Monday, December 27, 2010

Conservatives Don't Know What They Are

Conservatives don't know what they are, and they're not even looking.

Where the Federal Liberal Party has held numerous policy conventions, where their leader has traveled the country to hear ideas from ordinary Canadians, where they themselves have called for a redefining of Liberalism for the 21st century, the Conservatives have done everything to ignore conservatism. If the Conservatives are in power, their principles and ideals are not.

For the last four years Stephen Harper has had the opportunity to introduce his conservatism to Canada, if we as Canadians are to judge him and his government, by his own ideology, he fails. Where is smaller government? Where is lower taxes and decreased spending? Where is social reform? Where is the mastery of foreign affairs? The answer lies with the abandoned principles of the Conservative Party.

The policies that have been advanced by this government lack any solid foundation in platform or ideology. Huge amounts of foreign aid being spent while creating the largest deficit in Canadian history does not correspond to any adaptation of conservatism.

And though calling for Senate reform is a conservative policy, doing so while only filling it with unqualified highly partisan Senators only worsens the upper chamber and wastes taxpayer money. Accountability and transparency are conservative values, and though this government has passed bills to some effect they have also taken steps to limit and reduce those very same values.

Conservatives may seek refuge, claiming that their ideology still exists, by pointing to the fact that they have put forth policies that are disagreeable to the Liberal Party, the NDP, the Bloc, and a sizeable portion of the Canadian public, however that does not make this government conservative. The opposition parties do not disagree with this government because they are conservative policies, the opposition parties disagree with this government because they are bad policies. Bad policies that lack any principled philosophy.

The Liberal Party may be criticized for not offering substantial policy alternatives, but they are at least generating ideas. And the policies they do offer, such as pension reform and national childcare are derived from the liberal principles of empowering individuals to act and to better our country. The Conservative Party, on the other hand, clearly does not know what they are, and they're not even looking.

23 comments:

Glenn said...

Conservatives don't know what they are, and they're not even looking.

This post is a joke on so many levels, it is supremely difficult to know where to even start.

kirbycairo said...

contemporary conservatives have demonstrated time and again that they have little in the way of political ideology short of undermining and shutting down discourse and expending most of their energy attacking their perceived opponents.

All that Harper has done has been to demonstrate that he is a friend of big business and an enemy of democracy. This could, of course, be said to constitute a political ideology but it is certainly not one that is in any way visionary of a better society.

thescottross.blogspot.com said...

Glenn, you could merely point out what this Conservative Party stands for... But I agree that would be supremely difficult.

Leeky Sweek said...

Harper may be many things but he's not and "enemy of democracy." It's silly statements like that that explain why the Liberals are languishing in the polls.

thescottross.blogspot.com said...

Leeky, you're probably right. I've often held that millions of Canadians read my blog's comment section and that every commenter is obviously a Liberal. Why wouldn't Canadians change their vote because of comments made on my blog, I know I would.

kirbycairo said...

Well Leeky Sweek - If you don't understand that Harper is an enemy of democracy then you a) are naive b) uninformed c) lack political savvy.

Harper has prorogued parliament to avoid votes, created a handbook for Committee chairs to shut down committee debate, completely ignored majority votes in the House, undercut and destroyed Freedom of Information (what most global commentators say is the most important element in contemporary democracy), put a stop to programs like the Court Challenges Program which are intended to protect average citizens from the arbitrary power of government.

And the list could go on. It doesn't take a PhD in Political Science to see what is going on here. It only requires a little objective observation, a picture of the history of Western Democracies, and an abandonment of partisanship.

Unfortunately if you actually know anything about the history of Democracy you would know that people have a history of ignoring attacks on democracy until it is too late. Wake up.

CanadianSense said...

I disagree, our PM and his team understand and have learned the lessons from the last Liberal government. They have outplayed the opposition in holding and gaining support through elections.

They are not repeating the scandals of the previous government. They have adopted mushy big spending budgets as demanded by the opposition restoring the deep cuts in Health, Education and Social Services.

They are spending money to fix the neglected army and roads and bridges. Investments in research has never been higher.
They appear to be centrists pissing off the "purists" fiscal conservatives and picking up the middle. Who want a smaller conservative government.

Look at Kevin Page Reports where majority of spending has taken place. No brainer. Undoing Liberal neglect. No fancy round tables meeting required money is flowing from Fed to provinces.

