Monday, September 17, 2007

Me vs. Flanagan

Get ready for the ultimate showdown! Get ready for the brawl to end it all!

On October 23, 2007, I will be debating political science professor and former Conservative Party advisor, Thomas Flanagan on whether or not the federal Tory party is heading in the right direction.

Should be interesting.

The debate will take place at the Fraser Institutes's "Behind the Spin" event in Toronto.

Go here for information on how to register.

Don't you dare miss it.

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

Damn! That should be one heck of a good fight.

Tell that old yank, Flanagan, that we have already had a wishy-washy bunch of spendthrifts in government that pandered to every one of Quebec's wishes.

It was called the Liberal party of Canada back then, and it is called the Conservative Party of Canada now!

Give him my love from Atlantic Canada too!

Iain G. Foulds said...

... Good for you!
... I have been thinking that it is time to step-up our informal campaign a notch, shifting out of the clever, cynical sideline stage... more confrontational, perhaps...
... Like in Braveheart, when William Wallace was asked where he was going, and he replied "I'm going to pick a fight".
... Of course Gerry, it would be a more subtle campaign, were you to leave the broadsword behind. (not that I leave home without mine... but, this is Alberta...)

Anonymous said...

I like the confrontational idea.

"The fight to take back the right."

If you beat Flanagan decidely then wouldn't that make you a contender?

Hit 'em where it hurts! Excessive spending, flip flopping, pandering to Quebec, "open federalism," secrecy, excessive silencing of cabinet ministers, cronyism, loss of all party principles...

Give 'em so many rights that he begs you for a left.

Go Gerry!

Anonymous said...

Just watch out for Flanagan's patented "flip flop" move...

NB taxpayer said...

I wonder how many times Flanagan will revert to "but we're in a minority parliament, Gerry!" when he's getting his ass handed to him? especially on his man's decision to forgo principle and good policy for power.

On the other hand, these guys have made a living off of trying to silence and crush their critics/opponents. Here's hoping that you don't end up in that graveyard with the rest of them. I have faith in our "top 5" political mind.

Anonymous said...

Just read the Globe and Mail blog on the results of Quebec.

Basically, most conservative posters have no problem with the fact that the Conservatives are acting actly like the old Liberal party.

How sad is that?

Congratulations, Mr. Flanagan. The ends justify the means, right?

Miles Lunn said...

I think Mr. Flanagan can win on the simple argument we have a minority and any right wing legislation wouldn't ever pass. Lets remember, you cannot pass any money bill without getting approval from the House of Commons, so without a majority, no Conservative legislation can pass. They can always I guess try, but either way it will fail as long as they have a minority.

Anonymous said...

Miles:

To win Quebec, you have to do things that are popular only for Quebecers.

Right now that would mean get out of Afghanistan yesterday, give an additional $2.3 billion per year in transfer payments to Quebec as the Conservatives did in budget 2007, and delegate all government functions to the province's control.

Essentially, act like the NDP would!

If you do that, you cannot really call yourself "conservative" although you can still call yourself "Conservative."

Anonymous said...

I wish that I could attend this debate because I have always been intrigued by Flanagan's "Three Sisters" analogy to uniting the right in Canada.

Flanagan has proved himself brilliant to have brought this idea thus far.

However, the question that Harper and Flanagan will inevitably face in the future (minority or majority) is what if the "Three Sisters" don't get along? They not only don't get along anymore, but the sisters' goals are now almost mutually exclusive of one another?

How much will Flanagan and Harper forego the principles of conservatism to sell their "three sisters" plan? The answer is probably, "Just watch me!" That statement should sound familiar in an old liberal sort of way.

Anonymous said...

However, the question that Harper and Flanagan will inevitably face in the future (minority or majority) is what if the "Three Sisters" don't get along? They not only don't get along anymore, but the sisters' goals are now almost mutually exclusive of one another?

As history has proven time and time again, it is "ok" for the sisters to not get along as long as they do it in the same room.

Miles Lunn said...

To win Quebec, you have to do things that are popular only for Quebecers.

Right now that would mean get out of Afghanistan yesterday, give an additional $2.3 billion per year in transfer payments to Quebec as the Conservatives did in budget 2007, and delegate all government functions to the province's control.

Essentially, act like the NDP would!

If you do that, you cannot really call yourself "conservative" although you can still call yourself "Conservative."


Which proves my point you cannot be a conservative and win in Canada. So maybe the party does need to change its name, or perhaps maybe your definition of conservatism is not the correct one. Conservativism in Canada has a very different meaning historically than in the United States and ours is more in line with the traditional British Conservatism pre-Thatcher. The Conservatism you guys advocate doesn't have enough supporters to succeed, so what point is it asking the politicians to adopt ideas that will ensure they will lose the election.

Anonymous said...

The last anonymous:

Let's run with your idea!

As Orwell said, "Those in power control the future by controlling the past."

History is history. What have conservatives actually taught future Canadian generations recently? That brand name is more important than principles or just how to act like the Liberals?

Again, I ask the question, "Why must the sisters continue to be in the same room when they behave in an antagonistic manner towards each other."

Where one region is entitled to privileges and legislation that is deliberately denied to other regions? Where written Federal contracts are unilaterally broken without explanation or dialogue? Where the development of provincial economies is hindered by an uncooperative PM?
When the sisters are intentionally being divided and conquered for the benefit of partisan politics that only benefit the provinces on the winning side of the equation?

Be it, The Liberal or "Conservative" Party -- now, seemingly mutually interchangeable.

While, at the same time, certain other regions get pampered and recognized as, "special?" Aren't all provinces in Canada, "special."

The CPC just stepped into the muck in their special treatment of Quebec. We all know that those questions will be coming... maybe not today, but they will surely be coming. No amount of media control can stop that.

Been there, done that, not sure that we should play that game again... We should actually all have bigger problems to sort out than another national identity crisis.

Problems that the CPC are not actually addressing because they seem to believe that "conservatism" is a disease that must be hidden from public view...

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr. Flanagan:

Since most conservatives in Canada are actually voters like me and not backroomers/pundits like Mr. Nicholls, I feel entitled to send this letter to you for having cast my vote for the CPC in the last Federal election -- a decision that I cannot begin to express how deeply I regret.

When I lived in Western Canada in the period of existence of a Reform Party, I seem to recall a number of criticisms (corruption, pandering to Quebec, better representation of peripheral regions, etc.) being levelled at the Federal Government of the day -- many of the principles on which the reform movement was born.

These crticims were, in my opinion, quite justified. However as you know, Reformers could not ever gain a voice in the national debate because of the unfair nature of Federal politics that favored only centrist parties from Ontario and Quebec and their Bay Street financiers.

Now, that I am living in Atlantic Canada, and have actually witnessed firsthand what I can only describe as one of the largest Federal betrayals ever perpetuated upon members of the Canadian federation in the unilaterally alteration of the Atlantic Accord being pulled off by those same voices, I can only wonder were those populist sentiments (that you now seem to label utopian) invented simply as a means to gain power.

If so, congratulations on pulling off a great dupe on the populations of Western and Atlantic Canada to cut your teeth in Canadian federal politics!

Was anti-corruption also on the agenda of the 2003 Bilderberg Conference that Conrad Black, Mark Steyn, PM Harper all attended with Richard Perle, Paul Wolfowitz, Henry Kissinger, and John Bolton?

Or was it just Iraq that got discussed?