Even on his best days, leading in the polls and raising lots of cash and glad-handing with the best of them, it was never entirely clear why Patrick Brown wanted to be leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario.
He didn’t have a notable interest in the mechanics of the government he was hoping to run after this spring’s election, or any real fundamental differences with the province’s ruling Liberals. He never seemed to have quite grown out of the youth politician he had been, two decades before: the sort with ambition for ambition’s sake, a love of politics as a game with personal advancement the only real objective.
Now, we have confirmation, courtesy of a bizarre week of flame-throwing that culminated in his announcement that he will run again for the job he vacated three weeks ago amid sexual-misconduct allegations: For Patrick Brown, public life is all about Patrick Brown.
And regardless of how he rationalizes it to himself, he is willing to do harm to the party in which he has spent most of his life – and perhaps even to the province he purports to still want to govern – if he thinks it’s within his competitive interest.