The Decline of the Conservatives

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Misfit Misfit's picture

There seems to be a deep paranoia on this thread about social conservatves and especially those in Alberta and Saskatchewan.

First of all, social conservatives are found all across this country and not just in Alberta and Saskatchewan. In fact, Ontario elected Doug Ford with the help of social conservatives in that province, and his changes to sex education appeal to his social conservative base.

Secondly, social conservatives are a minority in Canada including in Alberta.
 

The Walrus published an article about social conservatism and Alberta. I've included an excerpt from that article to highlight the fact that while the province does have issues and problems, they are also pretty open minded on a lot of the social conservative issues which plague our nation.

https://thewalrus.ca/the-great-myth-of-alberta-conservatism/

"Many Canadians ­also associate Alberta with social conservatism—an ­assessment that isn’t ­entirely baseless, to be clear. A ­majority of the province—63 ­percent—supports ­reinstating ­capital punishment. Immigration questions, ­especially, are fraught: a ­recent poll by the Environics Institute and the Canadian Race Relations Foundation showed that Albertans are more skeptical about the validity of refugee claimants than other Canadians are, and 62 percent said too many new ­immigrants don’t adopt Canadian values. Commentators also cite Ralph Klein’s ­extreme reluctance when premier to support same-sex marriage in 2005 as well as the United Conservative Party’s ­current antagonism to gay-straight alliances in schools as representative examples of the provincial political id. Kenney has recently had to confront a bevy of questions relating to his earlier statements on abortion and gay rights.

But some of these examples are exceptions, ones which gain a high profile ­nationally because they fit a certain narrative about the province that doesn’t always reflect the political positions of the electorate more generally—or, indeed, even of ­big-tent conservative parties in which social conservatives remain a powerful and vocal minority that must be placated. Take one litmus-test issue for conservatism, for instance: abortion. Faron Ellis, a research chair at ­Lethbridge College, has run surveys on six contentious social issues every year since 2009. The most recent poll, in 2018, found that 84 percent of Albertans support a woman’s right to make abortion ­decisions. And national polls frequently place Alberta’s support of abortion rights within a few points of Ontario’s, Ellis has found. (Other ­surveys have found that Atlantic Canada is the region most ­opposed to abortion; it now reliably votes for the pro-choice Liberals.)

Albertans have grown noticeably more progressive on several other social questions in recent years as well, according to Ellis’s research: 92 percent support legalized medical marijuana, and 85 percent support doctor-assisted death. ­Support for same-sex marriage now stands at 82 percent (up from 66 percent when Ellis began tracking).

Despite the economic situation, a stark majority of Albertans—82 percent—polled last spring in an expansive social ­survey conducted on behalf of the CBC believed that more should be done to reduce the pay gap between men and women. ­Almost as many believe action should be taken to reduce wealth in­equality. ­Only about half of those polled trusted the private sector to create jobs, and almost 80 percent felt the province was too reliant on the oil-and-gas sector."

Social conservatives are everywhere. Please lay off with your Alberta and Saskatchewan bashing please.

 

Sean in Ottawa

Sorry it is not bashing to point out that social conservatives are more likely to be electorally successful in Alberta and Saskatchewan and parts of BC than they are in the centre or east. They are more likely to stand for the Conservatives in those places as well.

There is also a social democratic tradition in the same places (as dormant as it sometimes may seem to be). Very different from the East on both ends. In some ways it is refreshing and more honest having more on the edges and less in the mushy middle but it certainly exists.

I think we need to step back from all these bashing accusations and really consider what overdoing it means. When you make a charge generally, your argument will be judged on the weakest point you make. There are clear cases of Alberta bashing here but you discredit those who would want to call those out when you take a position like this where a region cannot be questionned for what is an observable fact agreed on by literally all sides.

As for Ontario, social conservatives exist but they tend not to do well and are more moderate when they do. They are a political weakness not a strength everywhere except for a minority of places. When they exist they tend to hide it as the political culture here tends to be more Liberal, centrist, mushy and indistinguishable. Our politics are dominated by opportunists without any political ideology at all. I find this gets in the way of progress and do not consider it a selling point here. It is however a fact all the same.

It is patently ridiculous to suggest that Ontario politics is as socially conservative as politics is in those two provinces and even more ridiculous to accuse people of west SK or AB bashing to raise the question. 

