Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Tuesday November 28, 2017
The Progressive Conservatives have found their voice.
And Patrick Brown, the little-known Opposition leader who would be premier, is making himself heard. Just in time for the coming provincial election.
Who is Patrick Brown? Why should he be premier? What would he do in power?
He will cut income taxes. Reduce hydro rates. Impose a carbon tax. Issue refund cheques for child care. Take over our subways and build more of them. Boost health-care funding.
And step down if he doesn’t deliver on his key promises in four years.
His proclamation of a “People’s Guarantee” — signed onstage with a dramatic flourish — had the ring of a Marxist people’s manifesto as 1,500 loyal convention delegates cheered him on. Brown is no Bolshevik, but on Saturday he purged the party of the ghost of Mike Harris — and the Common Sense Revolution that has haunted PCs for decades, culminating with the defeat of Tim Hudak in 2014.
Now, Brown is remaking the party in his own emerging image — a mirror image of the Bill Davis era that tried harder to be all things (or more things) to all people. Not just right-wing people.
It is a focused, focus-group-tested campaign platform with a twist — more heft and left than hard right, offering more political lift than trickle-down:
Surprisingly progressive income tax cuts are targeted at lower-income people, not high rollers (including a sales tax credit). The child-care credits offer more to poor people with less, and rebate actual expenses (unlike the no-strings-attached “baby bonus” that Stephen Harper’s Tories conjured up to buy votes federally).
This election platform is not just a U-turn from the Harris years but an off-ramp from the Harper hothouse where Brown and many of his staff got their start. Instead of the provocative “chain gangs” that Tories proposed to punish prisoners in 2011, Brown offers “anti-gang” money to combat human trafficking of women. (Continued: Toronto Star)