This is crazy! I can’t put my phone down and it starts buzzing again. ‘Did you hear the latest?’ one writes. Another says ‘What the hell is going on?’ Amidst this chaos, my e-mail lights up: dozens of people have signed up to volunteer for the party. Volunteer for what, one wonders, or for whom? There are so many things that make this episode so fascinating!
Another friend wonders what happens on Tuesday: Does Patrick Brown challenge Vic Fedeli for the Opposition Leader’s chair? Does he race to stand up first to ask the first question and who does the Speaker recognize? This thing could get even more unprecedented before it is over.
Then, there is Patrick Brown, who was kicked out of the PC Caucus yesterday morning, and then, by the afternoon, he throws down his money to run for the job he won in 2015 and lost last month by being pushed out by his colleagues. He is doing the Bernie Saunders – running for leader of a political party while sitting as an independent in the legislature. I’m going to doubt that Brown’s donations average ’27 dollas’ a person like Bernie’s.
This is so ridiculous. It reminds me of what happened after the fallout from the 2014 General Election. As I watched the TVO debate, what you had, in essence, was 4 would be successors running away from the positions of the previous leader. What you had was 4 leadership candidates giving lukewarm remarks about whether Patrick Brown would even be welcome to run for his seat. There was nobody who stood behind him, and now we wonder why he’s fighting back?
This was a caucus all angling to be in Patrick Brown’s cabinet before these allegations and all but one knifed him after. In 2014, Tim Hudak faced the same thing. And I remember from that time, Tim loyalists, and there still are a great many out there, felt abandoned by their party. So it doesn’t at all surprise me that Patrick Brown has loyalists, and that they want to have him finish what he started. .
I could go on and on. But here is the thing. Right now, 70-80% of the electorate want a new government. As unheard of as the PC chaos is, that kind of desire for change is rarely seen in democracies. The Liberals are woefully unpopular. February and March should have been about how we wondered if Kathleen Wynne could hold on to her party’s leadership, but you won’t see those stories anymore.
No, none of the Liberal government’s challenges are headline news. What is news is the fact that the party has an identity crisis. Within our own party, we ebb and flow from one extreme to the other. However, most people in the party don’t belong to either extreme. They exist in this middle mass of people who want good, honest government. They want a government that doesn’t spend more than it takes in revenue. They want a government that puts people ahead of special interests. They want a government that removes barriers for private sector job creation. They want the best health system in the world, and an even better education for their kids than they are currently receiving. They want safe streets and clean communities. It’s neither hard nor complicated. Say it simply, and win an election. There is still time, but not much!