Roy Green: Ontario’s Progressive Conservative Party steering for the rocks
With wreckage of two previous Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario election campaigns still plainly visible from the metaphoric bridge, steering clear of the rocks of Campaign Wreck Island should have been the PCPO’s fundamental objective.
Instead, as once (and perhaps still) party leader Patrick Brown argues, he may have faced a mutinous crew which conspired to shove him overboard. The good ship “PCPO 2018” appears poised to plow directly into remaining flotsam of 2011 and 2014.
It is Brown’s thinly veiled view that PCPO mutineers manipulated tales of alleged sexual misconduct. The allegations aired on CTV, with accusers remaining nameless.
Thursday evening, while potential successors debated their bona fides for party leadership on public television, Brown and his sister were appearing on my colleague Alex Pierson‘s program on Corus radio Ontario, professing his innocence and repeating earlier claims made to Global News investigative reporter Carolyn Jarvis.
As Christine Elliott, Doug Ford, Caroline Mulroney and Tanya Granic Allen sought party member support to supplant Brown, a question concerning his resignation as PCPO leader surfaced. Is the resignation letter legal? Did Brown agree to the letter?
In the event he did not, is Brown entitled to again occupy the official opposition leader’s chair in the Ontario legislature? Will he attempt to do so?
And if an anti-Brown mutiny is responsible for his being force-marched into the political gulag, why did it happen? Will the sexual misconduct allegations hold up? Or was Brown deemed too weak to finish off Kathleen Wynne in the coming election campaign?
Already the drama of “PCPO 2018” has easily eclipsed that of the snatching defeat from the jaws of victory party failures of 2011 and 2014.
Will the Liberals continue governing Ontario? Is the electorate sufficiently weary that it may, for the second time in provincial history, turn the keys of governing to the New Democrats?
Is something yet unforeseen lurking in the shadows?
At this juncture, June 7 may become anticlimactic.
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