Saturday, September 22, 2007

Flanagan's Follies

As I noted a couple of postings ago, I will be debating Thomas Flanagan at a Fraser Institute event in a few weeks on whether or not the Conservative Party is heading in the right direction.

So it was with great interest that I read his column in today's Globe and Mail, in which Moses-like, he lays out 10 commandments the Conservatives must follow to achieve political success.

One of his commandments particularly struck me: "Canada is not yet a conservative or Conservative country. The party can't win if it veers too far to the right of the average voter."

Translation: To be successful the Conservative Party must betray its base, sacrifice its principles, scrap its values and act just like Liberals because the average voter is too attached to bloated government and high taxes.

My how times have changed.

At one time, both Flanagan and Stephen Harper would have defined political success as making Canada a better, freer place, where Canadians can keep more of the money they earn.

Now apparently success is defined simply as replacing Liberal big government, with Conservative big government.

To me that's not success, it's abject failure.

Believe me, I am looking forward to that debate!


Proudly Canuck said...

Or perhaps Mr. Flanagan recognises reality. I believe Mr. Harper's incremental approach will work.

Mr. Harris was very radical in Ontario, and I loved it. However, the reality is that the media and unions were able to exploit this.

This experience tempered my thinking. Long term sustainable changes towards conservatism is the best approach. In my humble opinion!

Anonymous said...

Rip 'em apart Gerry.

As an Atlantic Canadian conservative, I will be cheering!

Keep ripping the Liberals apart too!

Hell, rip all the Federal parties apart because they all seem the same to me!

Roy Eappen said...

I am sorry I will miss the debate. Maybe you can replay it at Civitas?
Try not to let too much blood fall on the floor. let the grits maul each other for a while

Kirk West said...


If anyone can rip Flanagan a new one, it's you.

You go girl!

zolton said...

Conservatives eating their own kin Oh la la!.
To bad David Orchard lost to Mackay more rational people, (my self included) might have voted for them.
However now it's NDP way to be!
The most honest and hard working members of parliament wear orange everyone knows that!

Iain G. Foulds said...

... Proudly Canuck... your approach is thoughtful and reasonable. However, the reality is that Mr. Harper is not even attempting any incremental fiscal efforts.
... Were he to demonstrate even the slightest momentum towards conservative economic principles, individuals like yourself, myself, and Mr. Nicholls would leap up in support.

Anonymous said...

Give Harper a majority and we'll see more fiscal conservativism..... but first he has to get there.

Anonymous said...

The last anonymous:

I really don't think that the "Conservative Party" can get there from here anymore -- essentially iain g. foulds is exactly correct in his assessment.

I agree, Zolton. Orchard seems like a much more principled guy, and that is coming fom a Nova Scotian.

Brison used to be a principled conservative too -- so did Casey -- so did Stronach. What's the one thing that they all had in common when they left the "Cons?"

Give you a hint:PM (and it's not Paul Martin)

Anonymous said...

Give Harper a majority and we'll see more fiscal conservativism..... but first he has to get there.
So basically lie? That will earn respect...

Harper and fiends have increased overall budgets and spending and done cuts to please some of the So-Con base....
Ever get the feeling you've been had?

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr. Flanagan:

As a good Atlantic Canadian conservative practising your advice of going for the jugular.

The only book that I want to read is "The Highjacking of the Canadian conservative Movement" by Gerry Nicholls because it takes a principled conservative to actually stand up for principle and pay the price for it.

OMG, since reading your piece in the Globe and Mail yesterday, I now know that we have all been had!
I only thought so before!

Let me ask. Did the Liberals at the G & M give you the hope to hang yourself with or was that a voluntary act to boost your book sales?

Of course, you know that your boy, Steve, is now also toast. He should likely start arranging plans for a fellowship at the American Enterprise Institute in the near future.

In the future, "stick to your knitting" as an academic, and leave the heavy lifting to the professionals.

