Patrick Brown’s Spectacular Fall off the Nightstand
***Update — The resignations are coming fast and furious now. Sport and Disabilities Minister Kent Hehr has resigned from the Federal Liberal cabinet pending investigation into his alleged sexual misconduct. Plus yesterday, the leader of the Nova Scotia Progressive Conservative Party, Jamie Baillie suddenly resigned with sexual harassment claims over his head.***
Let’s jump right into this!
The power of the #metoo movement has dramatically claimed another man’s career. Patrick Brown, who was very likely going to be the next Premier of Ontario after the upcoming June election, went from star to pariah in about 12 hours from last night to this morning. Two anonymous women went directly to CTV reporters with separate sexual incidents with Brown from the past. The one lady was 18 when an alleged incident occured 10 years ago. The other had just turned 19 and was working at Brown’s constituency office in 2013. No police reports have ever been filed.
Upon the surfacing of the allegations, his entire campaign team quit. He held out for a few hours but the Ontario Progressive Conservative Leader resigned this morning citing one person isn’t important enough to hold up replacing a very unpopular Liberal provincial government.
Of course, every politician from Justin Trudeau to Kathleen Wynne is piling on with their predictable reaction messages. Zero tolerance to sexual misconduct, the women are so brave to come forward, ‘all Ontarians are responsible to “shine a light” on harassment and other behaviour’ are the appropriate media response lines. Even Andrew Scheer parroted carefully scripted buzz phrases but at least he mentioned that the allegations should be investigated fully.
When you read the statements of the women interviewed by CTV, on the face of it were any actual crimes committed? As to the first woman, she was 18 and Brown was 29 when they came across one another through a mutual friend at a bar 10 years ago. She and the friend accepted an invitation to go back to his place and continue drinking. The article makes a point of saying she was underage for Brown to be giving her alcohol as they were in Ontario. But she was already drinking in a bar, so it would be reasonable for the man to assume she was at least an adult (which she was) and of legal drinking age as bars check for that. She ended up drunk; agreed to go into his bedroom; there was a clumsy attempt at a blowjob supposedly initiated by him; she stopped and left; and he did not stop her from leaving. That just sounds like a hookup after picking up a girl from the bar. It is precisely this human activity that has made sites like Tinder, Bumble, Happn or their numerous spawns so popular. The woman was quoted as saying “He’s an old, single, politician preying on young girls. He’s just a sad person.” Where in the criminal code or even a moral code is it written that a 29 year old man is not allowed to pick up an 18 year old woman and try to have sex with her?
As for the second woman, she was just 19 and ended up working at Brown’s constituency office. He was 34 in 2013 when the alleged sexual assault took place. The woman had been at a bar getting plastered on free drinks from the people present. She and a male friend of Brown’s went back to his place to continue the party. She ended up alone with him in his bedroom; he tried to have sex with her; she declined and left; and he did not stop her from leaving. He subsequently asked her to join him on a paid trip to India which she declined. He gave her a raise that summer. She also returned to work for him the following summer as she saw the work as ‘a career opportunity‘. If you had been ‘assaulted’ by someone, would you continue to work for them at a somewhat minor summer job then return the following year?
The boss trying to sleep with the secretary is so cliché, the Chilean’s phrase for the practice is ‘El pollo al Velador‘ which translates to ‘Chicken on the Nightstand’. A two hour lunch is the norm in Chile, so that leaves plenty of time for a mid-day tryst between the boss and his favourite girl at a local flophouse.
Sexual misconduct is commonly defined as ‘an umbrella term for any misconduct of a sexual nature that is usually perpetrated against an individual without his or her consent. The misconduct can be of various degree, such as sexual impropriety, sexual transgression, sexual violation, and sexual exploitation.’ Employer/employee sexual relationships can certainly end up being classified under this definition. Brown making a play for his employee was not a particularly bright move, especially for a politician. But was it illegal or morally wrong if at the time he was operating under the impression that there was no harm/no foul happening? He sounded like a lonely guy who wanted a relationship at the office with a pretty, young girl. Generally, in today’s world, that’s a particularly stupid thing for the boss to try to do. But if he was only being persistent but backing away when told to with no repercussions to the woman, does that warrant stringing the man up for the crows?
Think of where society has gotten to with this #metoo and #timesup phenomenon. Within hours of anonymous allegations, a man was tried, judged, and had his career executed. He will undergo years of humiliation, spend thousands of dollars in legal fees, and will never fully clear his name or be respected ever again. The instigators of the Salem Witch trials would be impressed.
The message is that you better be as pure as freshly fallen snow with respect to your willy if you are running for political office. It’s obvious that even the hint of sexual impropriety is kryptonite to a male politician’s career. Strangely, the late crack smoking Mayor of Toronto, Rob Ford, was a Teflon man and still extremely popular despite all of his gaffes. They even tried to rename a stadium after him. It would be interesting to see if his alleged indelicacies with women would sink him in today’s climate.
Well, everyone loves a good kangaroo court and subsequent bonfire!
Blair is a personification of a ‘Jack of All Trades and Master of None’. He has held several careers and has all the T-shirts. Time to add the title Blogger to the list.