本帖由 ccc 于 2018-01-26 发布。版面名称：华人论坛
Patrick Brown quits Ontario PC leadership race
The ousted former Progressive Conservative leader has abandoned his comeback bid to lead the party.
Former Ontario Progressive Conservative leader Patrick Brown after a January press conference at Queen's Park. Brown entered the party's leadership after stepping down and on Monday pulled out of the race. (Rick Madonik / Toronto Star)
By Robert Benzie Queen's Park Bureau Chief
Kristin Rushowy Queen's Park Bureau
Rob Ferguson Queen's Park Bureau
Mon., Feb. 26, 2018
Ousted former Progressive Conservative leader Patrick Brown has abandoned his comeback attempt to lead the party.
Six hours after the Star posted a story about his apparent involvement in a Tory candidate nomination being investigated by Hamilton police, Brown announced Monday afternoon he was giving up his campaign for the PC helm.
“I simply cannot run a provincial party leadership campaign … while at the same time continuing my fight to prove that the allegations are lies. You simply cannot shoot on two nets at the same time,” he said.
That’s a reference to the Jan. 24 CTV News report about two women who alleged sexual misconduct against him when they were 19 years old and he was a Conservative MP.
In a four-page letter to party brass, Brown admitted his latest leadership bid was “a source of distraction” as the Tories gear up to fight Premier Kathleen Wynne’s Liberals in the June 7 election.
His departure came before the final all-candidates’ debate in Ottawa on Wednesday night.
It leaves former MPP Christine Elliott, ex-Toronto councillor Doug Ford, rookie PC candidate Caroline Mulroney, and social conservative activist Tanya Granic Allen as the remaining leadership hopefuls.
Last week, the Star revealed the provincial integrity commissioner was querying Brown about rental income on his $2.3 million Lake Simcoe home, on which he has a $1.72 million mortgage despite earning $180,000 a year.
That prompted Mulroney on Friday to say “our party is in crisis” because the ex-leader was putting his personal ambitions first.
“Over the last couple of weeks, we’ve seen allegations of misconduct, wrongdoing and fighting within our party,” she said at the time.
“(Thursday) night, I learned Patrick Brown is under investigation by the integrity commissioner, proving once again that these distractions have no place in the leadership race. I hope that he does the right thing for the party and steps aside.”
Brown, 39, was originally forced to quit as Tory leader on Jan. 25 after the CTV News report.
He has filed a libel notice against CTV News, calling the story “false” and saying it subjected him to “ridicule, hatred and contempt.”
The Simcoe North MPP, who now sits as an Independent after being ejected from the Tory caucus, called on CTV to retract and apologize for “false, malicious, irresponsible and defamatory” stories that accused him of improprieties involving inebriated teens while he was sober.
CTV News said Saturday it “stands by its reporting and will actively defend its journalism in court.”
Brown stunned Tories when he announced on Feb. 16 — just two hours before the deadline for entry — that he was jumping into the leadership race again.
“I think my name has been cleared and now it’s about getting Ontario back on track,” he said that day as he was chased by reporters from PC headquarters on Adelaide St. to a taxi.
At the time, he said the party had been “hijacked” and his moderate People’s Guarantee election platform — unveiled to great fanfare last November — abandoned.
His confidence that day was in stark contrast to his tearful 81-second news conference at Queen’s Park on Jan. 24, hours before resigning in a caucus call with other PC MPPs.
Interim Tory leader Vic Fedeli finally kicked him out of caucus on Feb. 16, several hours before Brown joined the leadership race.
Fedeli said Monday the ex-leader made “the right decision for himself and the Ontario PC Party.”
Last week, Tory MPP Randy Hillier launched a complaint with the integrity commissioner about Brown’s finances and raised questions about several overseas trips the leader took.
Brown has dismissed Hillier’s complaint as “garbage.”
In a statement Monday, the office of J. David Wake said the independent legislative watchdog “is conducting an inquiry under” a section of the Members’ Integrity Act.
“The inquiry is in response to a request from Randy Hillier, MPP Lanark-Frontenac-Lennox and Addington, about Patrick Brown, MPP Simcoe North,” the commissioner’s office adding Wake would “have no further comment about the inquiry.”
