Strange state of conservative politics in Canada and UK (and USA — could BOJO even be Trump’s successor??)

Jul 9th, 2022 | By | Category: In Brief
“Same Old Story” by prize-winning Toronto artist Michael Seward, July 2022.

SPECIAL FROM THE DEMOCRATIC DESKTOP OF CITIZEN X, ON THE EDGE OF THE CANADIAN SHIELD IN BUCKHORN, ON. K0L 0C1. 9 JULY 2022. The only immediate conclusion we up here in the Kawartha wilderness can draw is that some prominent Conservatives in Canada really do not like Patrick Brown.

He was replaced as Ontario PC leader by Doug Ford only months away from the 2018 provincial election.

Now only a very few months away from the 2022 Conservative Party of Canada leadership vote he has suddenly been disqualified from the race, for reasons still less than altogether clear.

(Party official “Brodie said he would like to share all the information the party has on the matter with members, but for legal reasons can’t right now.”)

“Patrick Brown Coup 2.0″ — Conservative democracy in Canada

“Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, right, was a surprise guest Wednesday [April 22, 2015] at a campaign reception in Toronto hosted by MP Patrick Brown, the front-running candidate for leader of Ontario’s Progressive Conservatives.”

The man in charge of the apparently 11–6 vote to disqualify Patrick Brown in 2022 is the political scientist Ian Brodie, a former Stephen Harper chief of staff and author of the 2018 book, At the Centre of Government: The Prime Minister and the Limits on Political Power. Those in the know like to say that Mr. Brodie is a Conservative Party of Canada official of great integrity.

There are also such recent news headlines as : “Patrick Brown was aware company was paying for campaign work, whistleblower says” ; “Conservative Party tried to bring Brown into compliance with election laws and failed: leadership chair” ; “Brown axed to keep Conservative party ‘beyond reproach,’ top official tells members” ; and “Patrick Brown, disqualified from CPC race, facing Brampton mayoral troubles as well.”

Patrick Brown and family as he announces his candidacy for the federal Conservative Leadership in Brampton, ON, Sunday, March 13, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young.

Yet there have equally been such recent headlines (and tweets) as : “Leadership contender Patrick Brown says he was ejected from Conservative race without a fair hearing” ; “Patrick Brown to remain on Conservative leadership ballots despite disqualification” (a sign of how near the September 10 vote is) ; and “Debbie Jodoin, the supposed whistleblower in the Patrick Brown Coup 2.0, just received a contract by the @CPC_HQ to be a ballot scrutineer … I just asked her about it. This is what she said … The fix is in….again.”

I am no fan of Patrick Brown. I am not now and have never been a member of the Conservative Party of Canada. I have as yet never voted Conservative or even Progressive Conservative in a Canadian election. But this “Patrick Brown Coup 2.0” is now among the reasons that I still won’t be voting Conservative. Something about it just doesn’t seem quite right. Don Martin’s July 7 tweet “Stick a fork in. He’s done” just illustrates the conclusion that some prominent Conservatives really do not like Patrick Brown. And I still don’t really know why.

BOJO resigns in UK .. could he go on to succeed Trump as Republican president of USA?

“Moving Day:” by Michael Seward, July 2022.

Meanwhile, in the land across the seas that used to be known as the Mother of Parliaments, the resignation at last of Conservative Prime Minister Boris Johnson shows that the old English or even British Tory cause, which Canadian Conservatives once revered, is probably not quite as crazy as current Conservative Party of Canada leadership frontrunner Pierre Poilievre.

As best as I can make out, “BOJO”’s main sins are a pricy 10 Downing Street party during the high COVID-19 lockdown, and more or less congenital lying in the interests of a good story or worse. My TV watching partner in the Kawartha forest altogether believes that PM Johnson in the UK, while certainly not admirable, is several cuts above former President Trump in the USA. And I’ve now heard this story so many times that I almost believe it myself.

“British Prime Minister Boris Johnson departs 10 Downing Street in London on July 6. (Chris J. Ratcliffe/Bloomberg News).”

As a former journalist and then Mayor of London (2008-2016), to say nothing of a graduate of the fabled Eton College (high school here in North America) who then “read Classics at Balliol College, Oxford,” Prime Minister Johnson is more intellectually sophisticated than former President Trump.

And if he sometimes seemed to fit nicely enough with Donald Trump in office, BOJO made very clear on TV right after January 6, 2021 that he believed Trump’s Big Lie about the 2020 election and the related assault on the US Capitol were “completely wrong.”

In announcing his resignation this past Thursday Johnson confessed “I want to tell you how sorry I am to be giving up the best job in the world.”

And one striking thing about his prime ministerial career is how quickly he went from the December 12, 2019 UK election — when his Conservatives won a landslide majority of 80 seats in the House of Commons (albeit with a modest enough 43.6% of the popular vote) — to his July 7, 2022 resignation (with his party still holding a vast majority of seats in the House, but BOJO having finally lost support for his personal leadership among too many majority Conservative MPs).

In the USA Boris Johnson’s resignation has prompted such reports as : “UK shows US how to dump a lying, toxic politician (peacefully) … Ali Velshi [a Canadian import at MSNBC] shows that for all of the parallels between Boris Johnson and Donald Trump, at least enough members of his own party abandoned him to force his resignation and (so far) there are no mobs of supporters to trash Parliament in an effort to keep him in power.”

Finally Boris Johnson was in fact born in New York City (to UK parents at school and early jobs who returned to the UK with Boris). Back in 2012, just after he won his second term as Mayor of London, BOJO was on the David Letterman TV show. And Letterman, noting Johnson’s US birth, pointed out he could in theory be president of the USA.

Much more recently Larry the Cat has tweeted that perhaps this actually will be Boris Johnson’s next political step — a kind of Anglo-American conservative successor to Donald Trump!

Others have pointed out that, some time after his 2012 appearance on Letterman’s TV show in New York, BOJO renounced his US citizenship, to avoid paying US taxes on his London real estate or some such thing. So, whatever else, he won’t really succeed Donald Trump as Republican leader in the USA, in the long so-far-not-so-hot summer of 2022.

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