Monday, December 27, 2010

2010 a good year for Canadian conservatives

All things considered 2010 was a pretty good year for Canada’s conservative movement.

True, by American standards, conservatives here are still pretty quiet – we don’t yet, for instance, have the equivalent of a boat-rocking, Tea Party-style political operation – but in the past year we had our victories and more importantly we saw new voices emerging.

Here’s a quick rundown of conservative highlights in 2010:

  • Maxime Bernier
    In January 2010, former Conservative Cabinet minister, Maxime Bernier declared, “If we want conservative principles to win the battle, we have to defend them openly, with passion and with conviction.”  Then for the rest of the year he lived up to those words, travelling across the country promoting the ideas of smaller government and individual freedom. In the process he gave Canadian conservatives something they have not had for a long time: a politician we could actually cheer about for something other than his singing prowess.

  •  Rob Ford’s Victory
    Conventional wisdom confidently states the Greater Toronto Area is a death zone for conservatism. In fact, we were told the only way for a conservative to win in Toronto is to disregard principles and start talking like Karl Marx. But then Rob Ford came along and disregarded the conventional wisdom. He talked about reducing waste, reining in public sector union bosses and lowering taxes. And he won! Perhaps this will act a blueprint for other conservatives seeking Toronto votes. (Yes, I am looking at you Stephen Harper and Tim Hudak) As a side bonus, the Ford victory even resurrected the “left wing pinko”phrase, courtesy of Don Cherry.

  • Wild Rose Alliance Party
    In Alberta, the conservative/libertarian Wild Rose Alliance Party continued in 2010 to increase its popularity, proving even a dopey name can’t stop good ideas. If nothing else the WAP’s success shows how politics, like nature, abhors a vacuum. If a conservative party, like the Progressive Conservative Party of Alberta, ignores its base, then its base will move somewhere else. Again, this is a lesson for other political parties.

  • Reseau Liberte-Quebec
    The Reseau Liberte-Quebec, or to use its English name, the Quebec Freedom Network, is a brand new organization dedicated to promoting the ideas of “individual responsibility, free markets and personal choice” in Quebec. And although this group is still small, it’s already punching well above its weight, garnering tremendous media attention for its cause. What’s really impressive about the Network, however, is its goal of putting principle ahead of politics. It does not wish to become a political party and win elections. Rather it wants to win the war of ideas. And that’s the battle that really counts.

  • New Conservative Network
    One of the hot topics in 2010 was the emergence of Sun News, a new conservative-oriented network that would act as a counterweight to all the left-wing propaganda that emanates from other mainstream media. If Sun News does indeed surface in 2011 as conservative-friendly network, this would be a true breakthrough for the movement. In the US, media personalities like Glen Beck, Rush Limbaugh and Bill O’Reilly have helped to shape American conservatism. The same could happen here. Never underestimate the power of TV when it comes to getting out a message.

So as 2010 draws to a close, Canadian conservatives have reason for optimism.

But we have many challenges ahead and still face many roadblocks, not the least of which is a nominally conservative federal government that is taking the country in the wrong direction at least when it comes to fiscal matters.

Let’s hope conservatives in 2011 keep pushing to make Canada a freer and better country.


Anonymous said...

Another $55 billion deficit. From my children's perspective this year was a disaster. Harper is sticking them with a massive debt. The number of politcal appointees sent to various boards and the senate makes a mockery of Harper's promises to not be like past Liberal and Conservative governments. That was just stuff he said to get votes. He is no different that Chretien or Mulroney.

The Guergis affair should worry all partisan tories. Why was she punted? The leader has never explained himself and she seems to have been unjustly screwed.

Democracy took a step backwards this year.

bertie said...

Shame on you for your singing comment Nicholls.If someone cannot sing at a party without some ass holes making remarks like that it is a sad world we live in..And anonymous we were in a recession and not one thing you or anyone in this country does today is going to help your children.You look after them now and set up an account for them in the future,then they look after themselves like the rest of us had to do.Deficits don,t cost you anything except if you live in Ontario and the force each individual to pay the Hydro debt from past years.Maybe you are the disaster if you cant figure out we were in a recession and the country had to go into deficit like all other countries in the world.So don,t spew your Liberal BS and shame on you for trying to make us feel sorry for your kids future.

Anonymous said...

i look forward to the day when so called conservative values are put in effect. in my life not one government of any party has reduced spending, the size of government or promoted individual freedom. as the only living conservative in canada i think i will not live to see to see any rollback in size or power of government. quite theopposite i would think.

Anonymous said...

A good post Gerry and we underestimate the power of old TV technology. That’s why the Liberals are terrified that when we get Sun TV able to present a visual rebuttal to Liberal Anonymous above( ie a replay of the Coalition of the Chilling calling for billions in stimulous) then the meltdown of progressivism will accelerate.

What the conservative movement has been missing in the battle of ideas is the images to support them because voters need images to remember and keep track of the issues.


Anonymous said...

Bertie, you don't know what you are talking about if you don't think that deficits harm future generations. If you are correct then why does Harper stop at $55 billion for the deficit? He should have a trillion dollar deficit if there is no downside for future generations. Of cousre, debt harms a country. Tories logic is brokn.

AToryNoMore said...

It maybe a good year for conservatives, but it was a bad year for taxpayers.

Conservative government debt, debt and more debt.

In the past conservatives called federal tax surpluses over taxation.

So what do these so called, on again, off again, conservatives call their new found federal defecits?

Conservatives have become big government supporters and big massive spending and defecit lovers.

Anonymous said...

I wish I had your optimism but I think we're headed nowhere until the CPC loses an election. I'm a little disturbed at your list of "Glen Beck, Rush Limbaugh and Bill O’Reilly". Geez I really hope we can do better than these blowhards and weirdos.