Brownout
January 24, 2018 10:42 PM   Subscribe

With a provincial election scheduled for June 7 and the incumbent Liberal party reeling from voter fatigue and scandals after fourteen years in power, Ontario Progressive Conservative leader (and previous favourite to be the next Premier) Patrick Brown has resigned the party leadership after allegations from two women that he sexually harassed and assaulted them when both girls were only 18. Brown issued a trembling, teary statement earlier today then fled reporters at the scene. Within minutes of the statement five key members of the Brown campaign had resigned (although at least one appeared to be throwing stones from a glass house).

The Brown crisis comes on the same day where Nova Scotia Progressive Conservative party leader Jamie Baillie resigned after being accused of "inappropriate behaviour" which appears to have included sexual harassment.
posted by mightygodking (165 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
 
Ah, Ontario. Never change.
posted by zenon at 10:54 PM on January 24


You had me guessing which country you were talking about. The sad thing is it these scandals are surfacing everywhere. Just this week in the UK there has been the President's Club scandal, and the sentencing of Larry Nassar in the US.

The good news is that the reckoning has finally come, thanks to the bravery of the women coming forward and exposing these horrible men. I have enormous respect for them all. Let's hope this is the beginning of the end for serial harassers and sexual predators.
posted by Acey at 11:03 PM on January 24 [11 favorites]


When I went to bed, he was intent on staying where he was and fighting it out. I’m glad to see that he’s gone.

Even the very idea that he could stay and somehow outlast these allegations — and in this climate — was so tone-deaf and entitled that his leadership was toast anyway.

‘My sisters are my best friends...’ Oh, fuck off, Patrick.
posted by Capt. Renault at 2:44 AM on January 25 [12 favorites]


A cleansing fire spreads.
posted by Jessica Savitch's Coke Spoon at 4:29 AM on January 25 [3 favorites]


Based on the timeframe and the descriptions, I'm guessing that he read "The Game" or one of its darker Internet cousins and thought it was full of great ideas.
posted by clawsoon at 5:02 AM on January 25


I'm seeing a disturbing amount of comments in threads elsewhere claiming that this is all a manufactured set-up by the (in-power) Liberals to win the election.

Why would it be so hard to believe a person in power abused that power?
posted by Paladin1138 at 5:21 AM on January 25 [1 favorite]


I love how the OLP manages to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory every election.

I was really getting worried about this election, with Wynne so unpopular and Brown flying under the radar. Christine Elliot must be laughing, she got a nice non-partisan gig from Wynne (smart move) after her defeat for the leadership.

On Reddit, Caroline Mulroney keeps getting thrown up as a faint hope Interim Leader. I don't see it, and I don't think she would be stupid enough to take the reins as a sacrificial Kim Campbell, but I can see how the lack of quality Conservative candidates has people grasping at straws.
posted by saucysault at 5:21 AM on January 25


so much of Wynne's unpopularity is fed by misleading headlines from rag newspapers, spiced with misogyny & homophobia. The Liberals are usually too centrist for me, but with the recent action (finally!) on minimum wage, I don't want them to lose momentum.

Now if only we can get a Marshall-plan style response to the housing crisis. We need big spending on actual subsidized housing.
posted by jb at 5:45 AM on January 25 [16 favorites]


Yeah, a lot of anti-Wynne sentiment is driven by her sexuality and gender, it's really damn disgusting. I'm also really annoyed for her constantly being pilloried for the Hydro One stuff as it was Mike Brown (a Tory!) who put that in place. What a shitshow to have inherited.

But back to the matter at hand, farewell, Patrick Brown, you heel.
posted by Kitteh at 5:57 AM on January 25 [9 favorites]


Nova Scotia, too? Couldn’t have happened to a nicer political party.
posted by The Card Cheat at 6:32 AM on January 25 [2 favorites]


The thing about Brown is that this story has been floating around for a while. Young people in Barrie knew. Staffers in the House of Commons knew when he was an MP.

And the Liberal Party may have known this was coming (if they did their research on their opponent they should have seen the above tweets) and rumors going around that their campaign strategy was to wait for this story to drop.
posted by thecjm at 6:36 AM on January 25 [5 favorites]


One this really remarkable about this, is the staff issuing statements as they resigned. I've seen politicians (Alison Redford, Rob Ford) who lost a lot of staff in a very short time, but usually they'd say nothing and mention some generic BS about family time if asked. Brown's staff put out messages saying they advised him to resign and he refused, and saying that was the reason they resigned. I don't think I've ever seen that before. It says to be that they believe the allegations and are trying to save their careers from being associated with Brown.

Between Brown and Baillie, and Darshan Kang (and possibly Kent Hehr now?), I think we're going to see a lot of dirty laundry being aired across the political spectrum as people feel more comfortable telling their stories. Liberals and Dippers shouldn't get too cocky.
posted by Kurichina at 6:50 AM on January 25 [4 favorites]


Wynne has had her ups and downs as Premier (although, yeah, a lot of the criticism she has come in for has been bigoted bullshit), but she has been blessed with some of the lousiest opponents in political history. Now she gets to go up against a PC sacrificial lamb and Andrea Horwath, who ran one of the worst campaigns I’ve ever seen last time, one so bad this regular NDP voter went with the Liberals.
posted by The Card Cheat at 6:52 AM on January 25 [3 favorites]


Kitteh: "Yeah, a lot of anti-Wynne sentiment is driven by her sexuality and gender, it's really damn disgusting. "

So much this; it's been essentially impossible to take any criticism I see on facebook/twitter seriously because it is almost universally also taking jabs at her gender.
posted by Mitheral at 6:53 AM on January 25 [2 favorites]


So much this; it's been essentially impossible to take any criticism I see on facebook/twitter seriously because it is almost universally also taking jabs at her gender.

Aside from being hate-filled, sexist, and trollish...it's also just stupid. If you want to talk about the Liberal policies and politics that she has put in place and the way she manages Ontario, there's plenty to discuss and to criticize.

But it seems we're not so enlightened on that front, so these trolls just go to their default horrible setting and make their sexist jokes and RT/LIKE misogynist photo-mashups on social media. Fucking disgusting.
posted by Fizz at 7:10 AM on January 25 [2 favorites]


Also, Patrick Brown is a piece of shit.
posted by Fizz at 7:11 AM on January 25


Last night, when he was determined to (somehow) stay on, he said: "I know that the court of public opinion moves fast. I have instructed my attorneys to ensure that these allegations are addressed where they should be: in a court of law."

In his later statement, he said: “For this reason, after consulting with caucus, friends and family I have decided to step down as leader of the Ontario PC Party. I will remain on as a MPP while I definitively clear my name from these false allegations.”

Given that he has not been charged with anything (and I would not think that likely), and the women do not seem to be intent to bring Brown to court -- that leaves him the only option of suing the women and/or CTV. And that seems like an extraordinarily bad idea.

That, plus his original impulse to stay put -- without staff, needing to recruit new staff, needing to clear his name and rebuild it, tighten his grip on a caucus which rightly sees him as a human anchor, and do all in these next few months -- I'm curious as to how he thought that might all somehow work.

Of course he didn't want to give up, and of course he's entitled to 'clear his name'. But how could he not see that those two things are incompatible with each other, in his position, in that timeframe?

Even putting the disturbing allegations aside, his reaction showed that his instincts were wrong, his reasoning and expectations were wrong, and it's good that he's not going to be sitting behind the big desk.
posted by Capt. Renault at 7:12 AM on January 25 [5 favorites]


Obviously Brown isn't coming back. If his tone is that he's going to try to clear his name, I wonder if that will inspire more women to come forward.

But I'm not sure how much this changes the election in June. The party has done well with its fundraising, and has attracted good candidates because the Libs have been in power for so long and are trailing in the polls. If they're smart, the PC's will choose a candidate who won't be tied to any of this. Five months is a long time from now and I don't think the Liberals can make the election about a guy who resigned months before.

Perhaps one reason behind the mass public resignations is that this is that they all knew about Brown's actions, and I hope everyone in that party gets asked about what they knew and when they knew it. There may be a lot of people who were complicit, and it's not enough to run away quickly after it blows up.

We may end up with an election where the 3 largest parties are all led by women.
posted by thenormshow at 7:19 AM on January 25 [1 favorite]


Don't forget the whole furore over updating the sex ed curriculum. A lot of "Kathleen Wynne is trying to make our kids gay" was going around at the time. I doubt the response would have taken the same tone if the Premier was a straight man.

I'm really hoping that Wynne wins the next election and keeps a majority. Going hard left on policy was a pretty bold move for her to make and if it pays off it could encourage others to do the same.

