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Thursday, February 24, 2005

February 23, Conservatism RIP

Winnipeg Sun columnist Tom Brodbeck says that yesterday's budget and Stephen Harper's description of it as addressing Conservative priorities is proof that conservatism is dead in Canada. No mainstream Canadian party now stands for lower taxes and less spending. As Brodbeck says, where's the Reform Party and Preston Manning when you need them?

Posted by Paul Tuns on February 24, 2005 in Canadian Politics | Permalink


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The Reform Party ceased to exist, at Mr. Manning's hand, in 2000, because he wanted to win. The whole idea of the Canadian Alliance and the CPC merger was to reunite with the Progressive Conservatives and win in a future election. Stephen Harper (the new, centrist version) is probably the most conservative leader a potential governing party could have in Canada. Canada is frankly not a conservative enough country to have more. We can have a temporizing centre-right government someday, or we can have a purist right wing NDP. But we can't have both.

Posted by: Joe McCartney | 2005-02-24 7:19:48 AM

The increased non-military spending and paltry tax cuts are worrisome, but otherwise, it sounds like this budget was written by the Conservatives. The Liberals have taken most of their ideas from the Conservatives on this one.

Posted by: ChrisR | 2005-02-24 7:43:10 AM

Paul Martin would love to have Preston Manning around; after all, he's the guy who helped give Jean Chretien three successive majorities.

Posted by: Norman Spector | 2005-02-24 8:52:54 AM

I think Canada is more conservative than we realize and IS conservative enough to support a right-of-centre government.

We just have to stop believing what the CBC tells us. How do we get rid of them anyway?

Posted by: Matt | 2005-02-24 8:56:20 AM

Here's the Conservative amendment:

Office of the
Leader of the Opposition

Bureau du
chef de l’opposition

February 24, 2005

Text of Stephen Harper’s Amendment to the Federal Budget

OTTAWA – Conservative leader and Leader of the Official Opposition Stephen Harper today proposed amendments to the federal budget in the House of Commons. Mr. Harper moved that the motion be amended by adding after the word -government- the following;

“ -but however regrets that the budget does not reflect conservative principles since it fails to immediately implement the proposed tax reductions for Canadians; proposes spending to implement the fatally flawed Kyoto Accord instead of addressing real environmental issues; contemplates massive spending on a bureaucratic childcare program instead of delivering childcare dollars directly to parents; makes no commitment to the Agriculture sector and rural Canada to provide aid at a time when Canada’s regions need it most; does not eliminate the wasteful spending on the long-gun registry; does not immediately provide adequate resources for Canada’s military, so that our armed forces can become fully combat-capable as well as equipped for peacekeeping duties; continues to place billions of dollars in foundations and trusts contrary to the express recommendations of the Auditor General and indulges in a massive increase in bureaucratic spending.”

- 30 -

For information: Carolyn Stewart Olsen, Press Secretary to Stephen Harper (613) 297-9479

Posted by: Norman Spector | 2005-02-24 9:06:50 AM

I think Joe McCartney's post is very astute. The question is - how conservative could Canada be?

It seems to be the case that conservatism, with its focus on enabling entrepreneurship, expanding business, and promoting individualism, functions within a nation that, let's be realistic, has an important role both within its own economy and on the world scene.

Canada's economy rests on the USA; Canada need not lift a finger in developing competitive products. On the world scene, Canada is essentially irrelevant. Therefore, Canada doesn't need a strong population, dynamic individual enterprise etc. It can lapse into a socialist fog of comfort..and preach about its 'more civilized ideology' - while leaving the hard work to those countries which must promote conservative values. The USA, Australia, the UK, Japan...etc.

Now - if Canadians were ever needed, both within their own country, to develop world-class economic products, cutting-edge research and innovation - and to serve as agents, both within war and peace....then, we'd likely see a mov't to conservative values.

Remember, conservative values are not about 'The Old Way 200 years ago' but about genuine liberalism - the liberalism that is the opposite of our socialist Liberal Nanny-State Party, the liberalism focused around the strength and roles of individuals....rather than bureaucratically bloated gov't.

Posted by: ET | 2005-02-24 10:01:03 AM

A tax cut of 31 cents a week is =not= going to steal any thunder from the Conservative party.

We have not had any noticeable tax relief since at least pre-1993. Even the "big" cuts of 2000 were mostly smoke and mirrors.

Posted by: Joel | 2005-02-24 10:01:05 AM

The irony is that in order to "conserve" our values we must change with the world. The Liberals are all about using collectivism to preserve the status quo.
So it’s counter-intuitive that true blue Conservatives actually want some radical change to conserve the ideal of individualism , while the Liberals preserve the status quo and can just plod along in our rut because we have the luxury of the USA being next door instead of say- Pakistan.

A good read - “ where have all the Tories gone” over at …


The money line : You can't out Liberal a Liberal, they've been doing it too long

Posted by: nomdenet | 2005-02-24 10:57:42 AM

The editoiral in the Edmonton Sun isn't kind


Posted by: Little Birdie | 2005-02-24 11:01:30 AM

Where have all the conservatives gone?


Ernest Manning and George Grant: Who is the Real Conservative?

Posted by: maz2 | 2005-02-24 11:04:21 AM

Conservative is a better form of government than left wing Liberalism. Conservative is: democracy, lower taxes, individual freedom rather than group freedom, respectful of traditions. Liberalism is ideology driven. The Liberal new finance budget-most of the good parts come later about 4 to 5 years down the road by than the budget will probably change. This budget is a Liberal vote buying tactic.

Posted by: Larry | 2005-02-24 2:35:14 PM

What is it with the whine from the right that bemoans the lack of true blue ideologues in the Conservative Party? This is lockstep with the leftist scolding from the old Wafflers in the NDP who haven't seen a true socialist in their party since they got tenure in 1974.

Stephen Harper is leading a real grown up political party this time folks and the children of 1970 might as well get used to the paternalism inherent in that reality.

Posted by: Barry Stagg | 2005-02-26 7:21:11 AM

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