Posts like this do more damage to the reputation of those provinces than the actual bashing here that actually does exist.

Please consider the dangers of crying wolf. Seriously.

This bashing accusation stuff is overwhelming political discussion and making attempts to deal with prejudices more difficult. We have it with the extremes of anti-semitism accusations at anyone who questions anything the state of Israel does and we have it with regional politics in Canada, particularly Quebec, Ottawa, the West in general and AB in particular. We need to stop this as it will blow up the country.

We need people to raise legitimate and uncomfortable points of view that you may not like while at the same time reserving terms like "bashing" for the real thing so that we can do something about it. Otherwise, every disagreement will  be a "somebody-bashing" exercise.  We talk about trends here and that can include regional politics. To make it so we cannot talk about trends like Conservatives in the rural part of the country being a thing without causing offense; northern NDP politics; Conservative Prairie politics; urban Liberals; centrist Maritimers etc -- becuase these are not abosulte and there are exceptions is to kill off much analysis that must happen here.

If you continue this line, you might get back a long list of quotes from social conservatives who agree as well as support the notion speaking about Canada's bible belt. 

Let's start that off with this:

Robert Alexander Grambell, Toward defining the prairies: region, culture and history (2001)

Also look at this:

https://pressprogress.ca/here-is-a-list-of-67-conservative-candidates-who-will-vote-against-womens-reproductive-rights/

Sure not all anti-choice Conservatives are in AB and SK but the three top Prairie provinces are 3 of the top 4 provinces for this list and SK is double the rate of Ontario. Is Press Progress SK bashing or are they publishing news becuase it exists? Interesting is the point about NB. There is a Conservative part of NB different from the rest of the Maritimes. It is a rural, Anglophone and evangelical Christian part of the province. NB is the fourth province to have more than 1/3 Conservatives be openly anti choice. Not so in the rest of the country.

Yeah, social conservativism is a thing on the prairies and no point denying it.

Back here we have the Liberal disease. 

Pondering

Of course there are social conservatives elsewhere. That's why the Conservatives have been able to win federal elections since forever. I'm not paranoid. Quite the opposite. I am hopeful that social conservatives will be the downfall of the Conservative party. 

Your article misleads with  statistics. 84% of Canadians don't support unfettered access to abortion so that would make Alberta far more progressive than the country as a whole. How are all those pro-life MPs getting elected?

http://www.arcc-cdac.ca/presentations/anti-choice-unknown-MPs-2016.pdf

https://globalnews.ca/news/3290006/support-for-abortion-rights-strong-in-canada-but-poll-shows-we-are-middle-of-the-pack-globally/

Among those in favour of abortion rights in Canada, just over half (53 per cent) said the procedure should be permitted whenever a woman decides she wants it, while one in four (24 per cent) favoured some limits. If a woman has been raped, for instance, some respondents suggested she should then be able to choose to terminate her pregnancy.

Social conservatives within the party want a leader who will defend them more vigorously than Harper and Scheer. They think the problem is that the party does not defend its social conservative principles. Abortion is far more important than gay marriage. That's why they are talking up having a leader that will march in Pride not one that is pro-choice.

Also from your article... “If you want to understand Alberta, understand this: we love our social programs, we want to live in a fair and equitable ­society, we don’t like paying taxes, and we don’t trust Ottawa.”....Voters in this province are deeply ­attached to the “Alberta advantage”—a catchphrase that lionizes the province’s perpetually low taxes and excellent services, made possible through natural abundance.​

Alberta/the prairies dominate the Conservative party. That is why all ridings were equalized rather than having one member one vote to elect Scheer. 

The future of the Conservative party as a national party depends on the following questions. 

Do social conservatives have enough power to insist on a socially conservative leader? If not, will they support a non socially conservative leader? 

Will Conservatives support a leader that promises not to touch the carbon tax and focuses on climate change as a major issue that requires government intervention?

Sentiment on the environment is getting stronger every year and not just on climate change. Substances poisoning our environment are a huge issue as well. 

I am not against Albertans. I think most are misguided on the oil industry. I fear for the future of Albertans. A 20% unemployment rate for young men is disastrous. The future of TM is critical. I lean on the side of it going through but I think the opposition still has a realistic shot at stopping it. 