I both want Doug Ford to win the PC leadership and don't, because surely he wouldn't be able to win the election, but I'm sure lots of people were saying that about Trump and Brexit and look what happened.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 7:20 AM on January 25 [3 favorites]


Is there any indication that DoFo is going to (or even could) make a play for the leadership? On one hand, the best-case scenario would be that he exits the Toronto mayoral race to run provincially, goes down in flames and winds up still out of politics altogether, where he belongs. The worst case scenario would be...*eyes Britain and the US nervously*
posted by The Card Cheat at 7:28 AM on January 25 [1 favorite]


Wynne's strategy so far seems to be watching all of her opponents (Tim Hortons (!), Ontario PC Party) blow themselves up.

I'd like to see a bit more talking about her accomplishments tbh. AM radio is controlling the narrative and you all know who AM radio wants in office.
posted by Yowser at 7:32 AM on January 25 [1 favorite]


Doug Ford is likely chomping on the bit for leadership. The party moderates have suffered a loss, and their hold on the crazies (a majority in the party) is slipping.
posted by Jessica Savitch's Coke Spoon at 7:39 AM on January 25


One this really remarkable about this, is the staff issuing statements as they resigned. I've seen politicians (Alison Redford, Rob Ford) who lost a lot of staff in a very short time, but usually they'd say nothing and mention some generic BS about family time if asked. Brown's staff put out messages saying they advised him to resign and he refused, and saying that was the reason they resigned. I don't think I've ever seen that before. It says to be that they believe the allegations and are trying to save their careers from being associated with Brown.

You kind of have to wonder though just how much and how long they've known. Apparently they were happy to keep supporting him until this point.
posted by sevenyearlurk at 7:40 AM on January 25 [2 favorites]


Rumours are that the federal Conservative party parachuted in the analytics firm/fascist media outlet guy Hamish Marshall to help out, so yeah, I think it's safe to say the crazies have taken over the Ontario PCs.
posted by Yowser at 7:42 AM on January 25


Is there any indication that DoFo is going to (or even could) make a play for the leadership?

I hear Caroline Mulroney's name tossed around, and as repugnant as I find that idea, it could very well be a winning strategy. Instantly, it would give the party someone with name recognition, neutralize the Brown issue and any advantages the other parties may have because of that, and have the appeal of someone who is completely inexperienced and without record a fresh face to the public.

But that would mean the Tories doing something not-crazy (or not-as-crazy). As someone whose hometown elected Kid Oosterhoff, the assumption of not-crazy is far from certain.
posted by Capt. Renault at 7:45 AM on January 25 [2 favorites]


This could be Hudak's year ...
posted by scruss at 7:46 AM on January 25 [2 favorites]


The impression I get is that the leaders of both the federal and Ontario Conservatives are like someone holding the lid of a pot of lobsters being boiled down so they can’t crawl out. There’s so much pent-up racism, sexism and anti-Islamic sentiment the PC base would love to let fly and they’re frustrated they haven’t been allowed to go out and play like the kids in Britain and the US.
posted by The Card Cheat at 7:51 AM on January 25 [6 favorites]


Holy crap, guys, I become a new Canadian citizen tomorrow, and I totes forgot about the general election in June. I AM EXCITE TO VOTE FOR THE FIRST TIME
posted by Kitteh at 7:57 AM on January 25 [38 favorites]


Better check your dates, Kitteh. They depend on where you live!
posted by Yowser at 7:59 AM on January 25


Welcome to the team, Kitteh!
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 8:00 AM on January 25 [5 favorites]


constantly being pilloried for the Hydro One stuff

Standard conservative tactic across both Canada and the US. They tried to retroactively blame the financial crisis in the US on Obama, even though he took office 6 months after it blew-up.

Since the 80's every conservative political group has had a policy of "pretending" to be fiscally conservative, but then engineering a massive legacy project/debt/tax-reduction/privatization, prior to their term ending, so that if/when a left-leaning government replaces them, they can misdirect anger against "liberals" - and that new government will have to spend at least half of it's term trying to fix the mess they were handed.
posted by jkaczor at 8:01 AM on January 25 [6 favorites]


Five months is a long time from now and I don't think the Liberals can make the election about a guy who resigned months before.

Well, if Brown stays on as an MPP as he says he's planning to do, then he still has to run for his Barrie seat in June. Green light for the OLP to keep running against him!
posted by saturday_morning at 8:19 AM on January 25 [1 favorite]


I checked: we are voting for our MPP in June, and our municipal in October. We tend to be an NDP household (I say "we" but rather my husband as I couldn't vote for the past 9 years), but we met the Green candidate for our riding at an Christmas party and he seemed rather nice. I like our incumbent Liberal MPP Sophie Kiwala, as she actually does good things as compared to our MP Mark Gerretsen, who is a legacy. (Seriously, he has all the personality of rice pudding and it's excruciating him to see him rep the Liberals at our local Pride Parade. He always looks so uncomfortable.)
posted by Kitteh at 8:19 AM on January 25 [1 favorite]


I thought the PC's put the kibosh on any chance of them letting Doug into any provincial action last year, no? I thought that was why he's doing the Mayor thing (ugh) again?

I'm not a huge fan of Wynne per se (the cheaper-Hydro bill now, super $$$ Hydro bill in few years plan is really scary to me) but as mentioned above, the NDP was sorely lacking in the last campaign. Their whole platform was about attacking the Liberals and there didn't seem to be a single new idea or plan, so I couldn't vote for them. I think Wynne's sex-Ed curriculum revamp was great and the minimum-wage increase was way overdue and pretty bold to be honest. And I cringe to read any online reaction or comments about her, they're always super gross and even when the comments aren't overtly misogynistic or homophobic, it's pretty transparent that the commenter is. So I usually avoid reading them. Kind of the same method I employ in avoiding comments in any thread about Yoko Ono (gosh bro, your love for the Beatles really shines through in your creepy, racist misogyny.)

This could be Hudak's year ..
How fantastic that I completely forgot about him.

Kitteh, that's awesome! Congratulations!
posted by chococat at 8:22 AM on January 25 [6 favorites]


Also: amazing post title
posted by saturday_morning at 8:26 AM on January 25


Possible replacement names I've heard floating around include Caroline Mulroney (dad was PM, not actually an MPP yet), Doug Ford (oh lord), John Baird (if they thought Brown had some skeletons in his closet....) , and a handful of people I've never heard of.

Thing is, if they want to go into this with an elected leader instead of an interm one, they need to run the leadership convention FAST. I really don't think they've got time to put together a convention before June. At least, not the time to put together a decent contention and leadership campaign. If they do go through a snap leadership convention, it could be an absolute crap shoot, or it could be only viable for party insiders because outside candidates like Ford would have zero time to build up a base of new members.
posted by thecjm at 8:28 AM on January 25 [1 favorite]


Five months is a long time from now

And that is a major problem... "Memory" seems to have disappeared in the current news cycle of whatever is hot for a few days... For example... the whole Tim Hortons fiasco about the increase to minimum wages... Does no one remember that in August 2017, as soon as the Ontario government stated: "this is happening, no more debate", Tim Horton's raised their prices in Ontario - across most of their products by about $0.10? They had 6-months of increased profits to cover the transition - and still pretended as if this was a major surprise...

And even, given the access to searchable historic news - no one seems to care about the past.

Well - perhaps not entirely true, because otherwise #metoo wouldn't have more power than the police and the legal system at this time. And frankly - given the overall toothless of those institutions, I don't have a problem with the "court of public opinion" - at times, this is the only way major change occurs in society... If societies only ever followed the incumbent institutions and always defer to their current "rule of law", we wouldn't even have Western-style democracy... Off with their heads!
posted by jkaczor at 8:30 AM on January 25


They should draft Mike Harris.
posted by Jessica Savitch's Coke Spoon at 8:33 AM on January 25


To say that Horwath and the NDP shat the bed in the last election is only half the story, because when Wynne made the decision to tack left the Dippers decided to swerve to the right instead of further left. Far enough right that I angrily emailed my MPP, who then invited me to his office for a sit down where the conversation went like this:

Me: WTF?
Him: I hear you, dude, but we’re trying to win an election here. Just be cool and go with it for now.
Me: what is even the point of being an ostensibly left party then
posted by The Card Cheat at 8:40 AM on January 25 [16 favorites]


Is there any indication that DoFo is going to (or even could) make a play for the leadership?

I suspect that Doug is confident that he would make a good leader of the Ontario Progressive Conservatives. Or a good mayor of Toronto. Or a good Prime Minister of Canada. Or a good Pope. Whether he will actually try for any of these positions is an open question (though I think that he will run for mayor again, long heavy sigh).

Realistically, he doesn't have much of a chance of being the leader of the PC party: the more conservative parts of the party will not want an alleged hashish dealer as their leader.
posted by tallmiddleagedgeek at 8:49 AM on January 25 [1 favorite]


Realistically, he doesn't have much of a chance of being the leader of the PC party: the more conservative parts of the party will not want an alleged hashish dealer as their leader.