Once his probe is concluded, a report will be filed to Speaker Dave Levac.
Brown’s 23-year-old on-again-off-again girlfriend, who accompanied him on some of the foreign travel, has rallied to his side.
“It is wrong how the media has treated him,” Genevieve Gualtieri said in a text message to the Star, noting Brown “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,” she said.
In his four-page missive, Brown called Gualtieri “my partner” and said he wanted to protect her and his parents and sisters from further “attacks.”
“She never signed up to be in the public eye yet she ended up on the front page of the Toronto Star,” he said of his girlfriend, a former Tory intern.
“We never dated during the brief time that she worked at Queen’s Park for another MPP. Nor did we travel together while she worked there. We had an on and off relationship because of the nature of my job … throughout it all her family always recognized the special bond we have and encouraged us to work through the hard days.”
Brown said his ordeal “has brought us closer together.”
The drama comes against the backdrop of a looming PC leadership and a June 7 provincial election.
Online voting for the Tory leadership starts this Friday and continues until March 8 with the winner announced March 10 at the Hilton Markham Convention Centre on Warden Ave. in Markham.
Some 20 nominated Tory candidates and three sitting MPPs — Toby Barrett, Rick Nicholls, and Ross Romano — backed Brown’s leadership bid.
But most of the PC caucus was supportive of Fedeli’s move to banish him and did not want him in the race.
MPP Todd Smith — who co-chairs Elliott’s leadership campaign — said the tumult around Brown has stolen the spotlight from the PC race.
“Let’s be honest, the air has been sucked out of this campaign because of all of the stories that have been swirling around Patrick Brown. It’s difficult for anyone to get any kind of traction because of the circus-type of atmosphere that’s been created by the Patrick Brown story.”
Patrick Brown’s weakness cost him his job—and his shot to retake it
Opinion: As Brown exits the Ontario PC leadership race, Jen Gerson looks at what made his resignation inevitable—and his second campaign delusional
February 26, 2018
Ontario PC Leadership candidate Patrick Brown leaves the Ontario PC Party Head Offices in Toronto on Tuesday, February 20, 2018. (Chris Young/CP)
Beset by allegations and leaks on all sides, Ontario PC MPP Patrick Brown bowed out of the race to replace himself on Monday. He pointed to the malicious gossip and threats flung at his family—leading, he says, to his mother’s hospitalization—as the primary motivation for this decision. This comes amid ceaseless drips of damaging leaks, the latest from the Toronto Star reporting that Brown told top party officials to “get me the result I want” in a nomination battle that is now being probed by police.
No family should have to endure threats, and I have no doubt his family has, indeed, been unfairly bombarded. But Brown had to have known that that would be a risk when he re-entered the leadership race eleven days and a lifetime ago. It seems likely, instead, that he realized he couldn’t possibly win—and that if he did, his name on the ticket would ensure another Ontario government led by Kathleen Wynne. If so, it’s a shame it took him so long to come to this realization.
At the very least, this second resignation for the sake of his family gives him the opportunity to quit with the dignity he was denied last month when his caucus hastily called for his head. But dignity is small consolation for the character flaw he must now contend with: his own weakness.
His fight to keep that dignity was, ostensibly, the primary point of contention in a conference call that led to his ouster, the content of which was published by Maclean’s over the weekend. I was one of the few people able to listen to the recording of that call in full.
On that night on Jan. 24, after he had already faced the media and told the public that he would not resign in the wake of CTV’s story alleging sexual misconduct, Brown appealed to caucus for another day before they demanded his resignation. He acknowledged that he would step down if necessary, but pleaded for time.
I don’t believe that Brown was demanding time so that he could craft a more dignified resignation; I don’t believe that anyone in his caucus believed this, either. I suspect Brown was trying to buy another day so that he could launch an aggressive defensive campaign that would tear down the credibility of CTV and the women who made allegations against him. This did not feel like a caucus about to ambush Brown; rather, it was a panicked group that seemed to be blindsided by these allegations.
Indeed, some felt betrayed by his decision to hold a press conference without adequately consulting them.
