Friday, October 12, 2007

Corcoran on Red Toryism.

Financial Post columnist Terence Corcoran perfectly diagnoses the problem with Red Toryism.

Writing about the disastrous election results for the John Tory led Ontario Progressive Conservatives he writes, "the Tory Tories delivered nothing. The official platform was a relentless catalogue of more spending, special-interest cash drop offs, generalized waffles and copies of the latest conventional policy wisdom on anything and everything."

And says Corcoran, "there was nothing to Tory Conservatism that could not have been endorsed by any Liberal, and nothing to appeal to the bedrock conservatives who must be seen as the heart of the Conservative party. They want less government, lower taxes, reduced dependence on government, more frequent initiatives to change the direction of policy."

This would make excellent reading for Prime Minister Stephen Harper.


Joanne (True Blue) said...

The difference is that Harper is a lot more savvy. For example, with the gay marriage issue, he said right from the beginning it would be a free vote. Tory should have made a free vote part of his FB-funding platform immediately. When he backed down, it was too little too late.

It smacks of arrogance, in a way.

Harper is much smarter.

Anonymous said...

Good show, Mr. Corcoran.

However, you also missed a few big ones, "anti-corruption" and "better regional representation."

I agree strongly with Corocoran's assessment, and that is probably why there seems to be such little difference between the "New Government of Canada" and the Chretien Liberals in terms of practice.

Speaking of Liberals, I see that John Manley just put another knife in Dion's back. It must have been hard to find a spot with all Ignatieff's knives that were already there.

If Frank McKenna doesn't soon hurry up, there won't be any room for his well honed blades.

PS. I also liked Corcoran's article, "All wind, no change" in which he literally takes apart the Civitas Society. If conservatism is going to be sold to the Canadian public, it (not Liberal-litism) needs to be sold to that same public... the public should not have to merely accept policies that are dictated to it by some representative of a secretive society who then go out of their way to ensure that they are singing from the same song book.

Isn't it time that conservatism in Canada come out of the proverbial closet?


Anonymous said...

Also, it should be noted that the "Incremental conservatism" of Tom Flanagan would only work if there was a guarantee of perpetual conservative rule (ie. there was a conservative leader whom the public trusted dearly and had current popularity rating in the 75% range.)

I don't see that at the Federal level where the leader is mired in the 30% range and deservedly so if you ask me.

Note to next CPC leader. Be a fiscal conservative, please, but at least, have a bit of a personality, enthusiasm and smile once in awhile for God's sake!

PS. Joanne, when is that free vote of Harper's coming up exactly?

Harper and

NB taxpayer said...


As long as corruption still sticks to Dion and the libs, Harper can continue to act like a liberal and treat his base like sh@t.

The way it's going lately, I wouldn't be surprised to see Harper and the PMO rekindle John Tory's "faith based school funding" initiative and turn it into an election plank by touting it as a national education strategy. Sorta like Paul Martin's daycare strategy with even more of a socialist bent.

Furthermore, since we're on the subject of lack of principles, I wouldn't be surprised to see Harper stick Emmerson into Carney's now vacant BC senate seat and then bring him into the cabinet after the election. Thus bringing attention to his next move to hold the next election on senate reform.

Ahh, the perks of being in a country whose leader is playing chess and not leading.

Anonymous said...


Excellent points!

And we all know what an exciting spectator sport that chess is. It sells out the stadiums everywhere.

As I told Corcoran, "incrementalism" can only work if the leader can guarantee successive governments. At 31-32% popularity and no signs of increasing, Mr. Harper can guarantee no such thing.

The CPC can enlist Mr. Manley's services all that they want. We, in Atlantic Canada, all know that small-c conservatives have been had!

Anonymous said...

PS. And so have Western Canadians!

Anonymous said...

Ok, since I am on a roll. I just read "Re-electing a clown" in the National Post in regards to Premier Williams, and I am pi%^%# off!

Look I know that you guys lost in Ontario, and you're a bit cranky right now, but this piece is the biggest piece of libelous, unresearched name calling that I have ever witnessed in the National Media. Bar none!

Why pick on the only conservative leader to ever win successive majority governments in the country since Mike Harris?

Tell me why is that the Economist presents Mr. Williams and Newfoundland in a positive light in their article today:

No one likes a sore loser, National Post! Not all conservatives got their policies off the walls of a cave, you know!

Anonymous said...

"Government is competent when all who compose it work as trustees for the whole people. It can make constant progress when it keeps abreast of all the facts. It can obtain justified support and legitimate criticism when the people receive true information of all that government does."