Our neighbours down south have spent the last year+ teaching us that you could be the world's biggest sinner but if you hit the right arch-conservative talking points, the base will still support you.
posted by thecjm at 8:59 AM on January 25 [6 favorites]


I don't know much about DoFo on a personal level, and this is baseless, wild speculation on my part, but I'm guessing that there is a non-zero chance DoFo has some sexual misconduct in his past, and that he would do well to sit tight right where he is and not have people ask him questions on that subject right now.
posted by Capt. Renault at 9:06 AM on January 25 [2 favorites]


I'm also really annoyed for her constantly being pilloried for the Hydro One stuff as it was Mike Brown (a Tory!) who put that in place. What a shitshow to have inherited.

Ontario Hydro was a disaster when I was a teenager. I'm 50 now.

There probably is not a single Ontario government from the last 100 years that isn't at least partly responsible for the ongoing shambles. Part of the problem is that Ontario is huge so it's energy infrastructure is huge and when there are management errors they are correspondingly huge.
posted by srboisvert at 9:13 AM on January 25 [5 favorites]


Doug Ford’s a man of the people. Other politicians may try to buy votes with large-scale special interest projects, but he cuts out the middleman and just greases your palm in person.
posted by The Card Cheat at 9:14 AM on January 25 [2 favorites]


So the interim leader will be chosen tomorrow and Steve Paikin is betting on Caroline Mulroney
posted by saucysault at 9:31 AM on January 25 [1 favorite]


Well, I'm baffled by the antipathy towards Kathleen Wynne and don't see how she could have done a better job as premier, but if Ontario is in fact going to arbitrarily turf the Liberals out of boredom I'd much rather have a Mulroneyite PC government than a Fordite one.
posted by Flashman at 9:41 AM on January 25


The thing I find astonishing is that I'm sure the Conservative party did oppo research on all the candidates during the leadership race, and seeing as his proclivities were widely known... the Conservatives either didn't care, or they thought they could get away with it, or their oppo research was incredibly incompetent. None of those options really speak well of a party that wants to be in charge.
posted by Mary Ellen Carter at 9:41 AM on January 25 [10 favorites]


constantly being pilloried for the Hydro One stuff

They deserve some of it. The gas plant cancellations cost a ton of money, and Livingston was indeed found guilty of destruction of evidence just recently. The deals and subsidies for standby power they were in a rush to sign in the mid 2000s after the summers of brownouts are really turning out to be badly considered. The nuclear plant renovations, though finally looking to be on track, were not handled especially well.

They certainly did inherit much of the problem, in particular of a grid that had never been maintained to proper levels, and a history of troubling operation of the plants near Darlington and Pickering. They had to deal with the Conservative partial privatization mess. But they mad a lot of their own problems too. There's a long list of things there to reasonably disagree with the Liberals actual management of the electric grid and power generation system.

I honestly would like Wynne's team to move on. I do think they're too comfortable and that a number of bodies, in Health, in IT, in the electrical system, have been buried and will continue to fester until someone new comes in. I think it's the political failure of the ONDP that's the real tragedy here.
posted by bonehead at 9:44 AM on January 25 [6 favorites]


I become a new Canadian citizen tomorrow,

Glad to have you! Congratulations!
posted by bonehead at 9:45 AM on January 25


Does anyone have any insight into why Andrea Horwath is still on as NDP leader? Everyone I know (lefty, urban, Torontonians for the most part) strongly dissaproves of where she took the NDP in the last election, and right now the ONDP feels completely amorphous.
posted by Alex404 at 10:08 AM on January 25 [1 favorite]


Mary Ellen Carter: The thing I find astonishing is that I'm sure the Conservative party did oppo research on all the candidates during the leadership race, and seeing as his proclivities were widely known... the Conservatives either didn't care, or they thought they could get away with it, or their oppo research was incredibly incompetent. None of those options really speak well of a party that wants to be in charge.

I suspect that they did their research back when a powerful man telling a teenager to perform oral sex on them wasn't considered a disqualifier.

You know, back in 2015.
posted by clawsoon at 10:16 AM on January 25 [11 favorites]


Does anyone have any insight into why Andrea Horwath is still on as NDP leader? Everyone I know (lefty, urban, Torontonians for the most part) strongly dissaproves of where she took the NDP in the last election, and right now the ONDP feels completely amorphous.

Because the most obvious person to replace her instead decided to go national and is now leading the Federal NDP.
posted by thecjm at 10:35 AM on January 25 [2 favorites]


Horwath polls well and I don't think there is anyone left (with skills and electability) to replace her. Losing an election isn't as bad for an NDP leader as it is the expected outcome. I think she is just keeping the party warm until a real contender pops up.

The Beaverton is savage as usual.
posted by saucysault at 10:38 AM on January 25 [3 favorites]


I'm disappointed with the NDP's positioning in the last election, but don't be fooled by the Liberals' predictable leftward shift in election years. They're a center-right party serving mostly corporate and institutional interests, and Wynne herself is far from progressive on economic issues.
posted by rocket88 at 11:22 AM on January 25 [4 favorites]


John Baird (if they thought Brown had some skeletons in his closet....)

as long as those skeletons are all sober and consenting, I don't really care. I would never vote for him because he's conservative, but I've never heard that he's anything but plain closeted.

The minimum wage increase has impressed me. It happened. I never thought I'd see that kind of change in my life.

I normally lean lefter than Liberal, but the Ontario and national Liberals have been running effective and more progressive administrations than I've seen in a while. The NDP might be more progressive, but I fear they won't be very effective - and progress without plans doesn't go anywhere. That's some of what brought down Bob Rae's government - at least according to people who were civil servants at the time. (Which is also why I hope Singh brings Caron in tight to his federal NDP - Singh has great campaign game, Caron has a great policy mind - together they are much better than either apart).
posted by jb at 2:26 PM on January 25 [2 favorites]


Oh my. Vic Fideli was on CBC radio just now, pushing the idea that a permanent leader should be selected from current caucus members, because a full leadership race would be too disruptive. And, of course, of the current MPPs, he just happens to be the most qualified and experienced. And I'm sure I'm not the only one who hears the name 'Vic Fideli' and says "NEW PHONE WHO DIS".

While a full leadership race would be disruptive, isn't it also a huge opportunity? If the party held a race, it'd be sucking political coverage away from the other parties for those months before the election. Their names would be the only ones in the news, and the momentum all theirs. The Dippers and Grits would be struggling to get their narratives in front of the people, and when they do, it's not nearly as exciting.

But what do I know? I don't even know who Vic Fideli is!
posted by Capt. Renault at 3:06 PM on January 25 [4 favorites]


I'd be very surprised if Baird ever runs for anything again. Given how badly he was rumored to be compromised and by whom (consorting with an illegal underage male stripper in the disputed West Bank, so possibly by anyone from Israeli intelligence to Hamas, Fatah or even Iran), he's got a terrifying amount of stuff which could come out from that single event. Then there's all the stories about his pool parties in Ottawa.

No. I'd be astonished if Baird could be convinced to go into the public sphere again, for anything.
posted by bonehead at 3:12 PM on January 25 [4 favorites]


Leadership elections are very divisive (the federal Conservatives aren't fully other theres yet). Bad idea to have one right before an election where they will be slinging mud at each other and then pivot the next day to being a big happy family. Plus that means either they keep Brown's platform (which a new leader may disagree with, cough hydro one, cough) or they are creating a new platform close to the election after the other two have picked off the best ideas.
posted by saucysault at 4:09 PM on January 25


Mike Crawley, the CBC's Queen's Park correspondent, tweeted recently that the party seems to be solidifying around Vic Fedeli (MPP North Bay) as the replacement candidate. If so, that's a smart choice by the Tories. He's an actual moderate (not a fake one like Brown was), he leans left on social issues and helps take them off the table for criticism from the other parties, he's well spoken, he's still a white dude for the part of the Tory base who only wants to vote for white dudes, and his name is the sort of name that sounds good when you say it but isn't boring, and media types love people with those sorts of names.
posted by mightygodking at 4:20 PM on January 25


Patrick Brown is a sniveling, cowardly weasel and I'm glad to see the back of him.

And I'm giving the side eye to all of these politicians releasing statements that they are *shocked.*
posted by Stonkle at 4:28 PM on January 25


Bad idea to have one right before an election where they will be slinging mud at each other and then pivot the next day to being a big happy family.

That is a problem, absolutely. However, I think that asking people to vote for what's behind Door Number Three is an even bigger problem, both within the party but especially with the larger public. How can the party motivate anyone to contribute and vote for some great unknown, or even just a placeholder generic Tory? If there's no real leader to rally around, are people going to rally?
posted by Capt. Renault at 4:31 PM on January 25


I don't even know who Vic Fideli is!

Wasn't that the password in Eyes Wide Shut?

Then there's all the stories about his pool parties in Ottawa.

