him about $160,000 to be an MP – while he was running, 24/7, to be something else.
- He wants the government in the bedrooms of the province. He claims, over and over, that he doesn’t. But, whenever he had a chance to mind his own business, he repeatedly didn’t – on abortion, on sexual orientation, on equal marriage. Check it out – on every single issue, his voting record tells the real story.
- He looks the other way on prejudice. He name drops, ad nauseum, his friendships in minority communities. Good for him. But do those folks know he voted to gut minority protections in the Human Rights Act – or that he just a few days ago refused to condemn a gross appeal to prejudice made by one of his strongest supporters?
So, who does Patrick Brown remind me of? Why, funny you should ask. He reminds me of Stockwell Day.
Back in 2000, whenever we (or the media) would go after Day on an issue – privatizing health care, or a flat tax, or gay marriage, or abortion, or whatever – he would do what Patrick Brown so regularly does: he would shift his position. He would deny. He would dismiss. He would claim to be misunderstood. He would shrug. (Hell, he even physically resembles old Stock.)
Patrick Brown isn’t vulnerable merely because he is a social conservative. He’s vulnerable because he’s trying to be all things to all people, just like Stockwell Day tried to do.
He’s vulnerable because he is being dishonest about who he really is, and what he really believes.
And he’s going to get found out, at precisely the wrong time for him and his party.