The Shotgun Blog
Tuesday, November 30, 2004
Harper remaking Conservative Party into Liberal Party II
In his Financial Post column today, Terence Corcoran criticizes the ineffective and principle-less leadership of Stephen Harper. Corcoran writes:
"Since then, the Conservatives have drifted perceptively to the left -- and ever further away from the core conservative values that once seemed to animate Mr. Harper and the party he had helped create.
After five months as leader of the opposition, Mr. Harper has stacked the party hierarchy with old Tory operatives and transformed himself into what from this distance looks like another red Tory. Would Joe Clark have said anything different on Quebec language issues than Mr. Harper said over the weekend?"
Corcoran catalogues other sins against the conservative cause, most notably becoming "major cheerleaders for the Liberals' massive cash transfer to the provinces," defending corporate welfare and backtracking on missile defense. Corcoran concludes:
"The Conservative party is abandoning conservative values as part of a deliberate strategy orchestrated by party insiders, including some of Mr. Harper's old brain trust. Disappointed at their election loss, hungry to be in on power, they have come to believe that victory will only come to a party that shifts toward the centre and beyond. They have polls to back their strategy, showing Canadians might not want less government, lower taxes and greater individual freedom.
If true, why bother? If Mr. Harper and his conservative supporters seek a new and better Canada, what will they do if they ever get into power? It's a hypothetical question, now more than ever."
So is anyone interested in beginning a draft Terry Corcoran for leader campaign?
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Sounds like Harpers transformation is complete. He has become a politician - one that wants to win the next election and form a government.
Posted by: KevinG | 2004-11-30 10:25:11 PM
The unfortunate truth is, to be elected in Canada you must be a liberal. It will take a very concerted effort for any conservative leader to get elected on a true conservative platform due to the influence of liberal media who are particularly biased during election campaigns. Once in office you have to deal with the Privy Council (aka the old guard) which by controling the bureaucracy can control the government's agenda.
Posted by: Darin | 2004-12-01 4:21:58 AM
Well, if we're buying it, maybe the rest of Canada is too. Here's hoping it's all smoke and mirrors.
Posted by: Occam's Carbuncle | 2004-12-01 7:11:45 AM
"Sounds like Harpers transformation is complete. He has become a politician - one that wants to win the next election and form a government." -
He's several years too late. The "branding" of Mr.Harper is a fait accompli.
You never get a second chance to make a few "first impressions".
It would take a PR genius, and millions upon millions of dollars to try and sell Canadians that Stephen Harper is in fact a "Red Tory" not a Cowboy, firewall talking, CRAP in disguise.
Peter Mackay, fresh face, fresh image, and aside from the small matter of betrayal to the red tories, has a much better shot at Convincing mainstream Canadians that he represents their values, although he is perhaps a little young.
If the Cons are going to try and rebrand themselves to get elected as "Liberal-lites", they need a different leader without all the baggage. A new leader could possible give a new momentum to the party. The National Post (only media in Canada to try and sell conservativism) has abandoned them and has plunged itself headlong, it would appear into a kind of Fabian-type Liberal Reform movement.
Posted by: mww | 2004-12-01 7:33:12 AM
I'd back Terry Corcoran any day. Maybe he could better withstand and over-ride the intimidation posed by powerful Red Tory influences. Then again, if elected, his primary concern may also become re-election...definitely the most "unhealthy" and seemingly contagious epidemic Canadians repeatedly face.
The combined corrupting forces of money and power seem to be beyond immunity. Signs of immunity to these corrupting forces and philosophical stability and unity are the primary elements voters look for in platforms and policies, in every politician and political party. The CPC has failed general voters and its own core supporters badly and is inevitably doomed, as a result. The CPC will go the way of the majority "red" Ontario PC's that federally-influencial Ontario voters have clearly indicated they hold in disdain. Too bad CPC strategists didn't correctly interpret the revealing scenarios leading up to and the results of the 2003 Ontario election, to provide themselves with a logical basis for deciding upon their future "direction". If Canadian voters are not presented with a truly Conservative federal party with the vast majority of its candidates and strategists being likewise philosophically aligned and united, the Liberals will keep winning elections by default. Ontario's next provincial election will prove or disprove the accuracy of this prediction - AGAIN.
Posted by: Freedom Starved Canadians | 2004-12-01 8:36:05 AM
It's a vicious circle we're in. The best and brightest people in Canada have three choices, and they are exercising their choice in droves:
1) Move to the USA.
2) Stay in Canada, but disengage from the corrupt socialist economy as much as possible - such as by investing overseas, vacationing overseas, and evading taxes in every possible legal and illegal way.
3) Join the dark side and concentrate on using the socialist system to line their pockets.
So only (perhaps) one third of the movers and shakers would be motivated to vote for a party which espouses economic freedom.
The average Joes and Jills are left holding the bag. But they don't think they're holding the bag, they think that there is some kind of moral superiority associated with being poor. And they don't understand the correlation between government interference and economic underperformace - the main theme of public education is that only a really Big Government could possibly bring you a high standard of living. All they can think of at election time is, "Who is going to keep funding my free health care?"
Take a look at Mexico if you want to know how bad things can get without any general enlightenment or political improvement being made.
Posted by: Justzumgai | 2004-12-01 11:29:07 AM
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