Too often, movements of social protest force themselves on public consciousness, own the moment for a time, then fade from what used to be called the front page. Occupy. Idle No More. Even Black Lives Matter. But not #MeToo, which is transforming our society literally overnight.
The ranks of powerful men laid low by allegations of sexual misconduct are growing, not by the day, but by the hour. Between Wednesday morning and early Thursday morning, two conservative provincial leaders had their careers ended and their reputations destroyed.
Nova Scotia Conservative Leader Jamie Baillie's already-planned departure was transformed into his immediate resignation from the leadership and of his seat, after an investigation into allegations of sexual harassment resulted in demands from party officials that he step down.
And Ontario PC Leader Patrick Brown resigned in the dead of night, Thursday, after CTV reported allegations by two women of sexual assault, which he denied. For a few hours, he fought to survive, but most of his senior staff resigned en masse, and the caucus made it clear he had to go, even though an election is slated for June 7. The seemingly doomed Liberals now have a chance to beat the odds yet again.
Mr. Brown's departure will reverberate beyond Canada's borders. A man who most likely would have been premier of Canada's largest province in a few months is disgraced and his party in disarray. What other Canadian politicians will read this news with quiet horror? What state governors? What powerful British mayors? Former Minnesota Senator Al Franken, a Democrat, has already fallen, and GOP candidate Roy Moore denied a Senate seat in Alabama, because of allegations of sexual misbehaviour.