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Jay Currie

One Damn Thing After Another

7/13/2004

Grace on the Conservatives on the Radio

Implicit in the Post's analysis is the assertion that conservatism has been tried and has failed at the ballot box. This is simply not true. Canada has never had a modern conservative party. From 1967 until their demise, the Progressive Conservatives were led by classic me-too leaders: Robert Stanfield, Joe Clark, Brian Mulroney, Kim Campbell, Jean Charest, Peter MacKay. Preston Manning explicitly disavowed the label "conservative." And while Stockwell Day won the leadership of the Alliance by campaigning to the right, once elected, he "moderated" madly, just like Stephen Harper.

It is pointless to claim that Canada is a "socially liberal nation" when social liberalism is the only flavour our political parties are prepared to offer. Canada is like an ice cream stand that offers only vanilla. Of course, if you offer only one flavour, 100 per cent of your customers will be forced to choose it. Those, however, who prefer chocolate or strawberry are out of luck.
cbc
Kevin Grace gets it exactly right although I suspect his version and my version of a real Conservative party are more than a little different. The point is that neither of us want to see a Conservative party which simply embraces the Trudeaupian legacy with the caevet that the Tories would manage the whole thing better.

Rushing to the middle has not worked, is not working and will not work. It may get the Conservatives elected but only as a means of giving the Liberals time to rest and regroup.

The sad part is that the Conservatives are so hungry for power that they seem willing to ditch any principle or person who might limit their chances. That hunger is for the power and not for what the power would allow them to do. Because, as they sadly demonstated this last time out, they have not a clue about what they would do if they were elected. This needs to change.