Baird. Jesus. Those are more than stories. I know someone who has had a run-in with him.

Rest assured that his numerous private-sector sinecures are keeping him in Hawaiian shirts and other creature comforts.

In any case, I'm glad to have had the opportunity to hurl some extremely filthy epithets at Patrick Brown and the "LGBTory" contingent during his appearance in a Toronto Pride parade.

His pathetic, snivelling press conference stands in stark contrast to the courage his victims displayed in coming forward.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 4:40 PM on January 25 [3 favorites]


Oh I agree. And if they let the interim leader also run for the elected permanent spot it just adds to the appearance of cronyism, old boys, and backroom deals - easy ammunition during the election.
posted by saucysault at 4:41 PM on January 25


I think a leadership campaign is a real opportunity. The party will dominate all the news coverage before the election, and deny the other parties any chance to insert themselves. There will be dynamism and energy and suspense, and the other parties have to deal with a moving target. And if the Tories pull it off, they'll carry that movement through to the general election, and present a very valuable picture of a group which has its act together and can get shit done. That makes them a real viable alternative, and a fresh one.

Which is not to say it wouldn't be pretty difficult to pull off... But the alternatives are all loser propositions to begin with.
posted by Capt. Renault at 4:52 PM on January 25


Does anyone have any insight into why Andrea Horwath is still on as NDP leader?

Andrea Horwath is a fairly decent and likeable politician. But her NDP organization is weak on policy and strategy. So there's that.
posted by ovvl at 4:56 PM on January 25


She's got all the televisual appeal of a sack of dried navy beans though, even when put beside cretins like Brown or Hudak. There she is just being a bean. The NDP "policy and strategy" weakness has happened entirely on her watch. She's not just a bystander.

I'm a natural NDP voter, as are many of my relatives---three generations, way back to when Tommy Douglas was a Saskatchewan socred---and we can't bring ourselves to vote for her party. She really needs to go.
posted by bonehead at 5:05 PM on January 25 [3 favorites]


And I cringe to read any online reaction or comments about her, they're always super gross and even when the comments aren't overtly misogynistic or homophobic...

Ugh, online comments on some Canadian news media websites & cbc.ca are mostly a stinky bog of red MAGA hats. It almost makes me want to vote for Wynne just to annoy them.
posted by ovvl at 5:09 PM on January 25 [2 favorites]


(unrelated, the new look of cbc.ca online is awful.)
posted by ovvl at 5:18 PM on January 25 [5 favorites]


When I referenced Baird's unelectablity I definitely wasn't referring to his sexual orientation, and whether is it public or not. Thanks for everyone who was willing to spell out the rumours that I felt comfortable in referencing but not comfortable in describing.
posted by thecjm at 5:20 PM on January 25 [1 favorite]


Baird's most damaging issue is that he's a modern day Profumo---it's alleged that someone, perhaps even the Russians---was running a compromat operation targeting him. And succeeded.

What I was also perhaps clumsily trying to say is that he throws/has a history of notorious parties with young co-celebrants. In an era when Bryan Singer and Kevin Spacey have been in the news, I would have some questions about Baird's past behaviour.

Those would be my concerns, about consent, judgement and appetite. In contrast, there are lots of gay politicians in Ottawa (and Queen's Park) that have none of these sorts of rumors about them. To reiterate: my concerns with Baird aren't about orientation.
posted by bonehead at 5:35 PM on January 25 [3 favorites]


To reiterate: my concerns with Baird aren't about orientation.

Yep. Same here.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 5:44 PM on January 25 [2 favorites]


The NDP "policy and strategy" weakness has happened entirely on her watch. She's not just a bystander.

This is entirely accurate, and Horwath was the architect of the NDP's "vote against an extremely progressive budget to force an election and then lurch to the right in the election and play populist" strategy in the last election that gave Wynne the majority. She won the leadership again post-election with a relatively small majority; there are large heaps of the party that dislike her intensely.

On top of that, she's already lost two provincial elections as leader. You know what happens to leaders in other parties when they lose two elections? They get turfed. But it's the Ontario NDP, a party that really just wants to be included and doesn't have any serious hopes of winning and hasn't for decades because they still feel the need to apologize for Bob Rae.
posted by mightygodking at 6:28 PM on January 25


What the hell, Toronto Star? Their lead story right now is a complete how-could-we-let-anonymous-allegations-from-sluts-defame-this-fine-man hack job from the increasingly odious Rosie DiManno:
Brown is a man ruined, on the word of two anonymous complainants whose allegations have been accepted as prima facie facts, their assertions bathed in the glow of authenticity and virtue.

It is not brave to speak from the shadows. It is not courageous to vilify anybody from within bubble-wrapped camouflage. Alleged victims of sexual crime are never identified in court unless they explicitly seek to make their names public. But we’re not in the courts, only the court of public opinion and I’m not sure how that can be accurately measured when the breaking news is barely one step ahead of the mushroom cloud fallout.

There is arguably no crime here, even if every word, every detail, is accepted as unvarnished truth.
I'm not going to link to the article, because I don't have a Star subscription to cancel, and I'd like to think I can still punish them in some way for this crap. I know they have their faults but I thought they were better than this.
posted by saturday_morning at 7:01 PM on January 25 [2 favorites]


Rosie DiManno wrote basically the exact same screed during the initial round of Jian Ghomeshi accusations. Her position on this is not novel.
posted by mightygodking at 7:05 PM on January 25


The Star has some damn fine journalists, so I'll shrug at the DiManno dumpster fire.

CTV will have stories from two more women tonight. Nothing on their web site yet.
posted by maudlin at 7:06 PM on January 25


Caroline Mulroney reeeeeally wants the job: "For the past 24 hours, I’ve been hearing from Party members across the province. There have been many things said, but one clear message: that all 200,000 members of our PC Party have the right to vote for the person who leads them into the next election."

It is now possible that by October, we'll have a Trudeau as PM, a Mulroney as Ontario premier, and a Ford as Toronto mayor.
posted by maudlin at 7:32 PM on January 25 [3 favorites]


The CTV story I mentioned above is just a bunch of hometown reactions. Two women give their real names, and I really hope that this alone won't get them harassed.
Zooming in further to Barrie, Ont., the claims did not come as a surprise to all of Brown's constituents, with two women telling CTV News about their interactions with Brown.

"Countless girls would pop up like every week and say like jokingly and kind-of nonchalantly… 'Oh I went to Patrick Brown's house,' and they would kind of just be hush-hush about it," said Victoria Delray, a woman who identified herself as a former Hooligan's employee, the resturant that now resides where The Bank nightclub used to be. The well-known politician was often spotted in bars and dance clubs in Barrie, including The Bank, the nightclub where one of his accusers said Brown and others provided her drinks before the party moved back to Brown’s home. "For him to continuously come up and ask me or my girlfriends if we wanted to sit with him," said Maiya Brown, speaking to CTV News in Barrie. "It would be more like he’s imposing himself," she said.
posted by maudlin at 7:37 PM on January 25 [1 favorite]


Those would be my concerns, about consent, judgement and appetite. In contrast, there are lots of gay politicians in Ottawa (and Queen's Park) that have none of these sorts of rumors about them. To reiterate: my concerns with Baird aren't about orientation.

That makes sense - I'd only heard the glass closet rumour (and was disappointed that a politician would be closeted in the 21st century, but obviously not against him for that). But non-consenting and/or underage is always gross.

included in the gay politicians of whom we're not hearing rumours: Kathleen Wynne, for one.
posted by jb at 8:25 PM on January 25


The National Post's Christie Blatchford also has a rant about poor Patrick Brown, cut down in his prime by anonymous accusers. I have little doubt that Margaret Wente and Sue-Ann Levy will join that narrative shortly.
posted by sevenyearlurk at 9:10 PM on January 25 [6 favorites]


Blatchford and DiManno remember the good old days, when it was serious and important things that destroyed your political career. Things like fumbling a football or looking silly in a tank. Things that Real Men should never, ever do.
posted by clawsoon at 3:36 AM on January 26 [2 favorites]


Horwath was the architect of the NDP's "vote against an extremely progressive budget to force an election

Not quite. Horwath and Wynne had made a deal that in exchange for supporting the Lib minority government, the upcoming budget would include a list of items the NDP wanted. When the budget was introduced it didn't come close to including all of the agreed items. It was nothing less than a blatant "fuck you" to the NDP. Do you really think Horwath should have shrugged that off and voted to support it?
posted by rocket88 at 5:48 AM on January 26 [1 favorite]


But we’re not in the courts, only the court of public opinion...