Whatever you want to call it Alberta has a different political mindset than the rest of Canada. All you have to do is put in a sales tax like the rest of us. Put a cap on exports and your price problem was solved. Should have been done years ago. Alberta seems to think it is entitled to the Alberta advantage. 

P.S. Thanks Sean. 

Misfit Misfit's picture

I have no problem with people criticizing Alberta. Just be honest. It does a great disservice to spread hatred and fear against people from Alberta. It is doubly wrong when much of that hatred is exaggerated.

From that Walrus article that I provided in the previous post we get a totally different picture than what is presented in this thread. Fear mongering based on lies and distortions is just as bad as the social conservative agenda that we need to stand up against.

From that article, here is the truth about Alberta.

1. Alberta is right wing. It is the most right wing province in Canada.

2. Alberta as a whole is pro oil and gas and against environmental reform.

3. Alberta has a major problem with racism. They tend to strongly support regressive immigration laws.

4. Alberta as a whole is socially liberal and not socially conservative. 82% of Albertans support same sex marriage. 82% support pay equity and feel that more needs to be done to promote financial equality between men and women. 84% are pro choice. 85% support doctor assisted suicide. 92% support the legalization of marijuana. These numbers are very much in line with the rest of Canada. Based on these numbers, one can conclude that social conservatives represent roughly 14-15% of the general population. Social conservatives are a very small minority in Alberta.

Ontario elected Doug Ford. Doug Ford has a regressive sex Ed agenda. Yet no one obsesses with the social conservative menace that Ontario is inflicting one the rest of the country. The argument given is that Ontario as a whole is socially liberal in their outlook. Well so is Alberta liberal in their outlook. You cannot attack Alberta for electing Jason Kenney and be conspicuously quiet about the very same problem in Ontario. Ontario votes Progressive Conservative and they need to be held accountable for what they have done. Alberta is responsible for the actions of Jason Kenney and the policies he puts forward because they elected him. But the policies of Jason Kenney does not reflect the social values of the people any more than Doug Ford's positions are an indication of the social values of the people in Ontario. You simply cannot have it both ways.

There are social conservatives in every region of Canada. Yet this thread singles out one region of Canada only and demonizes them as a national threat. Atlantic Canada is the most socially conservative when it comes to abortion rights and access, but the social conservative threat according to a few stems from Alberta. Ontario has in place an awful sex education agenda but Alberta is singled out as our national problem. And yes, this is a bias against Alberta.

The religious right do not hold a monopoly on hatred and bigotry. They are major promoters and bigots look to the religious right to justify their hate. Jason Kenney has an agenda to target LGBTQ people. The religious right support these initiatives, but Kenney's bullying has more mainstream appeal than just from the small minority of religious fundamentalists. Gay bashing  is still alive and real.  That is why LGBTQ positive education is so vital and important in the school system because homophobia is still a serious issue that needs to be taken seriously and programs put in place to combat it. This problem is not limited to social conservatives and it is a national problem and not unique to Alberta and the prairies.

All political parties have social conservatives. They are everywhere. Justin Trudeau made it Liberal policy that no one can run for the Liberal party as a candidate who opposes a woman's right to choose. He did this because social conservatives are a problem in the Liberal party. If the Liberal party was free of social conservatives then he would not have had to implement that policy. They are in the NDP as well.

Most people in Alberta do not elect social conservative candidates in their ridings based on their social values or religious affiliation. The vast majority vote Conservative and UCP because they like the idea of having smaller governments so that they don't have to pay as much in taxes. They get to keep more of their money. In fact, that is a major reason why most Canadians who vote for the Conservative party want them elected. They simply want smaller governments and lower taxes. And if that party that promises them small government and more take home pay does bad things like picking on LGBTQ people, it is sad and unfortunate but if it doesn't affect them personally, then they really don't care. Many Canadians are really not that politically minded. They aren't bad people, they just don't care if it doesn't affect them personally.

The Conservstive party elected Andrew Sheer. Andrew Sheer is a social conservative. If Andrew Sheer or any other major political leader who is socially conservative is clear that he or she is not going to open any contentious issues up for debate then their own personal values become less potent. Stephen Harper kept his social Conservative MPs muzzled and in the back benches. Many political advisors within the Conservative party understand the damage that hot issues like abortion access can have. It is on their best interest to avoid those issues. Remember, 84% of Albertans are pro choice.

