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Joined: 18 Nov 2008
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Location: Halifax, Nova Scotia

PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2008 2:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think it's dangerous for the movement to play too much of an exclusionary game with who ought to be in the party. I don't believe "big tent" is synonymous with being devoid of principle, or that centrist is either. I think you could make a rather good argument that the party is currently on track to make these dirty words with how they have behaved though. Most people do not tick off every box on the ideological checklist; there are sometimes varying views on varying issues. The trick as a party is to include the widest assortment of these beliefs, but don't fundamentally sell out what a party is. I thought we did a masterful job of this with the founding principles as a party but have really failed ever since.

To some conservatives it seems everyone who can't score 100% on the checklist of issues a conservative is "supposed" to believe in, then there is no place for them in the party and they are liberals. Often that these differences in opinion while, maybe contentious on an issue by issue basis does not erode the basis of the bigger picture.

I think some issues have been formed by various political parties that have nothing to do with the movement. Irrespective of my personal beliefs on the issues, I don't believe you need to be a war hawk to be conservative or a member of the Conservative party. I don't think you need to be unequivocal about support for whatever the state of Israel does to be conservative. I don't think that if you are a populist, you are automatically not a conservative etc etc. These are just a few examples, but I think the differences here have been shaped by political parties and the need for balance in the political system parties want to fill the void of being in support and vice versa. Conservatives today are typically free traders, and free marketers, but the classic conservative movement in North America looked more towards isolationism and protectionism. Is it acceptable to be a conservative in Canada today and be an isolationist? I will leave that for others to answer, I'm sure there are varying views anyway. Again, that's irrespective of my views. I will be the first to admit that I am not a pure ideological conservative. I am more of a moderate libertarian who has conservative personal views on a lot of issues, but I do not believe in legislating my morality on others and I think everyone should have inalienable rights that protect them from such things.

I don't think that the economic side of things should be glossed over either. The Liberals started to occupy more of a centrist view on the economy where they moved to the right. That said, that doesn't mean the Liberal party then has the monopoly on everything economically centrist and the conservatives should define itself as it is different in social policy and hard right economics. The Liberals moved a bit to us, and that is cute and all, but it doesn't make the Conservative party irrelevant to the centrist vote. We need to push back and claim the economic right of centre as solely ours, and I don't think as a party we have even done that yet for all the talk about us being a party of the pragmatic right of centre. Anyway, like I say, we shouldn't gloss over economic conservatives as red tories and wanna be liberals and what have you. If you do not believe in a generous welfare state that has a taxpayer funded solution for every problem, people do not have a home in Canadian politics besides the Conservative Party. I don't believe saying we're a big tent party that welcomes those people, even if they are a bit more socially liberal than you or I like, means we're the same as the Liberal Party or not sufficiently different. A case can be made that with the current regime that this is happening, but I don't think "big tent" should be a dirty phrase if approached correctly.

Joined: 02 Sep 2006
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Location: John Baird's riding...

PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2008 9:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well said.


Joined: 08 Dec 2008
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Location: Halifax

PostPosted: Thu Dec 11, 2008 7:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

very good analysis

as for the conservative/isolationist thing . . .
conservatives are generally in favor of free markets. wouldnt free trade now be one of those basic tenes of conervative economics?

Joined: 02 Sep 2006
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Location: Southern Alberta

PostPosted: Thu Dec 11, 2008 10:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree that it is now. You still see a few conservative folks here and there that don't get, or don't want to get, how global markets have turned protectionism from bad policy to impossible policy. Pretty much the entire Agriculture sector comes to mind - not individual producers, but the unaccountable pressure groups that have evolved to support 'supply management' in all it's forms.

Joined: 09 Oct 2008
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Location: Vaughan, ON

PostPosted: Fri Dec 12, 2008 12:25 am    Post subject: Re: What is a conservative? Reply with quote

Craig wrote:
There are many people on these boards who I would describe as very liberal (and not in the classical sense).

Some people seem to think that because they like tax cuts that they are conservative. Yet, on the vast majority of issues traditionally associated with conservatism, they are not only unsupportive but try their hardest not to be associated with any discussion related to them (i.e. abortion).

Do you mean like those who say they're conservative but don't believe in the right for people to be armed and defend themselves?

Joined: 09 Oct 2008
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Location: Vaughan, ON

PostPosted: Fri Dec 12, 2008 12:34 am    Post subject: Re: Conservative Reply with quote

gc wrote:
Habsrwfan wrote:
Of your four clearly stated issues here, the only one where Stephen Harper is likely to actually govern in a way that you don't like is on pot use.

Harper was also strongly opposed to SSM. I realize that the law is not going to change anytime soon, but if Harper had his way there would be no SSM. Same with unnecessary wars (e.g. Iraq). Even though I'm sure Harper has no plans for Canada to be in Iraq, if he was the PM at the time, we would be in Iraq. Finally, with abortion, I don't know where Harper stands. I suspect that he is probably personally opposed to abortion, but also realizes that is a very unpopular position in Canada and thus would never try to ban it for fear of voter backlash.

Partial ban on abortion isn't unpopular on Canada (say around 20-24 weeks). Britain's want their abortion limits lowered from 24-20 weeks and they're not that much different than Canada. The problem isn't with the people but with the media and special interest groups that would blow it WAY out of proportion. That's why we need a conservative media outlet and why we also need to eliminate CBC.

Joined: 08 Dec 2008
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 14, 2008 1:09 am    Post subject: Re: Conservative Reply with quote

[quote="Sean McAllister"][quote="gc"]
Sean McAllister wrote:

Okay, so you are a drug user, .

Why does everyone who thinks we are losing the drug war accussed of smoking pot ?
William F Buckley and a number of prominent American Conservatives support decriminalization. Are they pot smokers ?

Their point is this, you can't win a drug war. You have a market, you have suply. You take 3 drug offenders off the street, you have to lay off a police officer to pay the cost of keeping them in prison. By the massive criminalization effort, you have killed way more people than have ever died from the drugs themselves.

I think part of beng Conservative is being pragmatic. Recognizing your limits.
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