This is a throw down. A show down. Hell no, we can't slow down.
The departure of Monte McNaughton from the PCPO leadership race has set the stage for the final battle between Red and Blue Tories over the soul of the party.
And rest assured, my friends, it is going to be epic. Nobody needs to pretend to be nice to anyone else to try and pick up second ballot votes anymore. From today until the end, it is open war.
We haven't had a good old bloody civil war since Norm Sterling got booted from his riding back in 2011, and even that was just a microcosm of the festering, boiling hatred that exists between these two camps. Attempts by the party to prevent a province-wide outbreak are going to fail hilariously, because they are currently scrambling to figure out how to keep Patrick Brown and his increasingly radical band of malcontents from completing their hostile takeover. Getting the bad blood out is going to be a nice bit of stress relief, if not an exercise in image management.
Liberals, get your popcorn and your lawn chairs ready.
If you need a recap of what's at stake here, you clearly haven't been paying attention, but I'll do so anyway. In one corner stands the reserved and dignified Christine Elliott, in whose mouth butter would not melt. Not for her the aggressive, frat-boy posturing of those pretenders without the royal jelly who have been smashing the party to bits with their tomfoolery ever since that uncouth cad Mike Harris destroyed the PC standing in dear old Toronto. Yea and verily, she represents the majesty of a bygone age, the golden epoch of Bill Davis, where ne'er there was any of the "divisiveness" that plagues us in these dark times.
In the other stands the peacocking, marathon-running, short-dude-overcompensating Patrick Brown, who has assembled a collection of business leaders, former sports stars, social conservatives, and second and third generation Canadians all united by anger over the contemptuous way they've been treated by the old guard. Considerations such as whether Mr. Brown has a seat in Queen's Park or not or whether he has something resembling a plan for the province have taken a back seat to promising that he'll rip the guts out of the party, which might cause the progressive coalition that's stomped the PC's in the past few elections to shrink in terror, or it might just cause them to burst out laughing.
If we are to go by Christine's latest press release, however, Patrick's presumptuous politicking has not deterred her resolve, but rather put her in She Stoops To Conquer mode as she stoops to the kind of rhetoric that made Kathleen Wynne the Premier she is today, using words like "ideology", "rejection", "modern and inclusive", "outdated", and of course, "the politics of division." No more of the limp Big Blue Tent nonsense for Christine- if you support Patrick, you're responsible for the inevitable fifth election loss, plain and simple.
Now I'm going to make the same point I've been making since this thing began. While the difference between Red and Blue is crucially important for the 30 some odd percent of people who can be counted on to actually show up and vote for a conservative party, the rest of the world doesn't care. They see no daylight between Christine Elliott and Patrick Brown. The fact that the PC Party doesn't understand this will sink them a lot faster than Christine's brittleness or Patrick's obnoxiousness.
As far as the voting public are concerned, both want to destroy the public sector and cut 100,000 jobs and deport foreign workers and implement chain gangs and fund faith based schools and take Ontario backward, not forward. Both of them are Mike Harris. Both of them are going to be accused of having hidden agendas and be blamed for Walkerton and Ipperwash and the 407. Christine Elliott will try and fail to convince Ontarians that this isn't so. Patrick Brown will act as though it doesn't matter.
Neither of these responses are inspiring, but of the two, at least Brown doesn't try to pretend he's something that he isn't. We may very well lose the next election with him in charge, but at least he isn't peeing on the legs of the voters and telling them that it's raining. So there's your "endorsement", for what it's worth.
For my part, I'm not voting for either of these two, and I want their "social media" teams to take notice. I, and lots of other people who would be otherwise interested, am going to put my feet up and watch this sucker burn, and my conscience over the next few years is going to be as clean as a whistle.