DiManno says this, and it's something I've heard repeated elsewhere. I don't quite understand the complaint. Yes, it's the court of public opinion, but we're in the field of politics -- the court of public opinion is all there is.
posted by Capt. Renault at 6:32 AM on January 26 [4 favorites]


The DiManno column is bad enough...there is no damn way I’m going to look into what Blatchford, Levy and Wente have to say about this because they’re all dependably even worse than DiManno.
posted by The Card Cheat at 6:45 AM on January 26 [1 favorite]


A few weeks ago I walked by Christie Blatchford on the street.

Anything I would have said would have been angry-Homer-Simpson-style incoherent, and there were just so many things I would have needed to say in under ten seconds in passing, so I didn't say anything.

So. I settled on glaring at her as I passed. I don't think she noticed. She was likely distracted, composing a racist or misogynist column in her head anyway.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 7:26 AM on January 26 [3 favorites]


Blatch was interviewed on the Canadaland podcast a while back. The salient takeaway to me was that she defended herself both by pleading ignorance and by blaming her hectic workload on her ass-writing.
posted by Jessica Savitch's Coke Spoon at 8:52 AM on January 26 [1 favorite]


I settled on glaring at her as I passed. I don't think she noticed. She was likely distracted, composing a racist or misogynist column in her head anyway.
It's really immature but I don't think I could have helped myself from saying "ew" as I walked past. It would just come out; a visceral, involuntary reaction like if there was puke on the sidewalk. Same if I saw Levy, or Barbara Kay and her racist little #AppropriationPrize manbaby.
posted by chococat at 9:31 AM on January 26 [1 favorite]


Shit. I forgot that Barbara Kay will also doubtlessly be on the scene to assure us that this is all a plot against men, that most persecuted and endangered of genders.
posted by The Card Cheat at 9:36 AM on January 26


CBC: "MPP Vic Fedeli was chosen today as interim leader of Ontario's Progressive Conservatives by the party's caucus after Patrick Brown resigned following allegations of sexual misconduct levied by two women."
posted by Multicellular Exothermic at 11:29 AM on January 26


I was expecting more women to come forward, but it sounds like the backlash has (rightfully) frightened them off. I'm so dismayed at how much commentary on reddit and elsewhere has focused on how "his career is ruined" over anonymous complaints that haven't been tried in a court of law. Everyone in Toronto had no problem forming an opinion of Rob Ford even though he didn't face charges for all the unethical/illegal activities "anonymous" sources relayed. But, even Rob Ford got a pass from some of the population - oh well, "boys will be boys". ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
posted by saucysault at 1:11 PM on January 26


On Paikin last night, I think it was Regg Cohn who pointed out that while there wasn't a court of law involved and unlikely to be one, Brown still faced a judgement of his peers. His staffers and fellow caucus members, who presumably have access to more information on this than the public does, all agreed that it was serious enough for Brown to have to go immediately. There was a threshold met that was more than the rabbling masses or whatever (but again, why this sudden hangup on the court of public opinion, I have no idea).
posted by Capt. Renault at 1:58 PM on January 26


Rita Celli was fantastic on this today, don't let the hokey question stop you from checking it out.

Politics combined with the specific allegations, makes this case a really strange balancing act. Regardless of the misconduct, the handling has been a complete shambles. It strongly suggests there is more that has remained unsaid. What we don't know is.. The more could be more or less acceptable conduct to the sex-positive kinky furry folk of MetaFilter, but absolute anathema to the PC base.

Maybe this is a case where we should fall back on the fundamentals :)
1) Do unto others as you would have them do unto you
2) Half your age plus 7, otherwise it's gross
3) There is a time and place for everything, it's called College
4) <work in progress, tbd>
posted by Chuckles at 3:50 PM on January 26 [2 favorites]


On Paikin last night, I think it was Regg Cohn who pointed out that while there wasn't a court of law involved and unlikely to be one, Brown still faced a judgement of his peers.

Well yeah...becoming an MPP is literally signing up to be judged in the court of public opinion every single day. It's within the party's remit to say - for literally any reason - "We think you'll be judged badly in the court of public opinion, so get out." I mean, Hudak faced an internal revolt over the fact he was "meh."
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 5:22 PM on January 26 [1 favorite]


I have little doubt that Margaret Wente and Sue-Ann Levy will join that narrative shortly.

To be fair to Wente, she needs material to copy from before she can get started.
posted by nubs at 9:05 PM on January 26 [7 favorites]


The fall-out from Patrick Brown has un-earthed another worm: CTV News anchor Paul Bliss suspended following sexual misconduct allegations (thestar.com, Piece contains graphic content).

Bridget Brown, no relation though she is also from Barie and knew and had covered Patrick Brown as well, posted a piece on medium yesterday (also graphic; take care) which lead to CTV HR contacting her for more details. Bliss had been covering the Patrick Brown case.
posted by bonehead at 6:59 AM on January 27


Jagmeet Singh testing the bounds of "half your age plus 7".
posted by Chuckles at 12:25 PM on January 27


38 and 27? That's not creepy territory is it?
posted by Mitheral at 7:06 PM on January 27


38 and 27 isn't creepy - that's the point of the test.

38 ÷ 2 = 19
19 + 7 = 26

So 27 is just fine.

Also, the test works less well the older you get. I mean, are we that worried about a 50 year old dating a 30 year old? while the 50-year-old seems a bit old, the 30-year-old is definitely a mature adult who knows their own mind.

But generally, the test works well.
posted by jb at 11:00 AM on January 28


PC President Rick Dykstra resigned tonight but what the fucking hell.
Senior Conservative campaign operatives discussed dropping MP Rick Dykstra as a candidate in the 2015 federal election when they became aware of allegations that he sexually assaulted a young staffer the previous year. The campaign decided to allow him to continue to run. He lost his St. Catharines riding and subsequently became president of the Ontario Progressive Conservatives, a position he resigned on Sunday night, two hours after he received an email from Maclean’s outlining the allegations contained in this story. ...

A young Conservative staffer filed a report with Ottawa police in 2014 complaining that Dykstra sexually assaulted her after a party. The woman, who was then in her early 20s, worked for another Conservative MP at the time, a friend of Dykstra’s. She spoke about the incident to her boss, several friends, an official in the party whip’s office, and finally hired a lawyer but the Conservative government did not take action against Dykstra.
The story is fairly graphic.
posted by maudlin at 8:11 PM on January 28 [2 favorites]


I think I'm going to have to reassess whether the Ontario PC party deserves the "P" anymore.

Are there any real Tory parties left in Canada?
posted by Yowser at 8:54 PM on January 28


38 ÷ 2 = 19
19 + 7 = 26

So 27 is just fine.


From the article:
Singh has been dating Kaur for about a year, but the two have known each other since 2010.
AKA pushing the limits.

PC President Rick Dykstra resigned tonight but what the fucking hell.

I just can't imagine how fucking dumb the CRAPers are. We are talking about this doofus. Made him president of the party!
posted by Chuckles at 8:57 PM on January 28 [1 favorite]


The PCPO is going all omnishambles on Twitter tonight.

Goldie Ghamari (a PCPO candidate in Carleton) posted : "2 years ago, a sitting #PCPO MPP harassed me, intimidated me, & used his body to bully & scare me out of getting involved in politics. I gave him an opportunity to apologize and recognize that his actions were wrong. He chose to deny it ever happened. [next tweet] ... My story breaks tomorrow. I urge this person to step forward, acknowledge their actions, and apologize for what they did to me. When I complained about their behaviour, I was told this is "not surprising" given this person's history."

Randy Hillier replies: "I hope this and my email finds you well Goldie." [Bunch of text in an image I'm not going to transcribe. Summary: He chatted with her on a sidewalk a few years ago while he was out for a smoke. Says there was no physical contact or unkind words. Apologizes if she felt intimidated while they shared a smoke. Says she'll be a great candidate.]
posted by maudlin at 9:13 PM on January 28


*grabs bowl of popcorn*
posted by Yowser at 9:15 PM on January 28


The Chief of Staff of the PCPO wrote an internal memo saying "If you have engaged in inappropriate behaviour towards a fellow staff member in OLO, you need to leave and leave now, because I will redefine the meaning of the word ruthlessness in protecting staff who work for me."

Notice it's only directed at inappropriate behaviour towards "fellow staff members."

Conservative principles.
posted by Yowser at 9:19 PM on January 28


Randy Hillier

Thought I recognized that name. Lanark-area MPP Randy Hillier engaged in workplace harassment with his “unwelcome” criticism of staff at Tay Valley Township, an independent investigator has concluded.. That's from 2016, the report dropped just before Christmas 2017.
posted by bonehead at 9:30 PM on January 28


When did the Ottawa Citizen stop paying for editors?

(seriously, that article on Hillier is making my head hurt.)
posted by Yowser at 9:33 PM on January 28


Chief of Staff of the PCPO

Hmmm that same CoS was working in Parliament (at the PMO) at the time the alleged assault was brought to the Federal Conserative Party's attention. Let's see what the PCO do with him. (I had to laugh that Velshi's wiki page had the following line in it:"Velshi, who will backstab anyone to get ahead")
posted by saucysault at 9:55 PM on January 28


Which assault?

