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Jay Currie

One Damn Thing After Another

12/15/2004

Hopping into the Pot

The answer--and it is one which I think Harper has identified--is that the CPC must appear as minimally ideological as possible. It means we have to find the centre, and position ourselves just to the right of it. Unprincipled? Hardly. It has to do with accepting the need for incremental change. Consider the "advances" which the left have managed in the last 50 years: the installation of a rigid medical socialism; the evisceration of the military; the institution of a blind anti-American foreign policy; etc etc. If any one of those things had been put on the ballot in 1950, as a stark choice, it would have been rejected. But by heating the water slowly, the Liberal/NDP/media coalition has proven very successful in boiling the Canadian frog.

Harper has to turn the temperature down slowly, so slowly, because when he shows up with a tray of ice cubes the voters say No Thanks.
the monger
The ever readable doctor seems to want the Tories to hide their agenda for just one more election and then, when the time is right, spring the trap.

The problem with this is not its intellectual dishonesty - though that is obvious - but rather the fact the Liberals will beat the "hidden agenda" theme to death and the Tories will have no comeback because they will know the accusation is true. The Monger's analysis that the Ontario and Atlantic voters are wedded to the status quo is right so far as it goes; but the fact is that they have never been presented with an articulated choice.

The real tragedy is that the Tories seem intent, at least on the matter of SSM, on providing the Grits with lots of ammunition. Harper's desire to present ammendments to the bill will simply re-enforce the perception that the Tories are incapable of supporting equal rights.

Equal rights should not be a left issue. If anything, an articulate position about personal rights, including property rights, should form the intellectual basis of the Conservative appeal to voters. But that would mean actually confronting the socons and telling them to reserve their religious positions for Church and the conduct of their personal rather than political lives.

Fat chance.