Friday, April 27, 2007

Selling out true conservatism

Make sure to pick up a copy of today's National Post.

I have an op-ed in it that's near and dear to my heart.

It debunks the myths tossed at me by those Tories who defend Prime Minister Stephen Harper's drift to the political left.

Myths such as Harper needs to go left because "Canada is a left-wing country" and "Conservatism is too scary".

The fact that some Conservatives actually believe those myths is sad; the fact that Harper seems to is just plain baffling.

Media Update:
I will be discussing my column and other issues on the radio shows Montreal Today with Joe Cannon at approximately 10:20 AM EST and on Adler Online at approximate 4:20 PM EST.

10 comments:

Miles Lunn said...

I happen to disagree here. I think that the Harper government would be true conservatives if they could act like one. The problem is in a minority government, no bill can pass without the support of one other party so if they tried to introduce any conservative legislation it would be voted down.

In addition I think Canadians may support conservative ideas under certain circumstances especially in the 90s when we had a large deficit, but now that we have large surpluses they are a tough sell.

I think the problem with your article is you neglect to mention is not whether the conservatives want to act like conservatives or not, they cannot since how are they suppose to pass a conservative budget?

Flavrflav said...

Miles,

I think you're missing the point.

Canadians don't want a Liberal budget. If we did, we would have elected the Liberal party. To say that the Conservatives are forced into crafting a "tax and spend" budget is simply nonsense.

In Harper's unbridled haste to curry the favour of Liberal voters, he has compromised the promises that he made to his base supporters. A dangerous, if not ruinous strategy.

Hoodwinked Everywhere said...

flavrflav:

The majority of Canadians and their reflective wussy/fickle/collectivist strategy-dependent politicians are a tad "slow" learning that Schoolyard Rules for Successfully Dealing with Childhood Bullies...
...Should and CAN be equally applied by and to adults and their victimizing Political/Adult bullies, too (especially those who use their victims' tax dollars to fund the "control, re-define and regulate" private property/decisions/business agendas launched against their taxpayer/voter target group victims!?)

Gee, we sure seem to now have a modern-day and progressive political/societal scenario benefitting thousands of virtual "theocratic-natured, absolutist totalitarian-minded thieves applying/legislatively-enforcing their preferred principles/definitions/"collective morality" universally as per "level playing field" imposition of "equality of outcome" always has and will require?... similarly to the mythical Robin Hood of times past... BUTT with a new and progressive "twist" who now take from BOTH the rich and poor alike, for the benefit/protection/empowerment/enrichment of the thieves themselves!? (and their self-created/supported/sanctioned/pet CORPORATE WELFARE BUMS & TAXPAYER-FUNDED GRANT JUNKIES!?

With ALL POLITICAL PARTY SUPPORT, TO BOOT!?

Gerry Nicholls said...

Miles, where have you been??

Ken said...

The budget would have passed, no matter how much spending/tax cuts there were, as long as the provincial handouts were still in there. It was a choice by Harper to try and have a liberal budget because he thinks it was good election strategy. Well I'm sorry, I didn't volunteer and donate to the CPC just to get CPC elected, I expected them to do something in office.

If they want to play politics with the money I donated, then great, that's why I donated. I don't appreciate them playing politics with my tax dollars that I don't have choice to pay. I certainly won't donate a penny more until I get another tax break.

Roundhead said...

Hello -

Gerry, I've admired you for years, but you have to be realistic.

You can be as "principled" as you want - and stay out of power indefinitely.

You and I may bemoan this fact, for many decades after the last world war, a plurality of Canadians voted for parties that had no intention but to expand the role of the state.

A plurality may be prepared now to turn their backs on that legacy; maybe not, though.

In any case, you can't substantively dismantle a vast apparatus like the modern state, with the stroke of a pen. Let's face it, even the "great" Ronald Reagan and Lady Thatcher left larger behind larger governments than when they came to office; this is true of Ontario's hero, Mike Harris as well.

If you try to move too radically, like Mike Harris did, the establishment will stop at nothing to fling sh*t at you, so that after a while, you begin to stink (ie. Walkerton, Kimberly Rodgers, etc. etc.) no matter if you deserved it in the first place. By the time anyone figures out that the accusations are bogus (ie. like government cut backs had anything to do with Walkerton, or that Mike Harris forced Kimberly Rodgers to commit suicide), the damage has been done, the peanut-gallery is ready to vote for the other guy, no matter how insufficient he is (stand up GAlton McDinky).

With regard to Kyoto, I hate it as much as you do. However, much of the public is caught up in the Al Gore anti-scientific hysteria, not to mention that whipped up by the piece-of-crap UN Climate panel report of some months back.

I would love it if Stephen Harper declared boldly that Kyoto is a piece of crap and that he's not going to implement it. But how long would he last in govnerment then? And would you rather have Stephane Dion in power. Not me.

VMS_LibertERAian said...

It is a fundamental flaw to equate conservatism with restraint when in power in government: with spending or the arbitrary use of that power.
Some conservatives may exercise restraint when in power, but there is no direct connection that morally or logically ties the two together.

John

Miles Lunn said...

I think roundhead says it the best. You can stick to your principles and be in opposition forever or try and do the most that is feasible.

I would add Canada is an evolutionary country and it is not so much a left vs. right, but more slow change vs. fast change. Canadians like change to be done slowly and gradually. Now sure one could argue the budget didn't even move in the right direction, but the reality is the government would have fallen had it involved any major spending cuts and I've watched politics long enough to know that even though people like Thatcher, Reagan, and Harris were re-elected their cuts came at the beginning of their terms well before the election so they had time for them to play out.

Whenever they are made, the party who makes them almost always plunges in the polls and only recovers once the public either says they are beneficial or sees that the sky didn't fall. That means until Harper has a majority he cannot act like a Conservative.

Hoodwinked Everywhere said...

IMHO, the comments by Roundhead sounded too pathetically familiar to the worn-out all-party-supported/utilized political "win election by any means" strategy that I call raw, UN-principled and compromised "Political Opportunism" (regardless of personal political affiliations/allegiances). These "strategies and those who adhere to them are, IMO, "dime-a-dozen" at every level of government jurisdiction, in Canada today. That IS the problem - if you're not part of its solution, you will remain part of the problem, Roundhead. I think I might personally know you, btw... ROFL!

To the comments of LibertERAian (John?) I would have to respond:

It is a fundamental flaw to equate Libertarianism with morality, likewise "Freedom Fighters" with "Political Opportunists".

How would you define your usage of the words "morality" and "logical", and from where do you derive these definitions?

Moreover, are you talking about collectively-defined/enabled/sanctioned OR individually-defined/enabled/sanctioned morality/logic in your comment?

Gee, why do I think I might personally know YOU, too? How bizarre this is becoming. :)

Roundhead said...

Hi hoodwinked -

I may know you if you're from Ottawa like me.

Following up on what you said, I'm certainly willing to entertain the idea that the Conservatives' strategy of `moving to the centre' is potentially dangerous.

But I think Harper is looking to the long-term. In order to change back this country to a more conservative / freedom-loving direction (I think we're totally on the same page here), he's got to stay in power for the long-term. If he, like my hero Mike Harris, attempts change too quickly, then the Establishment (no less so-called `red' Tories as much as anyone) will hang him and the party out to dry.

I don't like it, but in my esteem, that's the reality.

thanks
Roundhead