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Craig
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 29, 2008 7:02 pm    Post subject: What is a conservative? Reply with quote

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).

Is conservatism in Canada just another clique for politically motivated people to socialize and gain power? Or are there any meaningful issues that distinguish it from the liberals?
Riley W





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PostPosted: Tue Jul 29, 2008 7:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Conservatism, to me, means liberty and freedom in all aspects of our lives.

Meaning we should be free from the shackles over excessive taxation
Meaning we should be free from the red tape and over-regulation of big government
[b]Meaning we should be free from rigid morals, and all be treated equal regardless of our unchosen qualities (unchosen qualities = race, gender, sexual orientation, etc.)

That is how I define my personal political philosophy. Freedom and Liberty in all aspects of our lives. Technically that means I am 'socially liberal', but I still consider myself a conservative.
Craig
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 29, 2008 8:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Riley W wrote:
(unchosen qualities = race, gender, sexual orientation, etc.)


LOL - but we won't get into that in this thread.
Cool Blue





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PostPosted: Tue Jul 29, 2008 8:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is a tough one because there are so many definitions of what a conservative that you never get anybody to agree.

I think the safest you can say is that a conservative, in the Canadian context is somebody who is "right-wing" (however you define that) and/or supports the Conservative party.

There are too many sub-groups of Canadian conservatives, who are often ideologically opposed. In fact, I would say that most Canadian "conservatives" today are actually ideologically liberals in the classical sense.

Conservative used to mean Red-Toryism however starting in the 60's that ideology started dying off being replaced by socialism (specifically "third-way" socialism with an emphasis on being fiscally responsible). During this period, the Liberals who could have been described as right-wing previously, moved left. (this trend seems to have missed the east coast however where the Liberal parties still seem to be more right-wing than the PCs and where the PCs are still dominated by Red Tories)

This left supporters of classical liberalism with no party representing them until arguably Mulroney appeared. However even then in the infamous "Mulroney coalition" they were only a junior partner and certainly not represented in the higher levels of the party.

Finally now with Harper and and the merged CPC, I think supporters of classical liberalism are very well represented in the party and possibly even have control of it through the grassroots and party structure. (this is what the real conflict of the Harper VS Belinda leadership race was about: Modern Conservatism/classical liberalism VS Traditional conservatism/Red Toryism for control of the party)
mrsocko





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PostPosted: Tue Jul 29, 2008 9:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Conservatism to me means to look to the past. It means looking to the original goals of government. In the beginning government was about defence, borders, trade and citizenship. To be a conservative I think you must want to reign in government to some degree at least as it relates to the size of governemnt now.

Looking to the past also means looking at our roots and what made us a strong growing country. Morality based on our Christian heritage is essential to Conservatism in Canada. This means Canadian CHRISTIANITY not the more dogmatic and reactionary American version.

Harper and the boys show their true Conservatism when they look to the heritage of our Country and show respect for the division of powers for each level of government.

Quote:
Conservatism, to me, means liberty and freedom in all aspects of our lives.


Maybe Mac could comment but isn't that more Libertarianism than Conservativism.
SFrank85





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PostPosted: Tue Jul 29, 2008 10:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mr. Socko is right on the money. A conservative is someone who respects and pays tribute to our founding principles... Peace, Order and Good Government. A conservative will respect the rule of law, and who looks to our traditions for inspiration. A conservative will respect and follow our religious traditions, and not dismiss it as being a "bigoted" view.

An Edmund Burke conservative who believes that slow change, not anti-change, is how best our societies can grow and prosper. However radical change leads to violence (like the French Revolution, Communism/Socialism, the First World War, Fascism, and Nazism). Edmund Burke was right about how radical change leads to violence.
FF_Canuck





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PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2008 12:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A very interesting question, worth discussing once in a while. By the strictest partisan definition, I am a Conservative by virtue of my CPC membership card. Ideologically, I might be better described as a classical liberal, libertarian, or minarchist - while my individual 'social' morals are conservative, I do not believe in using the power of the state to make others live by them.

There's a balance to be had between ideological purity and inclusiveness, and I think the question of where that point is, is the factor behind a lot debates here and within the CPC. Since those of us on the right tend to be more more individualist than the collectivist left, we also tend to be more fractious about our differences.
FascistLibertarian





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PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2008 9:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Harper is more pragmatic than ideologically conservative.
Anyways most liberals were against abortion until relatively recently.
And the Church didnt condem abortion for over 90% of its existence.
":{
plantguy





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PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2008 10:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Are you referring to conservatives or Conservatives? If you are suggesting membership in the party requires bona fides as an acceptable conservative who then defines acceptable credentials? A national party must be a big tent, with a mix of fiscal and social conservatives to succeed. Any party that confines itself to a narrow ideological group is destined to become a fringe player
Craig
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2008 12:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

plantguy wrote:
Are you referring to conservatives or Conservatives? If you are suggesting membership in the party requires bona fides as an acceptable conservative who then defines acceptable credentials? A national party must be a big tent, with a mix of fiscal and social conservatives to succeed. Any party that confines itself to a narrow ideological group is destined to become a fringe player


Big tent? YOU arn't a big tent person. You marginalize anyone who opposes homosexuality or abortion.

Big tent is a euphemism for centrist. People who advocate a big tent have no room for REAL conservatives.

IMO a party called Conservative should be conservative. And a party called Liberal should be liberal. That way we have CHOICES. That is what a democracy is about.
plantguy





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PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2008 1:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Big tent? YOU arn't a big tent person. You marginalize anyone who opposes homosexuality or abortion

Huh? When, exactly, did I do this? Please refer to any post where I've made these statements.
Sheila





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PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2008 1:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

He's confusing being a conservative with being religious. This is exactly the reason that religion and the state need to be separate. I don't believe the mandate on being a conservative said you had to be against abortion and homosexuality. If that were true, I would be gone.
My dad was not a religious person and he served in WWII. He told me the big reason a lot of guys were joining was to get a pair of shoes. He was also known his whole life to be a man of his word and for his honestly. Where did that come from, because it never came from religion?
I want honesty in all aspects of government. We don't want to see another sponsorship scandal. But I swear that there is residual corruption left in the public sector. That's what I'm hoping the conservatives will get rid of and not be a part of.
plantguy





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PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2008 1:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Craig, you seem to have a very specific definition as to who can call themselves a conservative. I know the list does not include homosexuals or pro-choice types, but I'd be interestd in finding out who else doesn't make the cut.
Mac





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PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2008 5:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The problem with trying to define a "conservative" is political definitions change; sometimes rapidly, sometimes slowly but almost certainly.

At this juncture, there are several groups whose main common characteristic is fiscal conservatism. Those groups have self-identified as being conservative. There is a power/policy struggle between the socially conservative groups, the red tories and the other smaller groups which means caucus must be ruckus but eventually I suspect a middle ground will be struck. Until then, we'll keep hearing rumours of how iron-fisted PMSH is...

-Mac
Craig
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2008 7:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

plantguy wrote:
Big tent? YOU arn't a big tent person. You marginalize anyone who opposes homosexuality or abortion

Huh? When, exactly, did I do this? Please refer to any post where I've made these statements.


I never said I was a big tent person. I am not. I have values, principles, and integrity. I don't compromise on them in order to get power.
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