Throughout the day, I was thinking about the various elements now becoming a reality for the PC party, with an election only months away and the need for a new leader being imminent. The thought of the necessary actions to create a road map, that would not only guide the leaderless party, but also provide them with the ammunition to strike back and have a fighting chance in the June election.
While Patrick Brown has declared that he will remain an MPP and fight tooth and nail to clear his name of these unfounded and false accusations, his choice to step down was a necessary one. Being a leader in the political realm, much like the regular world, requires having the stamina to make sacrifices that enable your party to continue. If Brown remained as the party leader, he would not only create an easy target in the upcoming election, but allow his opponents the chance to easily remove attention from what matters most, the party platform.
In politics, it is not uncommon for leaders to be vetted by their own party to ensure they do not have any loose ends that can come back to bite them. Patrick Brown has had some flip flop moments since his election as party leader, but the perception created by the accusation of sexual misconduct, coupled with the current social environment around the #MeToo movement, is almost as bad as having a party leader that comes out with a platform centered on terminating 100,000 jobs if elected.
In order to maintain party image, the interim leader will have to ensure that anyone chosen to take up the leadership role is not only well suited for the cameras and the party membership, but also ready to come in guns a blazing in order to keep the topic on the deficiencies of the current government and the intentions of a potential PC government, should they get elected.
"Keep your message strong and the electorate focused on your opponents past and your future, not the other way around."
While the timing of these accusations is quite convenient regarding the next election, it is important for the Progressive Conservatives to ensure their message remains in tact and consistent. Many strong party supporters may argue that this is nothing more than a political ruse by the Wynne Liberals, but it is important to keep the focus off that.
Lets face it, if Kathleen Wynne actually was involved in the accusations that led to the actions of today, the operation would most likely have created such a financial budget overrun and would most likely have resulted in a man coming out to make the accusations against the PC leader. Scandal aside, it is important to ensure the people of Ontario are reminded of how inadequate and untrustworthy the current government is and as such ensure justice for their own long list of misdeeds and mismanagement.
Image, Image, Image!
I would not be surprised if the next leader chosen will be a woman. Not for the sake of avoiding more scandal, but for ensuring that someone is chosen to not only strike back and defend the party, but also represent the changing political landscape we currently live in.
The Progressive Conservatives would be wise to emphasize and package their platform as the Politically Correct party in order to win support, but also combat the current government. Usually in an election, the incumbent government has the advantage, as supporters may not choose to vote or people may abstain in protest of the choices.
The PC party will really have to beef up their platform, which may be a good thing as a result of this shocking incident. Patrick Brown has had many issues maintaining a strong and unified platform to run on, which regardless of scandal, is crucial when you are attempting to take back power and get your party ahead.
In closing, I think I was more shocked by the general comments indicating that this would result in an instant win for Kathleen Wynne. Not because it would make her look good, but because it would remove the only other contender that was available. In all honesty, while the Liberals have been scandal filled, the PC are not the only other choice, even though they traditionally are chosen to replace a Liberal government.
It will be interesting to see how the Green Party and NDP respond to this change with the PC party and position themselves in order to possibly take support away from both the Liberals and PC.
Regardless, the most important thing the PC party needs to focus on is maintaining is road map and ensuring its message gets out there. Lucky for the party, the electorate has a short memory span, so getting back on the topic of platform should not be an issue. In a world filled with social media and reality tv, our electorate has become accustomed to quick news and fresh stories more commonly than in the past, which could help the PC party weather this rough situation.
-The Political Road Map-