Will Doug Ford and Patrick Brown Get Along?
When it comes to Brampton’s new mayor and the Ontario premier, you could not find two people who are more different.
Patrick Brown is a lawyer by training who has been in politics since he was in his 20s, and Ford was in business most of his life before entering politics. Brown believes in a more traditional ‘progressive’, pragmatism, while Doug Ford believes in a more populist approach.
Photo courtesy of Facebook / PatrickBrown
Even so, they’re both Progressive Conservatives so you would think they get along, but lately that doesn’t seem to be the case.
When Brown was ousted as PC leader back in January for sexual assault allegations, Ford stepped in to run for leader after abandoning a second bid to become Toronto mayor. During the leadership campaign, he was not enthused about Brown even running as an MPP candidate when asked if he became the leader.
Ford also railed against “insiders” who took over the PC party, an obvious shot at how Brown handled things at the helm; some of those issues such as controversial nominations for PC candidates still yet to be resolved.
That said, you’d think once Brown left Queen’s Park and began an unlikely quest to regain political prominence by running municipally, and with Ford now running Ontario, you’d think the two men’s destinies would not cross paths for some time….but you’d be dead wrong.
Photo courtesy of Facebook / FordNation
Ford announced a last minute cancellation of the Peel regional chair election in which Brown was contesting, leaving him to backdrop into the Brampton mayoral race against incumbent Linda Jeffrey, a race in which he won.
Ironically, you can argue Jeffrey should blame Ford for hoisting Brown upon the city, the man who ended up defeating her. During the campaign, Jeffrey got support from prominent Ford operatives in a swanky downtown fundraiser.
Now that the election is over and done with, can Brown and Ford get along? In an interview inbrampton.com did with Brown over the summer, he wished Ford well in governing the province, pointing out the myriad of challenges Ontario faces.
But those of a more conspiratorial bent may see Ford’s cancellation of the Peel regional chair race as a means to get back at Brown. And the relationship between the province and the City of Brampton certainly hasn’t gotten off on the right foot, what with the recent announcement of the cancellation of the Ryerson campus for downtown Brampton.
Overall, there should not be a reason why Ford has this animus towards Brown, if he does at all. Brown isn’t some Liberal by any stretch of the imagination; in the end this could be attributed to vindictiveness on Ford’s part, but stemming from what is anybody’s guess.
The premier should actually understand Brown’s political comeback better than anyone. His late brother, former Toronto mayor Rob Ford, had enormous baggage and personal issues during his entire political career from city councillor to mayor. Despite all that, the younger Ford won a mayoral race in 2010 with people fully knowing what he was about.
Brown entered the Brampton race also with similar personal baggage, sexual assault allegations aside as well as various past political scandals. He isn’t some kind of populist candidate “of the people” by any means, but like Rob Ford, Brown has shown that character flaws isn’t enough to derail political success.
Our society may be moving into a time where no matter what personal issues or problems enter a candidate’s life, people are willing to give you a pass if they’re angry enough over how they perceive “the establishment” has treated them and wanting change, no matter what that change ends up to be.
It started with Rob Ford, went to overdrive with Donald Trump and Patrick Brown is just the latest example.
If anyone should understand and appreciate that, it’s Premier Doug Ford.
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