“I think if I could put any stock in your statement, Patrick, it would have required a conference call ahead of your press conference this afternoon,” Randy Hillier said on the call.
The lack of trust was only exacerbated by a need to act quickly, rushed along by social media, which now plays a huge role in how our leaders make decisions in crisis situations. During the course of that call, as Twitter and Facebook are named, pressure mounted on caucus to act as quickly as possible. It’s possible to feel tension grow as the minutes ticked by and Premier Wynne and NDP leader Andrea Horwath weighed in on Twitter.
Had this scandal broken ten years ago, it’s difficult to imagine that call playing out that way. Brown would probably have been forced to resign, but he may have bought himself an extra day or so to do it. It’s a clear sign that social media, a medium that’s demonstrably easy to game, is pushing our leaders into more panicked decision-making.
While caucus seemed largely sympathetic to Brown, even hopeful that he could clear his name, they had also concluded that the allegations would torpedo the party’s chances in the coming election—and further, that Brown’s attempts to clear his name would dominate any media coverage of the party. We only need look at the circus that has played out over the past few weeks to realize that the caucus’s assessment was well-founded. The allegations against Brown—sexual and otherwise—had become a malignant presence in the leadership campaign and for the party as a whole, critically undermining the public’s ability to trust the Progressive Conservatives’ ability to form government.
Ultimately, Brown’s supporters and many ordinary voters are going to read this transcript one way, and those who work in politics another. After all, most folks work in jobs for bosses they don’t choose; we’re expected to show deference, respect and loyalty to our bosses, even if we don’t like them or agree with them. A lot of people will thus read that conference call as a kind of brutal betrayal by underlings who undermined a leader who enjoyed a democratic mandate.
That’s not wrong, but I don’t think it’s a complete way of reading the situation. Those MPPs weren’t Brown’s staff; they were elected in their own right. It wasn’t caucus’s duty to offer their fealty and loyalty; it was Brown’s job to command it. He couldn’t. That is what cost him his job, and made his recently aborted redemption tour and leadership campaign so completely misguided and delusional.
Imagine, for a moment, that Brown came into that call, called everybody’s bluff, and just refused to resign. This might have been disastrous for his party, and it probably would have precipitated a different kind of crisis. But at least he wouldn’t have been taken out to the woodshed and shot like a rabid dog in the night.
Patrick Brown didn’t do that. Because Patrick Brown was weak.
Brown’s tactics in that conference call reflect that weakness. The leader let his caucus discuss his resignation for more than 20 minutes before he chimed in. This allowed Brown the opportunity to secretly probe his support and find arguments that he could use to his advantage.
If he did win a leadership race a second time around, how could Brown imagine he could lead that caucus into an election? Even if that election were a smashing success for the Progressive Conservatives and his caucus was inundated with new MPPs, members of that caucus who were on that call would be his veterans—the very people who would have to be tapped for his cabinet. What credibility could he possibly have with them?
There is a word that popped up again and again throughout the tape: “confidence.” That word is important. It’s the idea on which we base our entire political system: that parliament must maintain the confidence of its members, and that a leader must maintain the confidence of his or her caucus to lead. Patrick Brown lost the confidence of his caucus, dooming his leadership.
Many other commentators have long pointed out the perils of moving away from the traditional Westminster-style system of picking leaders through a vote of caucus. Instead, Canadian parties now pick their leaders through votes of the party membership. Leadership campaigns are now lucrative affairs for parties, generating more members and, thus, membership fees.
This transcript, for me, highlights the fundamental problem with that hybrid system in the face of a crisis. It is a system that can be gamed by a good salesman backed by a better strategist.
It’s one thing to generate a bundle of new party members. But if you can’t also command the confidence of your caucus, all it gets you is a title on the door.
Doug Ford's pitch to Ontario Progressive Conservatives is that he can lead the party to a breakthrough in Toronto, a city that has spurned the Tories in four consecutive elections.
It's a big claim — and he has the numbers to back it up. But if the PCs want to storm Toronto in June's provincial election, do they really face a choice between Ford and failure?
Unlike his rivals for the PC leadership, Ford can point to his actual electoral performance to back up his claim that he can deliver in Toronto.