(seriously, PCO is spinning out of control tonight)
posted by Yowser at 10:03 PM on January 28


When she comes forward tomorrow with more details, Rebel will be implicated. I can feel it now.

Watch this space.
posted by Yowser at 10:34 PM on January 28


(there's a very blatant smear campaign going on right now against her that has all the fingerprints of Rebel. She's of Iranian descent.)
posted by Yowser at 10:43 PM on January 28


Yowser: The Federal Conservative staffer assaulted by Dykstra as detailed in the Maclean's article.
posted by saucysault at 11:01 PM on January 28


Does anybody happen to know if the social conservative wing of the PC party is trying to use this as an "I told you so" moment within the party? As in, "Clearly, this is what happens when you let degenerate moderates take over the party instead of pure and Godly (and anti-abortion) men"?
posted by clawsoon at 11:22 PM on January 28


I dunno, but the "establishment" certainly used it to remind the outsider of his place:

The political professionals [Brown] had brought in – his chief of staff, campaign director, messaging guru – were out the door before CTV's report about his alleged sexual misconduct had aired. He thought they would be alongside him as he delivered the emergency statement they helped script; instead, he ran from the cameras alone, learning afterward they had announced their resignations on Twitter while he was speaking.

(I had assumed they told him in person they were resigning and hence his shaky appearance at the Press Confernece. That they deceived him is actually not surprising and explains why he went forward with a Press Conference no professional would have advised.)
posted by saucysault at 11:57 PM on January 28


I think the comments in this thread about Singh and the "half + 7 rule" are pretty obnoxious. I won't guess at the motivation for them but I don't think it's solidarity for the #metoo movement.
posted by sevenyearlurk at 4:09 AM on January 29 [3 favorites]


Ungh. Dykstra.

He was one of the people who ran against Kid Oosterhoff in my hometown's riding. Not that I am in any way a PC supporter, but as that riding will always be Conservative, I was hoping for a nomination pick that at least made some sense, as whoever was nominated was going to be the MPP. Picking the President of the Party for the nomination made sense. Picking the editor of the local paper made sense. Both of them knew everyone, had connections everywhere, knew the system, and could pick up the phone and get stuff done.

Instead, they went with a first semester PoliSci student, who simply flooded the nomination process with his fellow church-goers who hate abortions and gays and sex ed in schools. And now this twenty year old is telling us how he's going to fix our hydro bill, when he still lives at home and has never paid a hydro bill in his life.

And now with this Dykstra news, I'm left with this very strange realization that Oosterhoff wasn't the worst option on the ballot. What the hell.
posted by Capt. Renault at 7:51 AM on January 29 [1 favorite]


Aaaaaand it's official; Doug Ford has thrown his hat into the ring for the PC leadership. Actual quote from his press conference; “The elites in the party do not want me in this race.” So the guy who (allegedly) was told to take a walk when he wanted to run for MPP is now going to make his grab for the brass ring, because working your way up through the ranks and gaining experience in politics is for chumps "elites."

So John Tory can breathe a bit easier, I guess, but on the other hand *if* he wins the leadership and *if* he becomes Premier he can do a lot more damage to Toronto (and, of course, the rest of the province) than he could as a lowly mayor. Anyway, now that he's involved the whole leadership race is guaranteed to become a shitshow.
posted by The Card Cheat at 9:21 AM on January 29 [2 favorites]


Also, DoFo's presser was held in his mom's basement, lol. I'm sure Doug and his mom think this is their golden ticket to the offices of Premier and, one day, Prime Minister that was denied them when the whole thing with Robbie went pear-shaped through no fault of their own.
posted by The Card Cheat at 9:25 AM on January 29


Caroline Mulroney, who is also in the running based on little more than familial name recognition, has one of the founders of Rebel Media, Hamish Marshall, acting as a 'strategist' on her campaign.
posted by sevenyearlurk at 9:55 AM on January 29


I've heard that rumour too about Marshall, but can't find any solid facts. Do you have any, sevenyearlurk?

(fyi Marshall the Rebel was also rumoured to be working with Brown, so maybe he's an equal opportunity fascist)
posted by Yowser at 10:15 AM on January 29


His relationship to her campaign is cited in this Toronto Star article, but I don't have any other evidence.

"Rallying behind the daughter of prime minister Brian Mulroney are at least four top former Brown advisers: PC campaign chair Walied Soliman, ex-campaign manager Andrew Boddington, ad guru Dan Robertson, and strategist Hamish Marshall."

Apparently Marshall has also been appointed as the campaign chair for the federal Cons' 2019 run.
posted by sevenyearlurk at 10:54 AM on January 29 [1 favorite]


“The elites in the party do not want me in this race.”

To be fair, DoFo, a lot of people do not want you in this race. It's not just the elites, nor PC members.
posted by Capt. Renault at 10:54 AM on January 29 [2 favorites]


This could bite me in the ass later but I'm actually kind of relieved about the DoFo announcement. I would've really had a tough time living through another Ford Nation Mayoral race, it was so fucking exhausting the last 2 times. And I'm cautiously optimistic that Ontario PCs aren't quite desperate for that level of stupid just yet, although they've proven me wrong before.
posted by chococat at 11:34 AM on January 29


The Card Cheat: "because working your way up through the ranks and gaining experience in politics is for chumps "elites.""

One of the worst "lessons" of the continuing shit show down south.
posted by Mitheral at 11:38 AM on January 29


This could bite me in the ass later but I'm actually kind of relieved about the DoFo announcement.

1. Never underestimate the Fords.
2. He could lose the leadership race but still run for Mayor. This will not be a Ford-free year.
posted by maudlin at 11:40 AM on January 29 [1 favorite]


> And I'm cautiously optimistic that Ontario PCs aren't quite desperate for that level of stupid just yet, although they've proven me wrong before.

I doubt the Ontario PCs want anything to do with Doug Ford: While Ford plans to hold a rally Saturday night at the Toronto Congress Centre, it remains to be seen whether there will actually be a Conservative leadership contest.

The PC executive will meet again this week amid a push for some sober second thought on the wisdom of holding a leadership race with the party in disarray and a provincial election set for June 7.


So they might decide to just go with an appointed replacement leader rather than go through the mess of a last-minute leadership campaign as the best of two bad options...which means Doug would just go back to running for Mayor with an additional "THE ELITES DIDN'T WANT ME, AND BY EXTENSION YOU, THE MIGHTY FOOT SOLDIERS OF FORD NATION, AT QUEEN'S PARK" talking point. Maybe that was the plan all along.
posted by The Card Cheat at 11:49 AM on January 29


The Fords can't fail. They can only be failed.
posted by maudlin at 11:53 AM on January 29


Michele Rempel, former federal PC cabinet member, on her own party's handling of the Dykstra charges in 2015:
"Is it possible for a drunk staffer to give consent for sex to a senior male in a workplace organization who aggressively propositions that staffer? Within any standard workplace code of conduct the answer to that should be unequivocally no," she said.

"Today there was a report that at one critical point within my party this was a topic for debate, and that is disgusting. Media reports say that people sat around a very senior table and argued semantics around whether action in our workplace should be taken because criminal charges were not proceeded with. Those people should be ashamed of themselves and they should have no role or influence in this or in any political party." (CBC)
She's furious, at her own party, and she's not alone. This sort of semanitc, nitpicky, "oh, was it criminal though? no?" discussion is all too common. I sure hope this means it isn't acceptable even in the most conservative circles, from now on.

Anyway, I'm certain we're just getting started on these revelations, and that perhaps there are even bigger stuffed shirts to see the end of.
posted by bonehead at 7:21 PM on January 29 [3 favorites]




Apparently because of the timing of the races and elections, Doug Ford can run for the PC leadership and if he loses he'll still be able to run for mayor of Toronto. So 9 months of Doug Ford in the news is the best case scenario here.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 1:02 PM on January 30


> So 9 months of Doug Ford in the news is the best case scenario here.

Watching Doug Ford lose two elections in nine months (assuming of course that he did lose both) would be a balm that would partially sooth the pain of nine months of Doug Ford throwing himself in front of every camera he can find and bellowing various asinine statements containing the word "folks."
posted by The Card Cheat at 1:22 PM on January 30 [2 favorites]




a balm that would partially sooth the pain of nine months of Doug Ford throwing himself in front of every camera he can find and bellowing various asinine statements containing the word "folks"

And handing out $20s. But oh my god yes that would be a balm.
Here's a good John Oliver bit from Doug's last failure that's been making the rounds on Twitter today.
posted by chococat at 1:54 PM on January 30 [1 favorite]


But doesn't Doug Ford running for mayor and losing pretty much mean that John Tory will be re-elected?
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 2:35 PM on January 30


But doesn't Doug Ford running for mayor and losing pretty much mean that John Tory will be re-elected?

