09.20.2016 11:52 AM

Patrick Brown and sex

(I knew that headline would catch your eye, even if you don’t know who Brown is.)

It’s a pretty fair report by Benzie. And here’s who will like it and who won’t:

  • Voters like it when politicians admit they were wrong and make changes. 
  • Ontarians like anyone who is criticized by McVety and his knuckle-dragging troglodyte crew. 
  • Ontario Grits and Dippers won’t like that Brown is taking out the social conservative trash well before the next election. 

On a related topic: Benzie’s colleague Cohn is writing Kathleen Wynne’s obituary way, way too soon.

Three points about that:

  • She could wallpaper her nice house (and I’ve been there many times – it’s a very nice house) with political obituaries. 
  • She is always underestimated by pundits and politicos – and then she wins big, as she did in 2003, 2007, 2011, 2013 and 2014. Only a fool would count her out. 
  • A guy named Mulroney had similar disapproval numbers in 1987 – and went on to win a second huge majority in 1988. The skill lies in being unpopular at the right time. Wynne knows it. 

[Obligatory Full Diclosure Statement: Daisy Group staff are involved, variously and at various times, in Ontario Liberal, PC and NDP campaign work. And are encouraged to do so.]


  1. Michael S says:

    Did the owl consent?

  2. Carey Miller says:

    When I was a younger man, I found the Mulroney Conservatives compelling, with a focus on the environment and an idea that the debt of people my parents and grandparents ages should not fall on my shoulders. Mulroney was charismatic and many of my friends were there, helping him gain the leadership. I was hardly alone, as Mulroney was the last leader to win a real, 50%+1, majority. In Ontario, having grown up with Bill Davis as my Premier, I saw leaders such as Larry Grossman and other red Tories making Ontario the best place in Canada to live.

    When the Conservatives lost their majority and then their minds, I became a Liberal. While few would ever admit such a thing, there was little difference in governing between the Progressive Conservatives and the Liberals until Mike Harris and Stephen Harper became the leaders of their parties.

    I have long wondered whether the Conservative parties might find their way back to a more centrist view, parties that are really financially conservative and socially progressive. If they do, and the changes will take effort and time to demonstrate, there are a good number of Canadians who will be pleased to have a real choice. Right now it is just a hope. Still, Patrick Brown’s letter today and Michael Chong’s campaign in general provide glimmers of that hope. It will be an interesting few years.

  3. doconnor says:

    The narrative they are going to push on Brown is that he’ll say whatever you want to here and this will play into that narrative.

  4. Jeff says:

    There’s a difference between admitting that you were wrong as new evidence emerges and caving when you were caught redhanded trying to pander to a group of bigots. As we learn more and more about the situation, it’s increasingly obvious that Patrick Brown falls into the latter category. Given that this is the first time many Ontarians are reading about him, and he already has a reputation (even among friends) as going wherever the wind blows, this will definitely have an impact on how he’s perceived. Not because Ontarians care that much about sex ed, but because their leaders should actually lead.

  5. Maps Onburt says:

    I think it’s very brave to admit that his views have changed over time – and most Conservatives (and I’ll bet many Ontarians) will be able to understand exactly where he’s coming from. I too held many of the same views… the original Sex Ed curriculum enraged me and the fact that it was written by a pedophile made it even worse, but I’ve seen how it has been implemented by the teachers and it isn’t so scary – and it isn’t hard to understand that NOT knowing is worse than knowing – that was never in doubt. Same thing for Gay marriage. Many Canadians (including myself but also many politicians on both sides of the progressive fence) had views that Marriage should be reserved for Men and Women. Now that it is implemented, we’ve seen that it has made many people happy and it hasn’t destroyed the meaning of marriage and now wouldn’t think of taking that right away from our LBGT friends (who BTW always were our friends). I bet if you ran a poll on Gay Marriage support before and after implementation you’d find that a very large percentage of Canadians changed their minds… what person in their right mind would suggest that it isn’t OK for a politician to do so? Some of the best politicians did… Just on my side of the political spectrum. Churchill was a Liberal before he switched to the Conservatives, Reagan was a democrat before he became one of the most highly thought of Republicans. Harper was a Trudeau Liberal before he became a Conservative. There is that old chestnut that says if you weren’t a Liberal in your youth, you didn’t have a heart and if you aren’t a Conservative later in life you don’t have a brain. The reality is that, if you ignore the fringes of both parties, the middle are not very far apart. The fringes do their damnedest demonize the other side and bring out the extremes on any issue… Frankly, it’s refreshing to see a leader admit that his values have changed with society. Only the fringes will demonize him for it.

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