The Liberals have tacked left and are fighting for their survival adopting the corporate tax rates, adding carbon taxes, banning tanker traffic in the north, pandering to Quebec in blocking democratic reform by adding seats out West and Ontario.

Clearly the Conservatives move to mushy centre forced the Liberals to tack left with the NDP Bill C 311 and many other policies.

The problem for the Liberals is after seven of Liberals in BC,ON and QC the voters are not buying the excuses.

Europe, US and Australia has shifted to the right.

Ask Rob Ford or Julian Fantino about the Big Red Machine.

Ignatieff is now ask Rob Ford voters to believe in him.

KC you should be asking Dalton/Miller/Blair what happened in Toronto.
Same with Quebec City and UBC. Liberals don't have clean hands with use of Police Force.
The RCMP-OPP were not involved in the actions in Toronto and have distanced themselves.
The detention/arrests did not take place at Winter Olympics or G8 in Huntsville.

In both cases Liberals invoked War Measures Act or used excessive force.

A 17 day break to change Senate chairs and March break cancellation demonstrated no threat took place. Just another example of a surgical tactical strike in removing the Liberal roadblocks.

thescottross.blogspot.com said...

CanadianSense, always the succinct one. Would you care to outline some principles underlying this Conservative government? They don't have to be conservative principles, I don't want to give you an impossible task.

CanadianSense said...

It is a strawman. I am not claiming the current government to be some right wing Republican Evangelical theocracy as depicted on Lib blogs.

I have said they are pragmatic. (Full stop)

The lesson from Jean-Paul in gutting the social contract in the 90s was learned. Liberals were NOT punished at the polls for those cuts.

Scott I owe you an apology in comparing you to Scott Tribe.

I have called my PM the pretzel. Just when you think you know what he will do, Stephen does the opposite.

I want a smaller government and less spending. I don't feel the CBC is vital for my culture. Many programs could be cut.
I prefer a more open government.
Internal Board of Economy, Senate, MP etc 100% expenses including their EDA's.

I am NOT an idealist. I have voted for the best party to lead that does not abuse the taxpayer.

The Liberals in the 1990's were not the PET Liberals of the 1970's.

It appears in 2010 the Liberals are torn between the Pierre vs Martin Liberalism.

thescottross.blogspot.com said...

CanadianSense are you suggesting pragmatism is at odds with conservative principles, that you can't hold principles and be pragmatic at the same time? If so I disagree. Pragmatism is often a cover for laziness in fighting for what you believe in or making real change. Smaller government is entirely possible, all the Conservatives have to do is try, but they haven't.

Fred from BC said...

thescottross.blogspot.com said...

Leeky, you're probably right. I've often held that millions of Canadians read my blog's comment section and that every commenter is obviously a Liberal. Why wouldn't Canadians change their vote because of comments made on my blog, I know I would.

Hilarious as usual, Scott.

It's hardly his or anyone else's fault that you made an inane, unsupportable accusation based on nothing other than tired old partisanship. You then got slapped down for it, now you attempt to save face with your usual sarcastic response (gee, what else is new?).

(IOW, don't post childish crap if you want everyone to treat you with respect, Scott...)

But while I have your attention, how about you listing a few of those Liberal 'principles' for us? No?

CanadianSense said...

This is NOT about left vs right.

I also don't buy into the principles vs unprincipled party talking points.

Voters decide when the Government is too arrogant, too corrupt, too ineffective.

The MSM, Ottawa bubble pundits, War room don't represent the reality.

We don't buy the BS from all parties. Principles are you kidding me?

CanadianSense said...

Voters are becoming more cynical and we are tuning out the noise from all parties?

or are they not unhappy given the global meltdown in Europe riots bank failures and higher unemployment in the US.

When was the last time we had a higher dollar and lower unemployment rate with our largest trading partner United States?

thescottross.blogspot.com said...

Fred I'm sorry, I lost my telepathic powers in a poker game, when you make a statement such as "an inane, unsupportable accusation based on nothing other than tired old partisanship." can you please be good enough to tell everyone what you're talking about?

Seriousness is given to serious responses. If you receive sarcasm from me it says something about your comment, and besides I like giving trolls something to read.

As I've mentioned on a previous Christy Clark post, I'm not going to start a philosophical discussion in a comments section about what Liberalism is and what its principles are. You can review that earlier post to verify.

thescottross.blogspot.com said...

CanadianSense, what was a long comment you made into two brief ones, always after brevity my good man.

