Here's a sampling of some comments I received:
"I couldn't agree more. They (the Conservatives) have really gone off the rails in recent weeks, to the point that I am considering sitting out the next election ( and I am someone who used to take a very active part in the political process to the point of being on a riding executive board ). I hope a lot more people speak up about this. Maybe Mr. Harper and company will get the message before it's too late."
***"The Conservative Party of Canada appears to have become just a bunch of socialists without the corruption."
***"I am greatly appreciating your efforts!"
***"The Liberals are now far more pro-business than Harper is.I voted and contributed to the CONservatives [emphasis on CON].NEVER AGAIN!!!! I'M DEDICATED TO THROWING THEM OUT."
***"I don't get it and feel, as you do, that there is little to no difference between the crooks we had out last time, and the new generation of crooks we're breeding at the moment."
***"Your column is right on the money. I have been a supporter of the Reform, Alliance and Conservative parties, financially and otherwise. But I can't support a party that wants to tell me what kind of light bulbs to use in my home."
***"I enjoyed your article 'Selling out true conservatism'. All I can say is it’s about time somebody comes out and says it. This conservative government seems no different to me then the liberal governments I have known my whole life."
***"I too am one of those who wonder how far the party will wander from principles in an efort to hold on to/gain power.. I keep hoping that it will shift back if it has a majority.. but grow less confident of that every day.."
***"Thanks for putting into words what I have been feeling lately. I must also be one of the principled conservatives because I am thinking Harper and the crew are starting to turn into Chretien and the crew."
***"Excellent commentary in today’s NP. It contained the same message I gave to my MP after the last budget. He seemed surprised that I wasn’t pleased with all the government announcements and even more surprised when I said 'please, don’t do me any favours'. The fiscally conservative (small c) has no representation and no alternative."
"Bang on, Gerry! Very well said."
***"Thank you for confirming that I am not alone in my disappointment with the new Conservatives. . . We need more writers like you to wake up the boys in policy that there is a great hunger to redress the imbalance that has our country close to total nannyism. Good on you."
***"Although I understand your conservative principles, I don't think you're being realistic . . .I think that most Conservative Canadians are very happy with Mr. Harper at the helm and want it to stay that way. I'm one of them and I don't think I'm deluded. I'm a realist."
***"Excellent..... Your division of a conservative party has an universal appeal."
***"AMEN! Once again, just like 15 years ago, I have a feeling I have no political home. Where do we go this time? Do we have to start another “reform” movement?"
***"For someone like yourself to be writing negatively about Harper is just what the Libranos love to read and quote and it really hurts to give them any comfort. You have to undersatand that NOTHING Harper could do would be worse than another run of Liberal rule."
***"Just don't start another Reform wing! Harper needs to get rid of Flaherty and replace him with a visionary, but he also needs that elusive majority. He's walking a tightrope fairly successfully, but there's something about him that causes Canadians to pull back (or am I just listening to the CBC too much?)"
***"Terrific piece that hit the bull's-eye on why Harper's government will end up failing . . .if you ever launch the 'Principled Conservative Party of Canada' you can count on my support."
***"How did this happen? It's almost like Stephen was kidnapped by Chretien and has been brainwashed. He now appears to be suffering from Stockholm Syndrome."
It's great to get all this feedback.
Hope the Tory "braintrust" is listening.
If the "braintrust" had been listening instead of polling and focus grouping, you wouldn't have had to write that article.
Are they listening? I hope so... I sure as heck wasn't doorknocking for hours upon hours last winter because I was too cozy in my heated house. They better have a better 2008 budget or a kick-ass election platform for me to bother next year.
The problem here for Tories is do they want to stick with their principles and remain in opposition for a long-time or compromise and win. I don't envy with they have to deal with.
Besides if you so strongly support conservative ideas, why not try and convince Canadians they are good ideas instead of lobbying the parties to adopt them. Once there is a market for conservative ideas, one party will adopt them, but until that exists, don't expect any party to adopt them.
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