Roundup: Gaming the system a second time

So the Ontario Progressive Conservative Party’s nomination committee has allowed Patrick Brown to run for the leadership contest, despite the fact that he was kicked out of caucus (which also rescinded his nomination as a candidate in his riding), which is going to go super well for everyone involved, be it Brown claiming that he’s been vindicated from the allegations (he hasn’t), or the other candidates who are trying (and failing) to come up with new policy on the fly as they try to distance themselves from Brown’s campaign platform. But what gets me are all of the pundits saying “It’s up for the party members to decide,” which should provide nobody any comfort at all, because the reason the party is in the mess it’s in is because Brown knew how to game the system in order to win the leadership the first time. He has an effective ground game, and can mobilise enough of his “rented” members, likely in more effective distributions (given that this is a weighted, ranked ballot) than other, more urban-centric candidates can. He played the system once, and has all the means necessary to do it again. Saying that it’ll be up to the membership to decide is an invitation to further chaos. This is no longer a political party. It’s an empty vessel waiting for the right charismatic person to lead it to victory, which is a sad indictment. Also, does nobody else see it as a red flag that Brown’s on-again-off-again girlfriend is 16 years his junior and used to be his intern? Dating the intern should be a red flag, should it not? Especially when one of his accusers is a former staffer.

Meanwhile, here’s David Reevely previews the party’s civil war, while Andrew Coyne imagines Brown’s pitch to members as his running as the “unity candidate” in a party split because of him.

Good reads:

  • In India, Justin Trudeau reiterated that he has no Sikh separatists in his Cabinet and that he supports a United India, but there are differing accounts of the meeting.
  • Kevin Carmichael notes the media groupthink in reporting on Trudeau’s visit. Murad Hemmadi looks at why no one has been able to secure a trade deal with India.
  • Meanwhile, it turns out that a convicted attempted murderer and Sikh separatist was invited to the formal dinner at the Canadian High Commission in India. Oops.
  • The text of the TPP has now been translated and released. The auto sector is bellyaching that it could affect NAFTA talks.
  • The outgoing Information Commissioner says the government has failed to live up to their promise to meaningfully reform Access to Information.
  • It’s looking unlikely that the upcoming Commonwealth meeting will make progress on LGBT issues because they don’t want discord in front of the Queen.
  • A survey of federal scientists finds that more than half of them still feel muzzled, but that’s more likely to be because of overly cautious senior managers.
  • A Heritage Canada memo says that the government can’t really do anything about “fake news” as any screening will fuel the conspiracy theorists.
  • Statistics Canada finds that while pot smoking has gone up among Canadians over the past 30 years, it’s stabilized or decreased among youth over that period.
  • The Phoenix Pay System gong show is now two years old (and my sources tell me that a fix could still be years away).
  • BC’s wine industry is taking Alberta to court over their wine boycott.
  • Two of Elizabeth May’s three accusers have backed out of the bullying investigation because they feel the process isn’t independent enough.

Odds and ends:

Kent Hehr has broken his silence to say that he’s cooperating with the investigation into his conduct…and that he won’t comment any further.

Stephen Harper has been elected head of the International Democrat Union, an international centre-right political organization.

3 thoughts on “Roundup: Gaming the system a second time

  1. “overly cautious senior manages”. I think you meant “managers”.

    Quite liked your coverage today and the recent Maclean’s article on the leader selection process. For the first time, I get how caucus selection is important.

    I can’t see any leader agreeing to be accountable to their caucus, though, so how is this to be fixed?

      • Then perhaps we have to be hoping for a Patrick Brown leadership win and a subsequent Liberal victory to illustrate the current system’s flaws. Ugh.

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