The Shotgun Blog
Monday, November 17, 2008
Teach your children well
A result in Saturday's municipal elections in B.C. has a useful lesson, for those willing to heed it.
I was interested to see that a Jaimie McEvoy was elected to New Westminister city council. I'll bet dollars for doughnuts that this is the same Jaimie McEvoy that I knew back in my student newspaper days. Young McEvoy, a useful source of quotes for me, was active in in student politics at Douglas College and with the left-leaning Canadian Federation of Students. Wrong politics, I suspect, but I honestly do wish him well in his new job...if he is the same fellow, as I supect he is.
What may be of passing interest here is--where was the young conservative, of a similar age, skill set and background, to run against Mr. McEvoy? I hate to be thought as picking on my old acquaintance and source, and I certainly hold no grudge against him, but his win allows me to make a useful, but sad, point.
The Canadian left seems so often to be better at mentoring the young than the right is. The idealistic young person, with an interest in media, journalism or politics, finds it so easy to drift to the left when older conservatives find no time or resources to mentor them, recruit them or bring them along. I would love to be proved wrong, but it seemed to me during my university days that the only time that older figures in the right had a significant or ongoing interest in campus affairs was when they needed Tiny Tories during party leadership campaigns.
As many bloggers are pointing out these days, conservatives need to think about influencing all of culture, so that electoral defeats are not so crucial. Not thinking long term will have ongoing effects.
The following example is less hypothetical than you think it is. All the candidates for the new opening as managing editor for your newspaper will lean to the left in their thinking because the conservative students who toyed with the idea of writing for The Varsity or The McGill Daily 20 years ago (or even thought about starting a competing newspaper) weren't encouraged or given resources so that they could pursue a career in journalism. You could recast this example several different ways. The conservative version of Oliver Stone was never encouraged to go to film school. The Canadian Rush Limbaugh doesn't exist partly because he or she was never prodded to carry through with the idea, 20 years ago, to start a conservative current affairs program on his or her university radio station.
And Jaimie McEvoy had no opponent to give him a run for his money because, twenty or twenty five years ago, the young conservative who would have spent years (as Mr. McEvoy has) pursuing public issues and social concerns, was not helped or encouraged to think of the bigger world instead of a bigger corporate paycheque.
Think of the future. The left does.
Posted by Rick Hiebert on November 17, 2008 | Permalink
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Well Rick, I'm not so sure that the 'Tories' want to emulate the methods of infiltration of student unions that the left employs, such as feeding the student unions only 'left' research by way of union 'staff' some of whom may very well still be in circulation as 'researchers' since the inception of CFS, when all the 'researchers' were at least NDP if not communist.(on site observer)
As to where the educated 'Tory ' youth may be, here's a theory : Those youth educated by their parents to be upholders of personal freedom and religious freedoms, and to have traditional values may have by-passed the 'Tory' party . As a parent of eight of those youth, I know they are out there making a difference, and yes, they are an 'untapped' resource. No party lives up to their standards of 'conservative '. Certainly not the current incarnation of the 'Tory' party.
Who do you think is forming the prolife groups on campuses across the country, in spite of the opposition of CFS and the total ignorance of their own Prime Minister? (sorry, is that a tough issue?)
No Conservatives - no Conservative Youth. Duh.
Posted by: lwestin | 2008-11-17 9:35:41 PM
I agree wholeheartedly, and ps, you should all be mentoring me!
Posted by: James | 2008-11-17 10:31:23 PM
Excellent analysis. Unfortunately I have found that conservatives have a darker side, which can be described as selfishness and elitism.
Posted by: RS | 2008-11-18 1:21:19 AM
Real conservative values have been vague or absent for a very long time. And there's no way our socialist (unionized)education system is about to teach them. So it becomes doubly important for parents to teach their children at home and explain why this teaching is at odds with the "School Board".
Posted by: JC | 2008-11-18 6:35:44 AM
"...pursuing public issues and social concerns, was not helped or encouraged to think of the bigger world instead of a bigger corporate paycheque."
How would this result in a young "conservative"?
Posted by: Ray K. | 2008-11-18 6:43:36 AM
"...which can be described as selfishness and elitism."
You don't even know what those words mean. What could be more selfish than assuming you somehow know the answers to all the world's problems and then setting out to implement them.
Posted by: Ray K. | 2008-11-18 6:47:13 AM
While I don't disagree with what you say, I believe that part of the issue is that conservative/traditional families and individuals are out there working on the own little part of the world rather than attempting to propagandize. Ideally they are propagating age old truths instead of engaging in mere propaganda. Actions, hopefully, speak louder than words.
Posted by: Charles Nartin Cosgriff | 2008-11-18 9:03:26 AM
My take on your thoughtful question is that people (movers and shakers) generally want to be involved with a growing and dynamic enterprise. To a left liberal, that enterprise can naturally be governance, to a conservative, that enterprise shouldn't be governance but industry, academics, arts, science etc. How much appeal is there for a conservative to go into politics with all that entails, so that upon winning office you can oppose almost all that is put in front of you. Or, you can compromise your principles and become a Conservative and justify your existence as being less evil than the other guys. In the meantime you have taken yourself out of a normal career path, often permanently. In small town local government situations, the sacrifice is lessor and the opportunity to be involved in more bread and butter issues and management responsibilities, greater.
Posted by: John Chittick | 2008-11-18 11:16:44 AM
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