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Joined: 16 Dec 2009
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 29, 2017 11:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

His approach strikes me as both Red Tory and Harris-lite. Your previous point about Bill Davis seem to fit, but there are other similarities that seem like an update of Harris' approach.

He is being very careful, he is laying low, and he is appealing to the middle-of-the-road. At this moment, he will respond to the spotlight stories in a way that takes the issue away from Wynne. He is also subliminally giving us the impression that, in all those decisions that never get to center stage, his conservative bias -- which is timely -- will express itself. It is not ideological, its what pragmatist call common sense.

He wants the election to be more about getting rid of Wynne than in promoting himself as the star attraction. He doesn't want to put anything in the way of defeating Wynne decisively. Thus the promise on the hydro bills. It's bogus economics but it is a sound electoral strategy for the coming Ontario election.

But it worries me when I see the same strategy being aped at the federal level. That's a very different context. For anyone who's watching, the federal government doesn't appear to be failing. It is far inferior to Harper's, and the wheels are only starting to fall off. The fact is -- they don't give a rat's ass about (a) money, (b) good administration, or (c) tending to the actual national interest. So we know where this is going.

Andrew doesn't need to be elusive. He needs to learn how to use the media. He has a task of public education to undertake. He has to get out there, developing the ability to put the spotlight on his issues.

I wish I could be optimistic.

Joined: 02 Mar 2009
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 30, 2017 9:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Spectator's View: Brown’s Tories leap to the centre

Opinion 12:00 AM Hamilton Spectator|


In this file photo, Ontario PC Leader Patrick Brown. At heart, Brown's election platform isn’t about left-versus-right ideology as much as it’s about crafting a strategy to win a provincial election, something the Tories have failed to do four times in a row. - Chris Young,The Canadian Press file photo

On our political Richter scale, Patrick Brown's election platform registers a ground-rumbling magnitude of 5.5.

That's a moderate — but definite — earthquake.

By promising billions of dollars in new spending in addition to carbon taxes and even — shades of Justin Trudeau — a budgetary deficit, the Ontario Progressive Conservative leader has shifted the tectonic plates beneath Queen's Park and pushed his party to the centre.

These are not the staunchly right-wing Tories of former premier Mike Harris and his Common Sense Revolution or of fiscal hawk Tim Hudak who, as leader, proposed prison chain gangs and pink slips for 100,000 civil servants.

No, despite its ideological fuzziness and questionable pledge to give more to Ontarians for less, the "People's Guarantee" platform for next June's provincial election takes the party 40 years back to the golden days of then-premier Bill Davis and his centrist, if bland, Big Blue Machine.

If it were a beer, this platform would be called Liberal lite.

Predictably, critics have pounced on it with charges that Brown's platform is contradictory and promises far more than he can ever deliver.

For instance, while the Tories would cut taxes for the middle class, they'd replace the Liberals' cap-and-trade program for fighting climate change with a carbon tax which would actually bring more revenue into provincial coffers.

Somehow, voters are supposed to believe Brown can spend billions of new dollars on childcare subsidies, new subways, mental health and even subsidized snow tires while ferreting out billions in savings — all while he pays down Ontario's $312-billion debt and leaves more cash in everyone's wallet.

Then there's the complaint that Brown is prepared to gain a government by sacrificing the Progressive Conservative soul.

He's gleefully keeping big-ticket Liberal spending initiatives such as expanded drug coverage and tuition rebates. He'd even stick with the Liberal plan to raise the hourly minimum wage to $15 — though over a longer time period.

But at heart, this platform isn't about left-versus-right ideology as much as it's about crafting a strategy to win a provincial election, something the Tories have failed to do four times in a row.

Of course the platform's details matter and Brown did voters a favour by releasing it last weekend, seven months before the election.

But Brown's most important message transcends the details.

He's saying his party stands smack dab in the centre of the political spectrum.

He's saying that if you're tired of 14 years of the Liberals and have had enough of Premier Kathleen Wynne, elect Progressive Conservatives and be rest assured they won't rock the boat too much.

In the coming months, voters should carefully study this platform for themselves before making a call, even as they pay attention to the other election issues such as the riding nomination scandals that have hit the Tories, particularly in Hamilton, where police are investigating the contest in Hamilton West-Ancaster-Dundas.

For now, however, voters can welcome Brown's platform for its radical remake of the PC party and for the new and viable centrist option it gives them.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 30, 2017 11:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is becoming a meme. It's the idea that Patrick Brown is somehow betraying something in the PCs past, some wonderful past core of integrity and vision. But one of the big problems with conservatism in Canada is that it doesn't stand for anything, at least in that sense.

It used to be all about the British connection, the Monarch, and all that outdated crap.

But it lost that in Diefenbaker's time. There were big PC political machines in the provinces, but they stayed in power by being big-state planners for the welfare state. They dropped ideology in favour of blandness. Particularly in Bill Davis' Ontario that was the case.

After Davis, years of confusion. In the meantime, American conservatism came to the fore, and it had, as political philosophies are concerned, a real philosophical grounding (Russell Kirk), and an economic theory (supply-side economics).

But Canadian conservatives don't read that much ... How many of them even know who Edmund Burke is?

Part of Canadian conservatism's problems is that it does not have any issues on which it takes principled stands. Nevertheless, ideas from American conservatives slowly percolate in Canada. Stephen Harper is the best example, but he's the guy that the current crop doesn't want to be like.

This is how bad it is, in terms of core principles. We had an interim leader who -- as her departing legacy -- was "given" a new law to mark her retirement. (That alone shows the regard for the law -- it's a trifle that politicians can play with?) That law aims to improve the already improved lot of women by jimmying the courts. (the 'independence of the judiciary' is already a laughable concept for anyone who's noticing.) As if the judiciary isn't bad enough now ... they'll get more lessons on believing women whether they are lying or not. Or sumpthin' like that ...