Social conservatives have always been around. Despite their deep history and roots in our country, they still only represent a very small and insignificant percentage of our national population. They tend to get elected in safe right wing regions of our country like in Alberta because they also run on a fiscally conservative platform which appeals to people who like to pay less in taxes. The walrus article addressed the issue of racism and immigration. The majority of Albertans are racist and the Conservstive party promotes immigration law reform. There are many issues which are not social conservative related which explains why they support right wing governments.

While all the social issues are extremely important  and worthy of discussion and full accountability by Conservstive leaders on where they stand and the direction they intend to take their party, the obsessive fixation about social conservatives in Alberta singles out the region as being the force of evil and overlooks the same problems closer to home for some of the posters. It fails to look at the national scope to these problems. It demonizes the people of a province who most of whom do not even identify with what they are being accused of by some on this thread.

feel free to attack Alberta but only do so with integrity.

Sean in Ottawa

Misfit wrote:

I have no problem with people criticizing Alberta. Just be honest. It does a great disservice to spread hatred and fear against people from Alberta. It is doubly wrong when much of that hatred is exaggerated.

From that Walrus article that I provided in the previous post we get a totally different picture than what is presented in this thread. Fear mongering based on lies and distortions is just as bad as the social conservative agenda that we need to stand up against.

From that article, here is the truth about Alberta.

1. Alberta is right wing. It is the most right wing province in Canada.

2. Alberta as a whole is pro oil and gas and against environmental reform.

3. Alberta has a major problem with racism. They tend to strongly support regressive immigration laws.

4. Alberta as a whole is socially liberal and not socially conservative. 82% of Albertans support same sex marriage. 82% support pay equity and feel that more needs to be done to promote financial equality between men and women. 84% are pro choice. 85% support doctor assisted suicide. 92% support the legalization of marijuana. These numbers are very much in line with the rest of Canada. Based on these numbers, one can conclude that social conservatives represent roughly 14-15% of the general population. Social conservatives are a very small minority in Alberta.

Ontario elected Doug Ford. Doug Ford has a regressive sex Ed agenda. Yet no one obsesses with the social conservative menace that Ontario is inflicting one the rest of the country. The argument given is that Ontario as a whole is socially liberal in their outlook. Well so is Alberta liberal in their outlook. You cannot attack Alberta for electing Jason Kenney and be conspicuously quiet about the very same problem in Ontario. Ontario votes Progressive Conservative and they need to be held accountable for what they have done. Alberta is responsible for the actions of Jason Kenney and the policies he puts forward because they elected him. But the policies of Jason Kenney does not reflect the social values of the people any more than Doug Ford's positions are an indication of the social values of the people in Ontario. You simply cannot have it both ways.

There are social conservatives in every region of Canada. Yet this thread singles out one region of Canada only and demonizes them as a national threat. Atlantic Canada is the most socially conservative when it comes to abortion rights and access, but the social conservative threat according to a few stems from Alberta. Ontario has in place an awful sex education agenda but Alberta is singled out as our national problem. And yes, this is a bias against Alberta.

The religious right do not hold a monopoly on hatred and bigotry. They are major promoters and bigots look to the religious right to justify their hate. Jason Kenney has an agenda to target LGBTQ people. The religious right support these initiatives, but Kenney's bullying has more mainstream appeal than just from the small minority of religious fundamentalists. Gay bashing  is still alive and real.  That is why LGBTQ positive education is so vital and important in the school system because homophobia is still a serious issue that needs to be taken seriously and programs put in place to combat it. This problem is not limited to social conservatives and it is a national problem and not unique to Alberta and the prairies.

All political parties have social conservatives. They are everywhere. Justin Trudeau made it Liberal policy that no one can run for the Liberal party as a candidate who opposes a woman's right to choose. He did this because social conservatives are a problem in the Liberal party. If the Liberal party was free of social conservatives then he would not have had to implement that policy. They are in the NDP as well.

