COLUMN: So long old guard

SOUTH DUNDAS — The “shocking” win by Patrick Brown for the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario leadership will mean that finally, there will be a cleaning out of the party old guard. It is about time.

The PCPO has been plagued with failed leaders, failed campaigns, and failed strategies for four elections. Those failures can be attributed to the party mandarins who ran the war rooms. The failure to keep the party on message, the failure to capitalize on Liberal scandal after Liberal scandal, that is on those old guard mandarins.

Christine Elliott was the establishment candidate. She was the preferred candidate by the party of failure. Most of the PC caucus supported Elliott, who also supported Tim Hudak’s failed election strategy in 2014. The fact that the membership of the PC party voted for Brown should be cause for concern for those MPP’s in the next election.

Brown will have a long and tough row-to-hoe when it comes to renewing the PC party. The purging of the party higher ups cannot come soon enough. Many are past their best-before date, and reinforce the fact that for the last four elections, the Liberals did not win, the PC’s lost. Cleaning house from the grassroots up will stem the tide of losses and finally provide a credible challenge the provincial Liberals.

Old guard out in Alberta?

The NDP win in Alberta is not as much as a surprise, if you consider the Progressive Conservative party win in 2012. In 2012, the upstart Wildrose Party became a serious challenger to the conservative wing of the PC party. This lead to the Alberta PC’s becoming the “stop Wildrose” party, and Allison Redford won by garnering strategic voters from the progressive left.

Flash forward three years, a resurgent NDP lead by Rachel Notley is now a legitimate home for the progressive-left. The “decimated” Wildrose under new leader Brian Jean is now a legitimate home for the conservative-right. With the left and right being clearly defined in Alberta for the first time in 80 years, the Progressive Conservative party was ripped in two on voting night. Yes, the arrogance of Jim Prentice helped that along a bit too.

Albertans wont have to worry too much about an NDP win, as the PC party was a centrist party, spending far more than it should on programs that contradicted the very name of the party, or at least the second half of the name. And for those in Alberta who feel they need to move to a more conservative province, Saskatchewan will be more than happy to take the refugees.

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