CanadianSense, who needs to talk about principles? Everyone.

CanadianSense said...

Scott you are asking the wrong questions.

Why is the political party I support unable to improve it's standing with the public since losing power in 2006?

How are the Conservatives able to consistently beat us in raising funds and finding donors since 2004?

CPC have picked up 2 seats from Bloc since winning a minority. Under Ignatieff Liberals are 1/7. WPG North from 3rd to first with a collapse of the NDP support.

Why is Ignatieff looking to Rob Ford voters as proof his message is working?

Are Liberals no longer a credible alternative?

Leeky Sweek said...

Scott, my comment was more to emphasize the endemic mindset of the Liberal party as a whole, which is one of pathos and perpetual negativity. If you wish to take credit for the entire Liberal party politic, then feel free. Just make sure to have Ignatieff check with you first before he makes any more policy statements, just so you Libs can agree on everything.

If you want to talk about true "enemies of democracy," then try Chavez, Kin Jong-Il, or Mugabe. Your statement and examples do nothing but make you look silly.

WesternGrit said...

Canadian "Sense"... Are you bipolar?

I don't ask this out of any sort of malice (and apologies to my bipolar friends), but I find it very odd that you swing between claiming "your party" has been down in the dumps since 2006 (the Liberals), and claiming Harper as your PM ("my PM")...

Your act of pretending that you are somehow an old Liberal "supporter" who left the fold is even too "creative" for your swings back and forth between your tormented worlds...

WesternGrit said...

... Oh, and Conservatives have reduced research funding and pissed off the scientific community by appointing evolution-deniers all over the bureaucracy. The Conservative idea of "education funding" is supporting pseudo-educational institutions like Trinity Western... "University"...

CanadianSense said...

CG,

Why would I take it as an offence from a Liberal being called mental?

It is the norm. Scott asks why the CPC have not followed the example of the Liberals. (I think he is asking the wrong question)

Did IBM follow Wang? Did Walmart follow Eatons?

My PM was also Jean Chretien. I have only one PM and the voters decide, I am funny like that.

I refer to my PM with pride as I do my country. I don't wish our PM or Canada to fail at home or abroad. It seems some people have a difficult time like yourself with treating people with respect because they don't share your ideology.

I am on the record of stating the left are intolerant and violent. You can look at Greece-England-Italy to see the socialist-communists-anarchists doing property damage.

In Toronto it was not right wing bible wavers torching police cars and smashing windows. It was the left.

Given all the issues the opposition has raised since 2004 have the Liberals benefited or lost seats to other parties?

CG why do nearly half of Liberal voters want to replace Ignatieff as leader?

One final note CG please keep MOCKING people of faith in the being allowed to participate in public. It only helps reinforces why so many have left your party.

In 2000 the Liberals had the Catholic vote locked up with visible minorities.
Why do you think in 2008 the Liberals suffered the worst defeat in popular support since Confederation?

The Mound of Sound said...

I suppose we can forgive the Conservatives their confusion when what is supposed to be "our" side has chosen to forget what they are supposed to be. Now Scott, I know you're too young to understand, but being a Liberal once meant something beyond being to the left of a Conservative. That you consider the supposed British Columbia Liberals a liberal party suggests it is you who fails to grasp what liberals are. It's curious we have so many who can poke holes in Tory failings yet be oblivious to the shortcomings of our own side - the stuff that ultimately matters. I guess that explains the LPC's stellar non-performance with the Canadian public.

thescottross.blogspot.com said...

Mound of Sound, you're very judgemental.

In the future please listen instead of talking.

Fred from BC said...

thescottross.blogspot.com said...

Seriousness is given to serious responses. If you receive sarcasm from me it says something about your comment, and besides I like giving trolls something to read.


(sigh...)


Here's the original comment:

Leeky Sweek said...

Harper may be many things but he's not and "enemy of democracy." It's silly statements like that that explain why the Liberals are languishing in the polls.

...and your response:

thescottross.blogspot.com said...

Leeky, you're probably right. I've often held that millions of Canadians read my blog's comment section and that every commenter is obviously a Liberal. Why wouldn't Canadians change their vote because of comments made on my blog, I know I would.


It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that when he was referred to "silly statements like that", he was speaking of similar comments EVERYWHERE (not just on your little blog here, Scott). So your flippant "seriousness is given to serious responses" is really pretty hilarious. You either deliberately evaded his point, or you really are dumb enough that you couldn't grasp it...