Most people in Alberta do not elect social conservative candidates in their ridings based on their social values or religious affiliation. The vast majority vote Conservative and UCP because they like the idea of having smaller governments so that they don't have to pay as much in taxes. They get to keep more of their money. In fact, that is a major reason why most Canadians who vote for the Conservative party want them elected. They simply want smaller governments and lower taxes. And if that party that promises them small government and more take home pay does bad things like picking on LGBTQ people, it is sad and unfortunate but if it doesn't affect them personally, then they really don't care. Many Canadians are really not that politically minded. They aren't bad people, they just don't care if it doesn't affect them personally.

The Conservstive party elected Andrew Sheer. Andrew Sheer is a social conservative. If Andrew Sheer or any other major political leader who is socially conservative is clear that he or she is not going to open any contentious issues up for debate then their own personal values become less potent. Stephen Harper kept his social Conservative MPs muzzled and in the back benches. Many political advisors within the Conservative party understand the damage that hot issues like abortion access can have. It is on their best interest to avoid those issues. Remember, 84% of Albertans are pro choice.

Social conservatives have always been around. Despite their deep history and roots in our country, they still only represent a very small and insignificant percentage of our national population. They tend to get elected in safe right wing regions of our country like in Alberta because they also run on a fiscally conservative platform which appeals to people who like to pay less in taxes. The walrus article addressed the issue of racism and immigration. The majority of Albertans are racist and the Conservstive party promotes immigration law reform. There are many issues which are not social conservative related which explains why they support right wing governments.

While all the social issues are extremely important  and worthy of discussion and full accountability by Conservstive leaders on where they stand and the direction they intend to take their party, the obsessive fixation about social conservatives in Alberta singles out the region as being the force of evil and overlooks the same problems closer to home for some of the posters. It fails to look at the national scope to these problems. It demonizes the people of a province who most of whom do not even identify with what they are being accused of by some on this thread.

feel free to attack Alberta but only do so with integrity.

I object entirely to this post. It is saying that people who are expressing a commonly held opinion - that is backed up with fact as lacking integrity.

You can be defensive if you like but you owe people an apology for that.

These are opinions on an opinion site and nobody is lacking integrity or being dishonest.

Your comparisons to Ontario have been challenged but you do not respond to the challenges instead you repeat them and seek to stifle the opinions as illegitimate and lacking integrity. This is actually outragious.

Your comments are also inaccurate. Nobody has said Alberta is a monolith. This is a straw man you are erecting here.

Please think seriously about this line of argument. People here are not your enemy. Alberta and Saskatchewan have a right wing bend and this is not even controversial. All but one seat is held by the right wing party. Your attacks on the honesty of people here is absurd even if you dislike the opinions. Right wing commentators have made this argument themselves as the area is the bedrock of their support.

kropotkin1951

Thanks Misfit for the great post.

Ontario elected Doug Ford. Doug Ford has a regressive sex Ed agenda. Yet no one obsesses with the social conservative menace that Ontario is inflicting one the rest of the country. The argument given is that Ontario as a whole is socially liberal in their outlook. Well so is Alberta liberal in their outlook. You cannot attack Alberta for electing Jason Kenney and be conspicuously quiet about the very same problem in Ontario. Ontario votes Progressive Conservative and they need to be held accountable for what they have done.

From my perspective the people of Ontario sent 36 right wing assholes from the Conservative party to Ottawa to destroy what I believe in. The people of Alberta sent 33.  BC sent 17.  Altogether it seems that their are right wing voters everywhere in Canada. If I want to point at crude right wing voters then lets talk about Eastern Ontario in places like Brockville.

Sean in Ottawa

kropotkin1951 wrote:

Thanks Misfit for the great post.

Ontario elected Doug Ford. Doug Ford has a regressive sex Ed agenda. Yet no one obsesses with the social conservative menace that Ontario is inflicting one the rest of the country. The argument given is that Ontario as a whole is socially liberal in their outlook. Well so is Alberta liberal in their outlook. You cannot attack Alberta for electing Jason Kenney and be conspicuously quiet about the very same problem in Ontario. Ontario votes Progressive Conservative and they need to be held accountable for what they have done.

From my perspective the people of Ontario sent 36 right wing assholes from the Conservative party to Ottawa to destroy what I believe in. The people of Alberta sent 33.  BC sent 17.  Altogether it seems that their are right wing voters everywhere in Canada. If I want to point at crude right wing voters then lets talk about Eastern Ontario in places like Brockville.