That quote is just as true today as when Franklin Delano Roosevelt said those wise words in 1937, and possibly why in Canada, we so seldom see a Federal government that has justified support.

Iain G. Foulds said...

... That's an amazing quote by FDR. I can't even see a modern-day Liberal saying anything so pointless and stupid.

Anonymous said...


Pointles and stupid?

Which province do you actually live in... Ontario or Quebec?

Or maybe, you are one of seven Albertans that actually got "in."

I was promised improved regional representation on top of the myriad of other broken promises of the current CPC...

Incidentally, can you give me a better quote ever made by a Canadian Prime Minister?

Anonymous said...


I will even go one better.

I didn't vote Conservative to again hand the reigns of the country over to a select few on Bay Street/ residents of Mount Royal now with a few members of the Calgary Petroleum Club thrown in to keep the west happy.

If "Conservatives" continue to keep their operations out of the public domain in such venues as Bilderberg, the SPP, Civitas, etc. and don't start respecting Parliament (granted it does not seem to have a lot of self respect currently) then I and alot of other Canadians will simply stop voting for them.

Get out of the closets, and show the Canadian public what conservatism means... the blaming the Liberals approach won't work forever especially when the CPC is now behaving like the old LPC.

Miles Lunn said...

I am not sure I agree with Terence Cocoran. While it is true the Tories performed poorly, there is a lot of resentment to conservatism so although a more conservative leader would bring out much of the conservative base, the non-conservative voters would likely to unite behind the Liberals to keep them out of power.

As Tom Flanagan pointed out, the fact is Canada is not a conservative country and asides from Alberta, no other province has a majority of people who buy into the conservative philosophy. In fact Conservatives can only win when there is a split on the centre-left and for this to happen those voting NDP or Green Party must not be freaked out. So yes a more right wing party might have gotten closer to 40%, but the Liberals probably would have gotten close to 50% under this scenario as the NDP and Green vote would have gone en masse over to the Liberals to block the conservatives.

The other way for a right wing party to win is if there is no centrist alternative (i.e. NDP vs. Conservatives) as is the case in BC, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba (and possibly Nova Scotia), however this doesn't apply in Ontario.

Anonymous said...

Miles Lunn:

Who says that Canada is not a conservative country? Please explain how you arrived at that conclusion given 40-50% of voters don't even care enough to vote Federally anymore. Who really knows what the dominant ideology in Canada is?

When was the last time that Canada had a strong Federal small c- conservative leader that also had the trust of the Canadian public. Do you include Mr. Harper as one of them?

Is 70% of the current Canadian public wrong?

The party who figures out why 40-50% Canadians no longer care enough to vote, and addresses those issues will be in power in Canada a very long time.

Miles Lunn said...

Anonymous - the 40-50% who don't vote are apathetic, otherwise they do not fall under any ideology. In addition one just has to look at the dominant opinion of Canadians on a whole host of issue to conclude Canadians are not conservative.

Conservatism can be divided into two spheres, economic and social.

On the economic front, Canadians support lower taxes and balanced budgets, but considering the Liberals also support those positions those are hardly unique to the Conservative Party. When it comes to less government, Canadians generally believe government has a role to play and only support getting government out of areas which clearly serve no purpose, whereas a conservative like Gerry Nicholls is clearly for less government across the board, which most Canadians aren't.

On social issues, Canada is by and large a socially liberal country and the majority of Canadians are on the left socially, albeit a minority of 25-30% are socially conservative.

Anonymous said...

Miles Lunn:

Maybe, the 40-50% are just plain bored with this stuff.

Really, Dion versus Harper? The CPC versus the LPC?

Well, let's see... both subscribe to the philosophy of "Win at all costs."

Both spend the public purse freely and foolishly, both flip flop to merely contradict the other one, both pander to Quebec to try to win votes, both do not subscribe to the idea of openness and integrity, and neither party currently has a single principle to stand on that they can call their own.

Now, don't get me wrong. I am not hoping for the Bloc or the NDP or the Greens. I am a conservative, but how does one get excited about this?

Tell me please? Anyways, it appears that Bill Casey's riding association has voted to continue to support Casey despite the PM's dictum... Maybe, we are witnessing the official fracture of the PC from the neocons. I sure hope so.

Miles Lunn said...

Anonymous - I hope you are right on the last part. I wouldn't say the Conservatives don't have principles, they are just keeping them hidden until they get a majority and then we will see them govern with principles, although they won't be the principles most Canadians including myself subscribe to. They reason they are being unprincipled now, is that would get decimated if Canadians saw what their principles really were. They have to pretend to be centrists (since msot Canadians are) when in fact they are hard right wingers.