Doug Ford running for mayor is the only hope any potential third candidate has.
posted by Chuckles at 3:25 PM on January 30


Doug Ford running for mayor means a lot of people in Toronto will be compelled to vote for the lesser of two evils yet again.
posted by The Card Cheat at 12:40 AM on January 31


Overheard on CBC radio just now: "It's sad when Doug Ford is the voice of reason."

Context?

Oh, this bit of breaking news...it appears Brown just won't stay down:

Patrick Brown registers to run in PC leadership race
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 2:33 PM on February 16 [1 favorite]


I believe Ford issued a statement yesterday saying that Brown was right when he said (at his resignation) that the focus for the PCs should be defeating Wynne and forming the next government. Ford also said that Brown should focus on dealing with his own shit while letting the PCs get on with the business of getting ready for the election.
posted by nubs at 9:52 AM on February 17


This fucking guy. THIS FUCKING GUY. Brown seems determined to prove that he's unfit in almost every way. His attempts at defending himself are getting even more painful to watch.

From the Globe & Mail: Former Ontario Tory leader Patrick Brown discussed $375,000 deal with future PC candidate
Former Ontario Progressive Conservative leader Patrick Brown was in talks to sell an interest in a restaurant he partially owns and some Aeroplan miles for $375,000 to a man who went on to become a Tory candidate, documents show.

An affidavit detailing a deal was sworn five months before Jass Johal was acclaimed as the candidate for the PC Party in a new riding in the suburban 905 region around Toronto. According to a copy of the affidavit shown to The Globe and Mail, Mr. Johal, a paralegal who lives in Brampton, says he agrees to purchase two million Aeroplan miles and an ownership interest in Hooligans restaurant from Mr. Brown for $375,000. "The amount is paid by certified draft from Bank of Nova Scotia," says the affidavit dated June 11, 2016 and signed by Mr. Johal.

When asked about the deal described in the affidavit, Mr. Brown responded in an e-mail to The Globe on Sunday: "I have no business dealings with Mr. Johal. No deal was ever done."

Other documents The Globe has seen, including bank statements, show that Mr. Brown deposited $375,000 into his personal account at Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce one month after the affidavit was signed, on July 11, 2016. Later that month, property records show he purchased a waterfront house on Lake Simcoe's Shanty Bay for $2.3-million. He took out a mortgage of $1.72-million from Toronto-Dominion Bank, according to public mortgage documents.

When asked about that, Mr. Brown, who earned $180,886 a year as leader of the Official Opposition, responded in the e-mail: "Like many people in Ontario, I received help from my family purchasing my home."
AEROPLAN MILES. What, he couldn't have gone for some Canadian Tire money instead?
posted by maudlin at 8:02 PM on February 19 [4 favorites]


Brown on Twitter: "A former member of my senior staff stole my personal financial information and then deceptively provided an incomplete and misleading version to the Globe. Attached is the 2016 affidavit that proves the "deal" reported by the Globe never happened."

He just keeps getting betrayed by staff. So weird.
posted by maudlin at 9:19 PM on February 19 [5 favorites]


It's sort of odd. As a general rule, I don't go around getting signed affidavits declaring I didn't do highly specific unethical things. I just go about my life not doing them, you know? Maybe that's the difference between me and a politician, but it really feels like a lot of work to constantly spend your time thinking of unethical things you might have done but didn't and getting people to sign off on the fact that you didn't do them.

I mean, does he also have an affidavit swearing that Johal didn't pay him $500K for a Hooters franchise and his PC Optimum points?
posted by jacquilynne at 4:19 AM on February 20 [4 favorites]




His attempts at defending himself are getting even more painful to watch.

Agreed. I was taken aback by his claim that he's cleared his name, because, well, you haven't, Patrick. Challenging some of the details does not really take away from the larger story. There's even less of a sign that he understands why this came about and why it continues to be a problem.

Assuming he wins -- how does he think this is going to work? His caucus voted unanimously to get rid of him. How is he going to step back in and lead them? How are they all going to reverse themselves and back him?

Sorry, Patrick, but you're done. It's hard to accept, and a huge disappointment, but you're done, and you need to go away for a while. But the good news is that you'll come back at some point. Work your way up through some consultancy gigs, get on talk radio now and then, and eventually you'll be back in the fold. Maybe behind the scenes and not so much in the public eye, but your hands will be on the levers of power. Even Michael Bryant managed to come back, and he killed a guy.
posted by Capt. Renault at 7:39 AM on February 20 [4 favorites]


To recap things that have come out in the last month or so for Mr. Brown:

He's accused of sexual harassment (at least) by at least two individuals, with rumors of a third we haven't heard from (yet).

He's been lying and possibly defrauding the party with regard to something like 70,000 memberships (that we know about so far).

He salted at least three ridings with candidates that have since been thrown out by the party (for reasons that have not yet been entirely made public).

He's been involved in something that looks a lot like pay-to-play/bribe taking for a nomination in another riding.

This sure looks like someone* on the inside of the party is really sick of his shit. And we're probably only seeing the bits that they can assemble proof for. 80:20 rule, Brown's got a lot more dirt than this, but this is all they*'ve been able to get to get past editorial review at the main media outlets so far.

*Based on what we've seen so far, likely someone who worked for Brown on a fairly high level. Possibly even one or all of the four who pushed him to resign initially.
posted by bonehead at 8:01 AM on February 20 [2 favorites]


Canadaland attempts to untangle the reporting on Brown, though I think they aren't up on the last couple of days and I still feel confused.
posted by nubs at 8:09 AM on February 20


Patrick Brown goes full shitstorm (the new Oppo podcast from Canadaland with Justin Ling and Jen Gerson).

Looking at even this friendly story by Global News, you're left with two hypotheses:

1: The PCPO hates Patrick Brown soooooooo much that they're willing to continuously conspire against him on every front, no matter what damage this causes to them.
2: Patrick Brown is a lying piece of shit.
The former leader of Ontario’s Progressive Conservatives warned Tuesday that accounts questioning his integrity are likely to emerge in the coming weeks, claiming a small group of insiders is trying to derail his efforts to reclaim his old job ahead of a spring election.

The 39-year-old Barrie, Ont., politician accused unnamed insiders of attempting to stop the party from moving forward ... . “Over the next weeks you may hear or see stories questioning my integrity, character and my leadership of our party,” Brown wrote. “It has been revealed through news stories about my personal finances, that these individuals have illegally gained access to my personal information .... They have taken that stolen information to the media to cast further doubt.” ... Brown also defended himself against accusations that party membership numbers had been exaggerated. ... Brown said the memberships in question expired a few weeks after he made his statements about the figures and that they were accurate at the time. ... “There is one person at party headquarters who looks after every single membership form and verifies the payment,” he said on Facebook. “He should be allowed to speak but won’t be allowed to because he will speak the truth.” ... Brown ... has said he helped grow the party to unprecedented levels since becoming leader in 2015, so he should be the one to lead it through the spring election.
posted by maudlin at 10:58 AM on February 20 [2 favorites]


“Over the next weeks you may hear or see stories questioning my integrity, character and my leadership of our party..."

Aah, the Ghomeshi opening gambit. We'll see how that goes.
posted by Capt. Renault at 11:10 AM on February 20 [2 favorites]


As someone who is hoping that Wynne can win in June let me just say that I welcome Patrick Brown joining the leadership race and all the negativity that it will attach to the PC brand.

I am somewhat mystified that any of the candidates other than Christine Elliot is even being taken seriously. DoFo has the most political experience of any of the others and that is as a one-term city councilor for the ward that will vote in anyone with the last name Ford (see Michael Ford). I was pretty down on Justin Trudeau as lacking experience before running for PM but at least he was a sitting MP.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 12:14 PM on February 20 [2 favorites]


“There is one person at party headquarters who looks after every single membership form and verifies the payment,”

One person?
posted by Chuckles at 12:14 PM on February 20


One person?

Someone directly reporting to ex-president of the OPC Rick Dykstra (and Harper's see-no-evil crypto-rapist). Dykstra was one of Brown closest allies/broskis.
posted by bonehead at 1:31 PM on February 20


Smart piece from Paul Wells in Macleans: The doggedness of Patrick Brown
This is a guy who doesn’t give up. Before allegations of sexual assault got Brown ejected from the Ontario Progressive Conservative leadership, and then from the party’s caucus at Queen’s Park, that doggedness was a considerable asset. Brown was a fundraising, glad-handing machine whose platform was designed for victory the way a shark is designed for swimming and eating. ...

So the Ontario PCs were in trouble even before Brown returned and announced he has been vindicated by—by—well, by his desire to be vindicated, mostly. ... But that’s nothing compared to the trouble the party will be in if Brown remains as a candidate for his own succession. First, of course, because despite his insistence to the contrary, he hasn’t cleared his name of the horrid allegations against him. Second, because a Brown candidacy shows up the puddle-thin policy credentials of every other candidate.

