Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Wednesday February 21, 2018
Patrick Brown’s PC leadership bid could lead to ‘political fratricide,’ experts say
Patrick Brown’s entry into the Ontario Progressive Conservative leadership race could lead to ruthless infighting, leaving the party at a disadvantage, experts say.
“This is a time when the party should be taking all its resources and throwing them at Kathleen Wynne,” Jim Warren, a political strategist who has worked with the Ontario Liberals, said this week.
“Instead, they’ve got the guns pointed at each other and are about to have a ‘shootout at the OK Corral.’ You will see this real insider fighting — political fratricide, if you will — of the leaders turning on each other.”
Brown entered the race on Friday, just weeks after he resigned in the wake of allegations of sexual misconduct made by two women and first reported by CTV.
The other four leadership candidates, preparing for opponents with roughly similar political advantages, will now have to revise their game plan to focus on Brown. The former leader already has a base of support and extensive political experience.
“He’s been the leader for the last two years. He has sold a lot of the memberships to the members now. Are they PC members or Patrick Brown members?” Warren said.
Either way, Brown’s entry into the leadership race is a gift to the Ontario Liberals, according to Jaime Watt, executive chair of the public relations company Navigator and a long-time Conservative strategist.
“I think it harms all the candidates at an important time in Ontario’s history,” Watt said.
“If I were (Kathleen Wynne) I’d be running to the convenience store to buy a lottery ticket.” (Source: CBC News)