By Jonathon Van Maren
Based on a quick reading of today’s Canadian headlines, one must ask the question: Does anyone like Progressive Conservative leader Patrick Brown?
The Globe and Mail has revealed that Patrick Brown told social conservatives he was opposed to gay marriage, which was consistent with his previous House of Commons vote on that issue, but inconsistent with public interviews and his attendance at Pride parades. A number of social conservatives that Brown attempted to woo, including Jack Fonseca of Campaign Life Coalition and Charles McVety of the Canada Christian College, have now shared Brown’s messages with the media to prove that he has, in fact, been lying to everyone. And I must say, if every social conservative with messages, emails, and conversations with Brown and his team are going to come forward and reveal what he said behind closed doors, the media is going to have a lot of fun with this.
This has resulted in a wave of amnesia (and we presume nausea) for Brown, as his carefully constructed strategy of privately serenading so-cons while publicly sneering at them from the fringe of the cool clique has come crashing down. Brown “doesn’t remember” why he voted to reopen the abortion debate. Social conservatives “didn’t understand” or “misunderstood” the messages he sent them in plain English. People have been “confused” as to his views on things (can you blame them?). His conversations with so-cons were “so long ago” that he cannot remember what he said or why he said it. And finally, he told the Toronto Star that courting social conservatives to win the leadership was “a mistake.”
Apparently, an internal brawl in the party took place, with those sympathetic towards social conservatives or perhaps even having social conservative leanings themselves pushing Brown to follow through on his promises, while “he was getting calls from…his downtown friends” urging him to dump the so-cons. In a fit of petulance and frustration, Brown told the Star: “Frankly, I’m very comfortable with the fact there’s been a falling out. I don’t lose any sleep over the fact that Charles McVety and Campaign Life are upset. If Charles McVety wants his ten bucks back for membership, he can have it. If he wants to vote for someone else, he can vote for someone else, so be it.”
Right. So there you have it then. Regardless of what Brown did or did not believe before—and does he even really know?—he has decided to go straight for those voters dwelling outside of the natural conservative constituencies—those who support abortion on demand, celebrate alternative sexual lifestyles, and believe in state sex education for children. Oh, and he also supports a carbon tax now, too, presumably because he’s noticed that it’s getting very warm in here lately.
As I said the other day in my weekly LifeSiteNews column, this is where the knives need to come out. Brown obviously saw social conservatives as a vehicle to be ridden as far as possible before hopping off. He obviously hoped that social conservatives would do what we usually do, which is weather every betrayal with gritted teeth and hope that a wink or two would accompany the disavowals of the dumb rural Ontarians to let us know that really, deep down, he was still on our side. But he’s not, and he’s said so now. And what, really, is the difference between Patrick Brown and Kathleen Wynne? At least we knew where Wynne stood. She was open about what she stood for. Brown lied to us, he lied to the public, he lied to the media, and unless the Brown staffers who came to closed-door meetings to ask for so-con support were in on it, he lied to his staffers, too. So the choice seems to be a social liberal who lies so often he can’t keep track of them all, and a social liberal who is open about her agenda. Huh.
A number of people responded to my LifeSiteNews column by saying that we have to vote for Patrick Brown, because otherwise Kathleen Wynne will win again. That is precisely the attitude that social conservatives need to move away from, because that is precisely the attitude Brown is banking on. At this point, if Wynne does win, it will literally make no difference whatsoever for social conservatives. Brown marches in Pride with signs letting social conservatives know they are on the wrong side of history, he supports Wynne’s radical sex-ed curriculum, he says parents who disagree with the curriculum are homophobic, he regrets his prior voting record on abortion and on gay marriage, and he wants social conservatives to vote for someone else. I think that by making it our goal to ensure that Brown’s career, which is making some alarming sputtering noises at the moment, is over, we can illustrate that social conservatives demand results from those that they support, and that sticking a knife in our backs the moment we turn around is not acceptable.
If we vote for him anyways, in spite of all that he’s said and done, we are sending a loud and clear message to all politicians: you don’t need to work for our support. It’s yours regardless of what we say. All you have to do, at the end of the day, is call yourself a Conservative instead of a Liberal, even when there’s no discernable difference. If we allow Brown to pander to the downtown elites who are currently sniggering into their hands over his current predicament and are very unlikely to vote for him anyway, but still show up and cast our ballots for him, we are voting away our own influence. Brown has made his position clear. It’s time we started letting people know what Patrick Brown is really all about.