Tuesday, May 17, 2005

A Red Tory defects

Goodbye and good riddance to another Red Tory.

Was the Stronach defection necessary? Belinda said today that she was concerned particularly with keeping the multi-billion dollar municipal infrastructure provisions of the liberal budget. Stronach also said she was uncomfortable with direction Conservative leader Stephen Harper has lately taken the party. What’s new? Harper has said the conservatives will honor the municipal infrastructure deal. Stronach can hardly complain that Harper repeatedly pledged to honor the various provincial bribes gift-horses trotted out over these past months by a frantic Paul Martin.

I can understand a politician crossing the floor because their party had changed in some way that violated his/her convictions. But Belinda’'s charge that Harper is taking the CPC in a new direction is bullshit. Paul Martin was quoted saying that “We both felt Belinda would be more comfortable serving the Liberals from within their caucus. (...as opposed to serving them from within the CPC?)” Paul Martin has been bribing the nation like mad these past few weeks. For Belinda, he’s coughed up the Human Resources Cabinet post.

For decades The Progressive Conservatives were dominated by their progressive or ‘Red Tory’ elements. Time and time again, through two and a quarter successive PC governments (two terms for Brian and two bits for Kim) ‘conservative’ Conservatives were disappointed by liberal-seeming tax and spend policies of the Red Tories at the helm. Indeed, there seemed to be little difference between the policies of the Liberal Party of Canada and the old Progressive Conservative Party. PC budget after PC budget saw increased taxation, deficit spending, and the introduction of tax code hostile to the family.
The conservative movement has always felt the tension between the so-called social conservatives and the fiscal conservatives. While social conservatives are pretty well always fiscal conservatives, many fiscal conservatives have been known to have pretty Liberal views about social issues. Preston Manning and Stockwell Day were socially and fiscally conservative. Joe Clark wasn’'t. This tension was somewhat relieved during the 1990’s with the development of the Reform party, whose many founding members believed the old Progressive Conservatives were too damn progressive, and not conservative enough.

During the amalgamation of the Progressive Conservatives and the Canadian Alliance/Reform parties last year, I personally was excited by the first opportunity in decades to form a conservative party that was truly conservative. Yet there was the sentiment from the left that it was imperative progressive-thinking conservatives not abandon the new Conservative Party of Canada. What bothered me most, were the blatant announcements in the Canadian MSM that the social conservatives should not be allowed to gain control of the CPC.

In the subsequent CPC leadership race, a telling clue into her politics was how quickly newcomer Belinda Stronach became a media darling and favorite of the CBC. Particular attention was paid to her liberal attitudes towards homosexual marriage, child care, and the family.

I'll say it again. Goodbye, and good riddance.

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