Atlantic Canada and I will soon be over our "epidemic of grumpiness" on the issue of the Atlantic Accord. Unlike our instructions from Mr. Flaherty, we will not forget your party's betrayal of Newfoundland, Nova Scotia and Saskatchewan.

Take care, ?Canadian turd blossom, and don't forget to write!



PS. Here's two more reasons that I would never vote again for the CPC... Peter MacKay and Stephen Harper.

Tell your boy to smile more often if he wants to stay in politics!

Anonymous said...

Can someone please tell me? Are all political parties just a bunch of professional liars? Is Canada now doomed to just have the country run on snappy slogans that don't represent reality in any way?

Their spin doctors used to tell us that the CPC was a party that was going to control spending, reduce corruption in government, provide openness and accountability, better represent all regions and provide smaller government.

If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is because they did the exact opposite on all counts.

Now, the architect admits to us that most Canadians don't want that so we won't even try that right now.

The only people that don't want to try this are the bunch of fat cats on Bay Street and Montreal that are feeding off the public trough. Getting mighty fat, I might add.

What a hoax!

Albertans, please stop screaming at Atlantic Canadians. You have been duped too.

zolton said...

I know this is totally off topic but this has been bugging me.
Gerry, did the Western Standard get off far to lightly for showing the prophet Mohamed with a bomb on his head?
That was during the time we were sending troops into Afghanistan. To me I see almost no point to the cartoon but could see A negative reaction against it with an increase in western hostility.
And why? because of something so stupid.
To me this shows that the standard has very little clout and is fueled by antagonism rather then actual real idea's.

Anonymous said...

Canada will never BE a Conservative country, as long as we keep voting in fakes under the Conservative banner.

I'll be in your cheering section, Gerry. Pom poms and all!

Anonymous said...

So many pennies have dropped in the last 24 hours after reading Flanagan's manifesto that I could probably buy a medium double-double at Tim's despite the incredibly high taxes on it.

I loved that bit about "technological marvels" --

What's that Tom?

A computer and the internet!

You're not deluded like Al Gore in thinking that you also invented the internet, are you?

That will be a great way to beat the Russians to the oil under the North Pole! We'll e-mail them to death!

Time to shut off the computers, and get out and engage in some real, face-to-face dialogue every now and again...

Maybe even speak to a few Premiers -- I can think of 3 exactly.

Unknown said...

Gerry, it appears I may owe you an apology - zolton is now commenting here.

Anonymous said...

I think you may not agree with me Gerry, but I believe Harper and his gang are taking a huge page out of your own playbook. That being, they are hitting their opponents through guerrilla warfare incrementally. Picking their spots so to speak.

Believe it or not, the Taliban and Bin Laden have used this approach for years. It's the only way to counter an overpowering ethos or superpower, especially when you are a weak entity.

And judging by the slow downfall of the american economy and society(their primary target) since 911, it seems to be working (hear me out folks before you label me a quack).

Now I'm not condoning terrorism by any means, however, there are a lot of things conservatives can take from the "hit and run" approach figuritively. I guess what I am saying is that in order to change an ever present and overpowering ethos, you must attack it by stealth at its strong point.

The strong point in the Liberals case has always been its dictatorial leaders (i.e. Trudeau, Chretien, etc) So if you can keep weakening that part of the Liberal regime (the head) with guerrilla attacks (negative ads), then the body will soon follow.

In other words, if you oust one leader, you turn your strategy on the next one (and so on and so on). By the time you are through with 3 or 4 leaders, you most likely will have won a few elections and implemented some good policies. To the point where guerrilla tactics are no longer required and you have strengthened your own regime.

zolton said...

What you miss me Janet baby?
Hoohah it's good to feel loved.

BTW it took me a long time to get a post on here.

Unknown said...

zolton: how can I miss you when you never leave?

(OK, I promise I'm done now, Gerry. :) )