Let's just forget the fact that the majority of seats in Ontario did not go to Conservatives because that does not fit into this silly defensive argument that pointing out that the rural Prairies are a social Conservative bastion is somehow an attack on these two provinces.

Let's ignore that these two poor hard done by provinces with only one seat exception went wall to wall conservative and return social Conservatives on a regular basis. Let's forget that the greatest conentration of people who represent extreme social conservative positions come forom there. 

But better yet, let's defend this dumb idea on the basis that it is okay to attack Brockville becuase it is in Ontario than to admit that more social Conservative politicians come from Saskatchewan and Alberta as a percentage of all representatives than anywhere else. After all who gives a flying fuck about hypocrisy when you are on a roll?

Social Conservatives are terrible no matter where they are from in the country, Alberta and Saskatchewan or not uniformly social Conservative - but nobody has said that here - ever. It is not an attack on Saskatchewan and Alberta to observe that a shit load of Social Conservatives keep coming from there on a regular basis and maybe we need to do something about that.

Here in Ontario sure we have some - also some greedy Libertarian fuckers as well. Our problem here, though, is Liberals getting in the way of any progressive movement. We admit that on this site.

But please attack Ontario for having voted for Ford after all, it was widely seen as throwing out a Liberal government that had been there for 15 years. Ontario is such a Conservative place that people here have been voting to keep the fuckers out for 15 years. Oh yeah - when was the last time this was done in Alberta? Any time since 1935?

This way we can advance one of the stupidest arguments seen on babble in a while.

voice of the damned

@Sean,,,

I think we might want to be careful, though, about conflating voting habits with support for social conservativism.

Someone mentioned above that there was a New Brunswick Bible Belt, mostly anglo and Conservative, where SoCon values are popular. Well, my recollection of anti-choice politics in the Maritimes is that it goes a little bit beyond just one eccentric region of New Brunswick. Unfortunately, information about this is hard to find on-line, but as I recall, successive New Bruckwick governments waged a campaign against abortion-services in New Brunswick, starting with Frank McKenna, a LIBERAL who never seemed to pay much electoral price for that position.

I also have a vague idea that abortion-access has been hobbled in other Maritime provinces, though, again, it's hard to find information about that.

Sticking to New Brunswick, sure, compared to Albertans, they generally send fewer Conservatives to both Fredricton and Ottawa, no one is denying that. But that's not neccesarily the best yardstick for how they actually approach social issues in practice.

voice of the damned

Sean wrote:

Ontario is such a Conservative place that people here have been voting to keep the fuckers out for 15 years. Oh yeah - when was the last time this was done in Alberta? Any time since 1935?

If we're talking about social conservativism in particular, an overview covering the entire period since 1935 is a little problematic for your argument, because people like Peter Lougheed and Don Getty weren't really social conservatives in any widely recognized sense of the term. Likely no more so than most other Canadian governments at the time.

Social Credit under Aberhart was certainly SoCon, though economically radical(that being the reason they were elected in the first place), albeit in a kooky sort of way, with an economic theory rooted in anti-semitic conspiracy theories and a program that was highly unconstitutional. It is the case that, under Aberhart, they were probably the government in Canada at any level that was most hated by big business.

 

Sean in Ottawa

voice of the damned wrote:

Sean wrote:

Ontario is such a Conservative place that people here have been voting to keep the fuckers out for 15 years. Oh yeah - when was the last time this was done in Alberta? Any time since 1935?

If we're talking about social conservativism in particular, an overview covering the entire period since 1935 is a little problematic for your argument, because people like Peter Lougheed and Don Getty weren't really social conservatives in any widely recognized sense of the term. Likely no more so than most other Canadian governments at the time.

Social Credit under Aberhart was certainly SoCon, though economically radical(that being the reason they were elected in the first place), albeit in a kooky sort of way, with an economic theory rooted in anti-semitic conspiracy theories and a program that was highly unconstitutional. It is the case that, under Aberhart, they were probably the government in Canada at any level that was most hated by big business.

 

I think it is pretty ridiculous even having to defend an observation that the Prairies are associated with much higher than Canadian average levels of social Conservatism. 

This is apart from the point that we are not even in a debate about the existence of social conservatism in Alberta and SK we are in a debate about whether a person raising this is  lacking "integrity" and somehow attacking the place for even raising the topic. 

