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PostPosted: Thu Jun 08, 2017 9:01 am    Post subject: TorStarL Patrick Brown will be next premier Reply with quote

Why Patrick Brown will be our next premier: Hepburn
Only a major misstep by Tory leader will save Kathleen Wynne
Wed., June 7, 2017

There’s a well-known saying in politics that voters never “toss in” a new government; instead they “toss out” an old one.

That’s what happened in 1995 in Ontario when voters tossed out Premier Bob Rae and the NDP and replaced them with Mike Harris and the Conservatives.

It happened again in 2003 when voters tossed out Harris and the Tories and replaced them with Dalton McGuinty and the Liberals.

And that’s what’s likely to happen one year from now, on June 7, 2018, when Ontario voters go to the polls, kick out Kathleen Wynne and the ruling Liberals, and make Patrick Brown the next premier.

Indeed, the only thing at this point that could derail Brown’s path to victory would be a major political misstep on his part over the next 12 months.

Victory for Brown would be stunning, given he’s a leader who, after more than two years at helm of his party, still says little beyond worn-out clichés, makes no promises, is unknown by most voters and instills little excitement even among Conservatives.

In fact, Brown’s only real selling point with voters is that he’s not Kathleen Wynne, whose approval rating is at near-record lows.

By most measures, though, Brown shouldn’t be headed for victory. Instead, he should be in serious trouble due to a long list of nagging issues.

First, Brown’s been branded “a man with no plans” for his lack of policies on any major issue facing the province. For example, he has no real position on Wynne’s promise to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour within 18 months, saying only that it’s too much, too fast. His one main stand was to support a carbon tax, which most Tories actually oppose.

Second, he’s unpopular with social conservatives within the Tory party who feel he has misled them into believing he was one of them.

Third, a new right-wing party that threatens to pick up disaffected hardline conservatives has emerged. The Trillium Party, labelled by Brown supporters as a fringe group, already has its first MPP in Jack MacLaren, who either voluntarily departed or was kicked out of the Tory party last month.

Fourth, Brown has made a mess of the party’s nomination process, which has seen numerous ridings in open revolt against the party’s leadership. It’s so bad that Robert Elliott, the third vice-president and policy chair from Toronto, quit this week in disgust over the party’s decision to grant Brown the power to approve any candidate, regardless of nomination voting irregularities or appeals by riding associations.

Fifth, the Liberals are starting to rise again in the polls in the Toronto region, which is the seat-heavy area the Tories need to capture in order to form a majority government.

On the positive side, the Tories have lots of money in the bank, the mantra of “time for change” is strong after 15 years of Liberal rule, the party has won a string of byelection fights and potential high-profile candidates are starting to come forward, including possibly Caroline Mulroney, the daughter of former prime minister Brian Mulroney.

Also, Brown supporters argue he’s proven he can be tough, as shown by his handling of the nomination controversies, that he’s smart not to make promises he can’t keep and that talk of revolt by social conservatives is overblown.

Add it up and the path to victory for Brown is clear.

Still, the Liberals are strong campaigners, and Wynne has recently introduced a series of popular promises, from daycare spaces to hydro rate breaks and high-speed trains,

But the stark reality for Liberals is that unless he screws up badly, they’d better get used to these words: “Premier Patrick Brown.”

Bob Hepburn's column appears Thursday. bhepburn@thestar.ca

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 08, 2017 9:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Id be surprised if he didnt win. Having said that, many socons will be staying home or voting for an alt party.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 08, 2017 10:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

some media and liberals seem to have written off the Sault Ste Marie by election as a non event in a far away city no one in southern Ontario really pays any attention to anyways .

but they should be asking themselves the question ? would the results have been any different if it had taken place somewhere else ? could the liberals have won a by election in a place like London or Hamilton if they had to ? considering wynne's unpopularity , I think the answer is NO

the reality is there so unpopular they couldn't of won a by election anywhere rate now , other than super core seats like Ottawa Vanier or Toronto Centre

I'm personally shocked there not considering some sort of leadership change at this time

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 08, 2017 11:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The article reads more like a means to try and get lethargic Liberal voters out of their seats to vote for Wynne than anything else.

I am also perplexed at the entire situation with "The Man with No Plan".
Aside from Mike Harris in 1994, I can't think of many parties who had election platform available for review a year ahead of the election.

The PCs have a policy convention in November;
Allowing for the party to develop policy, I can't help but thing had Brown been aggressive with his positions immediately this very same article would be damning him for not consulting his base on his policies.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 08, 2017 9:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The article spends more space 'defining' the relatively undefined leader of the PCs than anything else. In that sense, it's a provocation. The Star wants a better target than they now have, so they want Brown to expose himself more.

To me, this argues to the success of Brown's by-the-rulebook campaign so far. That playbook says something like: when your opponent is imploding, don't do anything to attract attention away from her.
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TorStarL Patrick Brown will be next premier

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