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What a crazy couple of weeks in Ontario politics. I have been a political junkie for as long as I can remember. I love to follow the fortunes or misfortunes of those in power, both federally and provincially, and spend time parsing out the policies of various parties when deciding who to support or who to write about. I certainly know that politics can be nasty, but the last couple of weeks in Ontario have brought it to a new low.

Patrick Brown, now former leader of the Progressive Conservatives, was out within hours of allegations made against him of sexual misconduct. Vic Fedeli became interim leader and says he will out the rot in the PC party. The president of the party, Rick Dykstra, resigned amid allegations of sexual assault when he was MP under Harper. The federal Conservatives are now scrambling to say what they knew about Dykstra, with leader Andrew Scheer starting an investigation. Now we find out that there are doubts raised about the Conservative membership list, with Hamilton police looking into allegations of fraud and forgery during a candidate nomination contest last May. And Fedeli and his staff are carrying out their own parallel investigation into possible irregularities in the list. There have been accusations by one Conservative MP Alex Nuttall that Brown demise was an job by in the Ontario PC caucus. Wow Could it get any crazier?

Of course this all started because of the metoo and timesup wave that has engulfed the entertainment, sports and now political worlds. Women have finally started to feel safe and empowered to come forward and it is high time. The quickness of the demise of Patrick Brown has generated many discussions about the lack of due process, with many feeling uncomfortable with Brown losing everything without proof. I found it fascinating how fast his colleagues threw him under the bus. Within hours of the news report on Brown, Conservative MPP Lisa McLeod told the press that she had heard rumors before Christmas about Brown, and she told Dimitri Soudas, a former director of communications for Harper who was tapped to head Brown’s war room for the June election. Soudas didn take it any further and McLeod said she didn have a lot of in Patrick Brown’s people to do anything about it. Think about that for a minute. Brown had been her leader for two years and she didn trust his staff or have any trouble throwing him under the bus.

For those who are talking about due process or the lack thereof, it makes me uncomfortable too. But we are talking politics here; it all about perception, and allegations of any kind of impropriety can kill a career faster than you can say Conservative or Liberal or NDP, because all of the parties have staff or members who have been accused of sexual misconduct.

The world is shifting and after centuries of women being accused of lying, of being sluts or asking for it, not to mention women trying to go the court route. And guess what, they were shamed and blamed in a public forum. Is it any wonder women take years to tell their stories? All of this is uncomfortable; it hard when you hear of someone you know or someone you love doing horrible things. But these are conversations we need to have because like it or not, timesup.
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