Dec. 14, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – With the media witch-hunt determined to force the recently-elected Sam Oosterhoff to answer the question are-you-now-or-have-you-ever-been-a-traditional-Christian losing a bit of steam, Progressive Conservative Party leader and noted shape-shifter Patrick Brown seems more determined than ever to ensure that he never, ever has to be seen in the company of social conservatives again.
First, of course, he announced that he had changed his mind about the Liberal government’s sex education curriculum. Then, he begged the liberal media to disregard his previous stances and votes on abortion and same-sex marriage, because he was now more enlightened and could they please forgive him? And finally, of course, he and his party bosses have begun a thorough purge of social conservatives in the Progressive Conservative Party. From LifeSiteNews:
Asked if the party was systematically blocking social conservatives from getting nominations as candidates for the next general election, Brown responded, “If your reason for going to Queen's Park would be to push a divisive social issue, then that would be unwelcome. People can have their private religious views, but just know where I stand and what the focus of our party is.”
Last week, Jay Tysick, a disgruntled and unsuccessful candidate for the Tory nomination in Carleton, claimed he had been shunned because of his social conservative views. “There seems to be sort of an aggression pointed toward social conservatives in that party now. … Personally, I have socially conservative views, but I don’t believe it’s my place, in government, to foist those on others. I’m very right wing and you’d think that, in the Conservative party, that would be a good thing,” he told the Toronto Star, which cited sources indicating Tysick was only one of five candidates rejected by the party for their social conservative views. Tysick says he might run as an independent in 2018.
Patrick Brown is unlikely to allow another Sam Oosterhoff candidate squeak through—at least, not if he can help it. There are reports that candidates seeking to run for the Progressive Conservative Party are being subjected to intense grilling on social conservative issues, so that Brown, party president and failed politician Rick Dykstra, and the new party elites can reshape the PCs into a mirror image of Kathleen Wynne’s Liberal Party, but with better accounting practices. Brown’s bullying goes further than simply vetting prospective candidates, too—many suspect that Oosterhoff’s swearing in as MPP was delayed so that he couldn’t vote on Bill 28—and it appears that Brown told social conservative members of his caucus to stay home. Brown himself was the only party leader to show up for the vote. Again from LifeSiteNews:
Ontario Progressive Conservative leader Patrick Brown pressured his MPPs to either vote for the radical pro-LGBTQ Bill 28 or absent themselves, sources within the party have told Campaign Life Coalition.
The controversial bill, which legally redefines the family — including substituting “mother” and “father” for parent — to accommodate homosexual activists, was passed unanimously at Queen’s Park Tuesday by 79 MPPs from all parties.
It seems that with a few notable exceptions, it may be very difficult for social conservatives to vote for Patrick Brown’s PC Party come the next election. The situation also highlights something that has frustrated me for quite some time: Liberal politicians like Kathleen Wynne and Justin Trudeau are actually more honest than the weasel-y Brown, who is willing to adopt virtually any position he can and promise any group of people whatever they want so long as it increases his chance of electoral success.
While politicians like Trudeau and Wynne at least campaign openly on their social values—you may disagree with them, but you know what their views are—does anyone really know what Patrick Brown believes? The answer is obviously no. Does anyone, after all, doubt that Brown would promptly reverse his position on the sex-ed curriculum if he felt it gave him a better chance of beating Kathleen Wynne in the next election? Of course not. Brown in an empty vessel, filled only with empty ambition and the will to power. Principles are as foreign to him as commitment is.
Many social conservatives are already becoming disillusioned, with some privately telling me that they’d rather have Kathleen Wynne beat Patrick Brown than be forced to put up with Brown as premier for any length of time. After all, the few social conservatives left in his caucus seem easily cowed and shamefully silent, not even showing up at Queen’s Park to vote their conscience on Bill 28, while he does his best to keep any newcomers out of the party.
Short of the abrupt arrival of a scandal that sinks Brown, of course—and reporters and commentators are always digging—it doesn’t seem likely that he’ll lose to Wynne in the next election. Then again, a lot of things can happen between now and then, and politicians have seen their careers go up in flames over a simple, unexpected media story. We’ll have to wait and see.