When he ran for the mayor's office in 2014 — stepping in for his brother, incumbent mayor Rob Ford, when he withdrew due to health reasons — Doug Ford captured 33.7 per cent of ballots cast in an election that saw an unusually high turnout for a municipal vote.
That number still put him in second place behind John Tory, who won with 40.3 per cent of the vote, and well below his brother's score of 47.1 per cent in the 2010 election.
Doug Ford, right, with his brother Rob in 2014. (Nathan Denette/Canadian Press)
But it's a number that, translated to the provincial level, would pay real dividends for the Progressive Conservatives.
The municipal results showed significant regional divisions in the city, with Ford winning in Scarborough and parts of North York and Etobicoke.
Ford's performance in the municipal race would be enough to deliver as many as 11 seats in a provincial election, based on how the vote broke down according to the current provincial riding boundaries — in York Centre, York South-Weston, Humber River-Black Creek, Etobicoke North (where Ford wants to run), Etobicoke Centre and all six of Scarborough's ridings.
Best PC results since the Harris years?
The PCs could have used another 11 seats in the last two provincial elections. That would have allowed them to hold Kathleen Wynne's Liberals to a minority in 2014 and to win under then-leader Tim Hudak in 2011.
The last time the Progressive Conservative seat count hit double-digits in Toronto was in 1995, when Mike Harris led the PCs to a majority government with the help of 16 seats in the city. Before that, in the days of the Big Blue Machine, the PCs routinely had 10 or more Toronto MPPs.
Ford's 33.7 per cent of the vote doesn't quite match Harris's results in Toronto in 1995 (40.8 per cent) or 1999 (37 per cent), but would still be better than any result the PCs have managed in a losing election in recent history.
A recent Ipsos/Global News poll found that a Ford-led PC Party would have 40 per cent support in Toronto, beating the Liberals by nine points — and possibly giving the PCs significantly more than 11 seats. Patrick Brown (36 per cent), Caroline Mulroney (36 per cent) and Christine Elliott (32 per cent) polled a little worse, though they all would either tie or beat the Liberals by five to six points.
Polls by Mainstreet Research and Forum Research, however, suggest that those forecasts are far from conclusive. According to Mainstreet, Ford would do marginally better in Toronto than any other candidate except Brown, while Forum suggests he would do worse than the other candidates.
PCs already poised for Toronto breakthrough
But these are hypothetical numbers based on the little information voters have about what these candidates represent. When they are removed from the equation, the situation in Toronto is still very positive for the PCs.
Without mentioning any of the leadership candidates by name, surveys by both Ipsos and Forum put the PCs at 36 to 37 per cent support in Toronto — a few points better than Ford's result in the 2014 mayoral election. The Liberals were behind with 33 to 34 per cent, a margin that likely would deliver a dozen or so seats to the PCs in the city.
And even before Brown's resignation, the PCs were well-positioned in Toronto. Polls over the three months before Brown's departure put the Tories anywhere between 27 and 37 per cent in Toronto — suggesting that the Liberals' stranglehold on the city was set to be significantly loosened well before Ford threw his hat into the ring.
Nevertheless, it's reasonable to believe that the PCs could do quite well in Toronto under Ford. Even if his floor is the 2014 mayoral election, the PCs would still put up their best showing in the city in almost 20 years.
But the polls suggest that Brown, Mulroney and Elliott also would have reasonable expectations of winning the party seats in the city as well.
Ford's claim that he can win Toronto for the PCs — or at least more of it — is credible. But do the PCs need Ford to pull that off? The answer to that question seems to be 'no'.
OTTAWA – The four candidates competing to lead Ontario’s Opposition will face off once more today as the Progressive Conservatives try to turn the page following weeks of unrivalled upheaval.
Former Tory legislator Christine Elliott, Toronto lawyer and businesswoman Caroline Mulroney, former Toronto city councillor Doug Ford and social conservative advocate Tanya Granic Allen are taking part in the second and final debate before the party selects a new leader.
Former leader Patrick Brown – who launched a bid to reclaim his old job a day after the first debate – was expected to join them for the Ottawa event.