And no conservative that can get printed steps forward?

It means our party is about nothing but defeating Justin. And they aren't very good at that

There may be regional loyalties to the party, but those loyalties are chiefly due to patronage, and getting more of the treasury for them. That's not what I think of when I think Conservative. Think of that pole-cat Danny Wiliams (sorry PT) but with people like that, what chance do core principles stand?

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2017 9:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

( the new forum polls shows increasingly dismal liberal numbers and the pc's still way ahead although not as high as before . the bad news for Brown might be the limited faith voters have in politicians , his People's Guarantee may be a hard sell to an extremely skeptical public but he may easily win anyways )

Kathleen Wynne's Liberals trail Tories and NDP: Poll

Antonella Artuso
Antonella Artuso

More from Antonella Artuso

December 4, 2017

December 4, 2017 8:36 AM EST

Filed Under:

Toronto SUN ›
News ›
Ontario ›

PC leader Patrick Brown and Premier Kathleen Wynne.Toronto Sun files

The Kathleen Wynne Liberals are heading toward a third-place finish in the next provincial election despite popular moves like a $15-an-hour minimum wage, a new Forum poll shows.

Forum Research president Lorne Bozinoff said the numbers didn’t improve for the Ontario Liberal government even after it cut hydro bills by an average 25%.

“The announcement had no impact on Liberal fortunes,” Bozinoff added. “And then people’s hydro bills started going down and it still did not have an impact on the Liberal fortunes.

“I think, for the Liberals to grow, it’s a lot harder than you might normally imagine it’s going to be, and that might all be due to the 15 years in government,” he said.

The Forum poll shows the Ontario Progressive Conservatives, under leader Patrick Brown, dropped 5% from October but are still heading toward a “massive majority.”

Voters polled by Forum put the Tories at 40%, Andrea Horwath’s NDP at 26% and the Liberals at 24%.

The pollster projects that if the numbers hold, the NDP would form the official opposition.

Bozinoff noted the drop in Tory support coincided with an aggressive media campaign by union-funded Working Families and Working Ontario Women that targeted Brown as a Donald Trump clone and social conservative.

“This shows a minimal impact — the Tories are down a little bit, the NDP are up a little bit,” he said.

The Liberals are down pretty much to their base — those who will vote for them regardless of events, he said.

Wynne’s popularity numbers aren’t helping, he said.

The Forum poll found that 15% approve of her performance as premier, compared to 74% who thought she was doing a bad job of it, while 10% had no opinion.

Former premier Dalton McGuinty came close to winning a third majority government despite popularity numbers in the low 20s, but these findings are even lower, Bozinoff said.

It’s still about six months away from a provincial election and voters might be tuned out at the moment or just parking their vote to make up their minds later, he said.

One problem that will face all political leaders — the same poll found that almost nobody faithfully believes their promises.

One percent – practically zero – say they have a lot of trust in election promises, Forum found. Another 28% said they have some trust, 46% said not a lot of trust.

Roughly one out of every three people polled, 32%, said they had no trust at all in pre-election offerings.

Forum Research polled 861 Ontario voters between Nov. 29-30 through an interactive voice response telephone survey, and its results are considered accurate plus or minus 3%, 19 times out of 20


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2017 10:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's hard to see how anything that would cause 5% of the population to change its party preference happened. I'd put this down to noise in the system.

Speaking objectively, the PC's have had a hard time overcoming a really bad Liberal government. It wasn't just Hudak's misjudgement, there was also John Tory's missed opportunity when he bungled into the Catholic schools issue. Full disclosure: me, too, I supported Hudak's approach at the time. You live, you learn.

I think this is why Brown is being so cautious. If I read him right, he was a social conservative that was marginal in the federal Conservatives. He got the leadership and has taken every predictable issue away, even to the extent of promising to continue the hydro subsidies. He abandoned the social conservatives, probably because he sees them as a 'net' vulnerability. I don't think he gave up his convictions. The media see him as having moved to the centre, so it has worked.

There's a slogan in sales education. It accepts that the consumer is suspicious of the salesman. It goes something like this: "If you tell them, they won't believe you; but if they tell you, they will." Sales is about overcoming objections. Brown doesn't have to expose what has already been exposed. He is trying to get the majority see him as merely the safe, sane alternative, even if he is a Progressive Conservative.

Not like Hudak or Harris. But not like John Tory, either.

Remember, this is only the backdrop for a drama that will appear later. It's the wallpaper. Everywhere I go, I find that people are disgusted in a general way with this government. They don't feel they have to justify themselves, it's a consensus. Brown wants to keep that consensus growing. He wants to take every objection away.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2017 10:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The drops in support come mostly from the 416 and 905 regions;
In the 416 the PCs still lead within the MoE and in the 905s they are still ahead by 14 points over a now tied NDP and OLP.

There is a drop in Eastern Ontario but the PCs are still nearly 20 points up.


If Brown wins a majority its going to look a lot like Stephen Harpers Ontario map in 2011.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2017 11:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

From the Forum polling report ...

... Almost zero (1%) say they have a lot of trust in the promises made by politicians before an election. One quarter (28%) say they have some trust, while almost half (46%) say they do not have a lot of trust. A quarter (23%) have no trust at all in pre-election promises.

“Brown's lead has slipped slightly," said Dr. Lorne Bozinoff, President of Forum Research. “Despite the dip, he's still sitting in majority territory, which is a good place to be six months before the election. One thing that is common to voters, regardless of political stripe? They don't really trust election promises."

This strikes me as a significant finding.
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Defining Patrick -- the swamp strikes first

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