Patrick Brown Was Removed From CPC Leadership Race, And Should Never Have Been Let In Anyway

Written By Wyatt Claypool, Posted on July 6, 2022

It is not much of a shock that Brampton Mayor, and former Ontario PC leader, Patrick Brown was disqualified from the federal Conservative Party leadership race. Anyone familiar with how Brown operates and how he won the 2015 Ontario PC leadership race knows he is a membership salesman to his core and holds very few conservative principles.

Brown does not work to win over longtime federal or provincial Conservative members to support his campaign, he simply tries to sign up so many fair-weather conservatives and even non-conservatives that the people who are already members do not matter. Brown was noted to spend extremely little during the 2015 Ontario PC leadership race on policy development and overcame Christine Elliot solely due to large-scale membership sales, with a disproportionate bulk of which being sold in typically non-conservative minority communities. 

Now during the 2022 CPC leadership race, it seems that party insiders made sure to keep a close eye on Brown’s membership sales to see if they were all done above board, and well they were not. 

In a statement from Ian Brody from the Leadership Election Organization Committee (LEOC) he said that:

In recent weeks, our Party became aware of serious allegations of wrongdoing by the Patrick Brown campaign that appear to violate the financial provisions of the Canada Elections Act. Following our Rules and Procedures for the 2022 Leadership, the Chief Returning Officer notified the Patrick Brown campaign of the allegations and asked for a written response. He also withheld the interim membership list from the Patrick Brown campaign.

The information provided to date by the Patrick Brown campaign did not satisfy concerns about their compliance with our Rules and Procedures and/or the Canada Elections Act.  The Chief Returning Officer has therefore recommended to LEOC that LEOC disqualify Patrick Brown and earlier tonight LEOC agreed to do so. The Party will be sharing the information it has gathered with Elections Canada, who is responsible for ensuring compliance with, and enforcement of, the Canada Elections Act.

Although details are currently light, and it would be good to make sure all information about why Patrick Brown was disqualified is made public, the most plausible reason he was removed would likely have to do with bulk membership sales. 

Bulk membership sales tend to be an issue within internal party races, both for leadership positions, and local riding nominations. 

Although the Pierre Poilievre campaign had claimed to have sold over 300,000 memberships (which is likely an overestimation) it was surprising to see Patrick Brown claim he had sold over 150,000 memberships as a candidate that frankly had far less momentum among the conservative base than Poilievre or Leslyn Lewis. 

Based on the way it was reported that Brown had been selling memberships (ie. selling massive amounts of membership in singular meetings at mosques and Sikh temples) there is a strong possibility that memberships were being bought in bulk, or people were having memberships falsely purchased on their behalf, either by community organizers or the Brown campaign itself. 

Frankly, Patrick Brown should never have been allowed in the leadership race in the first place. I am someone who hates seeing candidates falsely disqualified from any internal party race, since it tends to be completely arbitrary and motivated to protect establishment candidates, but in Brown’s case there is ample evidence to prove he is not someone who does things above board.

When Brown was the leader of the Ontario PC Party allegations of ballot-box stuffing in nomination elections were rampant, as well as random disqualifications of candidates to ensure certain people would win.

On top of that Brown also forced policies into the PC platform the membership did not want and pursued a failed lawsuit against conservative activist Jim Karahalios (who is now the leader of the New Blue Party of Ontario) for campaigning against Brown putting a carbon tax in the PC platform and the various irregularities in nomination elections.

Allowing Brown to have a shot at the leadership of the federal Conservative Party would not only drag it even further left than Erin O’Toole had, but it would open the door to the same petty corruption Brown had been known for back when he was the PC leader. 

So I guess this is the first time Conservative Party members (ie. real members that care about conservatism) can feel relieved that someone was kicked out of a leadership race, well at least I am.


Wyatt Claypool

Wyatt is a student at Mount Royal University, where he is the president of its Campus Conservative club. In his writing, he focuses on covering provincial and federal politics, firearms regulation, and the energy sector. Wyatt has also previously written for The Post Millennial.

Comments are closed.