Brown actually thought through every trade-off and hard choice his opponents would rather not discuss. None of them is required to reach the conclusions he did, but with him standing there it will be harder to pretend the hard choices of government don’t exist. He’ll be a constant rebuke to them on the details, at least when conversation isn’t focussed on debating the details of his sexual-assault accusations, his management of party funds and memberships, his limited patience for dissent, and other fun topics.

Just about anybody else would have done the math quickly and decided that turning the PC leadership race into a personal redemption tour would help neither Brown nor his party. But Brown isn’t anybody else. He’s a misfit whose only shot at greatness shattered last month. And he’s the kind of misfit who’s built not to stop. This ugly business will get uglier.
How Brown will make it through the nominating process: a few scenarios (video).
posted by maudlin at 1:53 PM on February 20 [2 favorites]


Man, some factions in the OPC really, really hate Brown:
“Patrick Brown has been engaged in dirty and crooked politics for too long in this province and people have now found some substantial, significant evidence,” [MPP] Hillier alleged outside the legislative chamber, where he is not protected by parliamentary privilege.

“Mr. Patrick Brown has violated the Members Integrity Act of Ontario. He will have to answer for that complaint,” Hillier added.

“I’ve known Patrick Brown to lie just about every time he opens his mouth."
(The Star)
I don't think I've ever seen a sitting MPP badmouth the leadership of their own party like this before, especially in the run up to election.
posted by bonehead at 2:05 PM on February 20 [3 favorites]


I was thinking earlier today that it is interesting to compare the Liberals vs. Stephan Dion and the PCs vs. Patrick Brown. Not that there is any comparison between the Dion and Brown, that would be absurd, but just the political struggle.

Liberal party insiders did not like the leftward push of Dion. On the verge of taking power--the Pierogi Crisis--said Liberal insiders ate their own party in a stroke of pure Iron Law. With the opportunity to chose a compromise figure in Bob Rae (played by Vic Fedeli in the current situation), they instead decided to give it to a bumbling parachute candidate, Michael Ignatieff (played by Caroline Mulroney).

With that in mind:
I don't think I've ever seen a sitting MPP badmouth the leadership of their own party like this before,
Indeed, but there is this :)
posted by Chuckles at 6:50 PM on February 20 [1 favorite]


Patrick Brown’s girlfriend says it’s ‘wrong how media has treated him’
Patrick Brown’s 23-year-old girlfriend says the ousted former Progressive Conservative leader “is one of the most respectful, decent and caring individuals I have ever met.”

“You can ask any questions you want but I have no interest in participating in an attack on a good man,” Genevieve Gualtieri said in a text message to the Star.

“It is wrong how the media has treated him.”

Known to friends as “GG,” Gualtieri worked as an intern in Brown’s office on Parliament Hill when he was a Conservative MP before moving to Queen’s Park in May 2015 — about two weeks after Brown became Progressive Conservative leader.
You couldn't make this up. No one would believe it.
posted by bonehead at 8:26 PM on February 20 [4 favorites]


So... dating an intern roughly half his age, taking her to India (on the public dime?) -- doesn't that sorta corroborate the other woman's story? Doesn't it suggest that Patrick has a type and a specific gameplay?

I don't think you're helping, GG.
posted by Capt. Renault at 6:33 AM on February 21 [3 favorites]


> As someone who is hoping that Wynne can win in June let me just say that I welcome Patrick Brown joining the leadership race and all the negativity that it will attach to the PC brand.

I'm with you. Run, Patrick, run! It's you and your folks vs. Doug Ford and his folks vs. the "party insiders" and "elites"! BURN IT ALL TO THE GROUND

That Star story about Brown's girlfriend states that "Friends said they have been an on-again-off-again couple for several years," but in the event that your follow-up question is "How many years would 'several' be?", well..."Gualtieri did not respond to follow-up text, voicemail and email messages asking her to clarify her relationship with Brown, and when it began."
posted by The Card Cheat at 9:19 AM on February 21 [1 favorite]


"How many years would 'several' be?"

I have visions of Brown cruising the malls of Barie in his off hours.
posted by bonehead at 10:14 AM on February 21 [2 favorites]


I'm with you. Run, Patrick, run! It's you and your folks vs. Doug Ford and his folks vs. the "party insiders" and "elites"! BURN IT ALL TO THE GROUND
Oh god, totally. I'm kind of enjoying what a steaming hot mess the PCs are right now.
posted by chococat at 10:15 AM on February 21 [2 favorites]


On the front page of the Star's website it has an alternate headline which is just great: Ex-intern dating Patrick Brown says it’s ‘wrong how media has treated him’
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 11:38 AM on February 21 [1 favorite]


He's running!
Brown was interviewed Tuesday night by the committee, which wields the power to reject a leadership candidate on any grounds it sees fit. While there isn't a formal process, vetting usually includes looks at a potential candidate's employment and legal history, as well as their social media footprint, among other considerations.

Initially, it was unclear whether a complaint filed with the province's integrity commissioner earlier in the day would affect the committee's decision.
Narrator: It didn't.
posted by maudlin at 1:30 PM on February 21


Party nomination committee weighed his candidacy amid sexual misconduct allegations, ethics complaint

"Nah, he's cool. We're good."
posted by Capt. Renault at 1:59 PM on February 21


Do we even need to have an election, now? Tories will self-combust, NDP won't be able to get in front of the cameras, and the Grits will just skate through once more if they can keep their team locked up and quiet. That's about it, isn't it?
posted by Capt. Renault at 2:03 PM on February 21


I could still see Patrick Brown winning everything. As we have seen from the elections of Rob Ford and Donald Trump, there are many people out there who are perfectly willing to tolerate a lot of bad behaviour in candidates if they otherwise tick off the right boxes.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 2:37 PM on February 21 [2 favorites]


Polls are looking pretty bad for the Liberals right now.
The latest poll, done by Ipsos for Global News, reported that in an Ontario election held this week the Tories would have won a majority government under any of the four main candidates to lead the party — including Brown. The numbers essentially highlight the resilience of the tide for change at Queen’s Park. When Ipsos tested a fabricated or random-name Tory leader (called Jim Smith for the purposes of the exercise), a plurality of respondents turned to the NDP rather than join the Liberal fold.
People who pay attention to the ins and outs of political news can see a lot not to like about the PCs right now, but most people don't pay that kind of attention. The Liberals got a huge break last time, but they can't count on that happening again. Those Ipsos numbers from today: 38% PC, 29% Liberals and 26% NDP, with 18% undecided. Maybe the NDP can get their act together, but who knows. And I wonder how many voters would have flocked to Jane Smith, fictional PC leader, over Jim Smith, fictional PC leader.
posted by maudlin at 3:16 PM on February 21 [2 favorites]


The Star: Watchdog overseeing MPP finances demands more information on Patrick Brown's house and mortgage arrangements
The independent watchdog overseeing MPPs’ finances is demanding to know why Progressive Conservative leadership candidate Patrick Brown has not declared rental income on his upscale lakefront home, the Star has learned. Integrity Commissioner J. David Wake wrote to Brown asking for details following a Star story that raised questions about how he could afford the five-bedroom house on Lake Simcoe’s Shanty Bay. ...

Regarding the waterfront manse in a well-to-do Lake Simcoe enclave north of Barrie, Brown said his mortgage payments were about $90,000 a year on a gross income of $180,000 as leader, or $120,000 net. “That left me with $30,000 in post-mortgage, after-tax income — which is, as it turns out, the same amount retained by the average Ontarian after taxes and mortgage/rent payments,” Brown wrote in a two-page missive frequently touting tax cuts and other promises in his moribund People’s Guarantee platform for the June 7 provincial election. Brown, who now earns $116,500 as a backbench MPP after being turfed from the PC caucus, did not make any mention of the costs of property taxes, estimated at $16,500 annually in a 2016 real estate listing, utilities or upkeep on the sprawling house. ...
The story also asks but gets no answers about travels costs for his intern/girlfriend. But how much will revelations and open questions like these affect his support? Fuck all, really.
posted by maudlin at 7:29 PM on February 22 [1 favorite]


any portmanteau in a storm: I could still see Patrick Brown winning everything. As we have seen from the elections of Rob Ford and Donald Trump, there are many people out there who are perfectly willing to tolerate a lot of bad behaviour in candidates if they otherwise tick off the right boxes.

Problem: Doug Ford is in the mix.

In other words, it could be Doug Ford.

But yes, your overall point stands since, well, the Fords proved that like motherfuckers.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 7:46 PM on February 22 [1 favorite]


Looks like Ontario is in for stormy weather if the Cons have it in the bag. Jesus, those numbers.
posted by Yowser at 8:47 PM on February 22


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