Chaos: the sequel

So, let’s get this straight. Patrick Brown has been thrown out of the Progressive Conservative caucus, will sit as an independent, but run for leader of his former party. Except for fringe candidate Tanya Granic Allen, the rest of the candidates don’t like the idea of him applying for his old job. Little wonder. The Toronto Star’s vote-on-line survey had him leading all declared candidates with more than 35 percent of the vote on Friday night at 9 p.m.

For the Tories, to quote Yogi Berra, it’s deja vu all over again. As regular readers of this blog know all too well, I used to work for federal PC leader Robert Stanfield. He had a little trouble, too. Not the Patrick Brown variety of trouble. Just the opposite. He was seen as too withdrawn, a man with no sex appeal. Party stalwart Eddie Goodman tried to spread the rumour that Stanfield snuck home for nooners with his wife, Mary.

But sex wasn’t Stanfield’s biggest problem, it was his caucus. Former Prime Minister John Diefenbaker held sway over about fifteen Tory MPs who did everything they could to bring Stanfield down. It gave rise to the line, I think coined by the late Larry Zolf, that the Tories got things so wrong that they stabbed people in the front.

In the world of politics, everything old is new again. For the Ontario Progressive Conservative Party to go through this kind of public agony will almost certainly reduce their chances of victory in May. At this rate, Kathleen Wynne could become the first female premier in Canada ever to be re-elected. All she has to do is let the other side implode amid civil war.

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