Western Canada (yes all of it) has tended to be more polarized meaning that it has been the home base for many social Conservatives as well as socialists. They do Liberal to a lesser degree. This is not a criticism by any means (who here is defending Liberals?) but it is observable in the political conversation that goes back many decades.

There is a perception of Alberta and more recently Saskatchewan as being through and through conservative but nobody is suggesting that here. It is however more likely to have a political conversation that speaks to ideology on left or right than centre. This may be based on the fact that the politics on the Prairies tends to populism more than establishment -- becuase they are not establishment and are reacting agaisnt it. It is more populaist that conservative but the streak of socila conservativism is still more pronounced there an most places in Canada -- even if it is not a majority -- it is a tendency and manages to dominate politcsat times.

The heart of the social conservative voices in Canada keeps coming from there. Ford is a bit of a a faux populist but has shown little social conservatism and more establishment mean Ontario-style Conservativism. the social conservatives when they come up in Ontario they usually do not do well. 

To say that the Prairies are different is not an insult.

 

 

voice of the damned

There is a perception of Alberta and more recently Saskatchewan as being through and through conservative but nobody is suggesting that here. It is however more likely to have a political conversation that speaks to ideology on left or right than centre.

Again, though, I'm really not seeing much difference between the government of, say, Peter Lougheed in Alberta, and Bill Davis in Ontario. Apart from the issue of the NEP(in which they both fought for the economic interests of their respective provinces), both were pretty much centrist, neither particularly left-wing or right-wing.

And I really don't see what sort of "centricism" was on display during the rule of Mike Harris(or for that matter, Ralph Klein, for sure). I know it's now being stated as an absolute fact that that Doug Ford will be voted out next election, and quite possibly he will, though I would caution against the assumption that politicians can never overcome low polling numbers.

And FWIW, I think Alberta does have a unique political culture, even compared to the rest of the west. But it's not so much an issue of right/left, it's an issue of one-party dominance, with ideological shifts taking place via changes within the ruling party itself, rather, as is usually the case elsewhere,  via changes in government. I think this is likely connected to the resource-extraction basis of the economy, but that's not something I'll get into right now.

 

voice of the damned

Oh, and here's some information on abortion access in New Brunswick as of 2014...

Access to abortion in New Brunswick is governed by Regulation 84-20 of the Medical Services Payment Act, created by the Frank McKenna government in 1989. The regulation states that medicare will only cover the cost of an abortion if a woman first jumps through a number of procedural hoops: She must obtain written approval from two doctors, certifying that an abortion is "medically necessary." The abortion may only be performed by a specialist, and only at one of two authorized hospitals.

Granted, I think the situation might have changed since 2014, but still, I am unaware of any western province that has ever had such a law on its books. The closest I think they ever came was when Klein tried pandering to his SoCon wing by saying he'd defund abortions that were medically "unneccessary", and then asked the doctors' association to define that term. When the doctors refused to provide such a definition, the proposed law was squashed, and has never been resurrected.

Can't guarantee that Kenney won't try something on this front, nor would I deny that there are some access-issues in the westen provinces. Still, if those provinces were particularly SoCon in relation to the rest of the country, you would expect them to have the worst record when it comes to abortion, pretty much the most beloved issue in the SoCon catechism.

https://tinyurl.com/vjo5bm6

 

 

 

 

 

kropotkin1951

Here are some of your neighbours Sean in Ottawa. Just in case you didn't notice.

On September 3, 1983, a group of Ontario women formed what would become known as REAL Women: Realistic, Equal, and Active for Life.[4] REAL Women was dissatisfied with how feminist organizations addressed women's issues, and said that many housewives felt disparaged and attacked by these organizations.[4] REAL Women was formed as an anti-feminist counterweight to the National Action Committee on the Status of Women.[5][6][7] A press conference was held in 1984 officially announcing their formation. The group claimed initially to have 10,000 members, however this was later discredited.[4] The year following their formation, the group held its first national conference, claiming to have 20,000 members, though this could not be verified.[5]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/REAL_Women_of_Canada#History

As for Brockville, I actually lived there for over two years and loved the old mansions but I think its politics are best described with a picture of residents and a Quebec flag. Hell they nearly cost us the country not some yahoos from the West.

 

Misfit Misfit's picture

Jesus Hallelujah people are politically organized and run for office in an organized and determined way. But they don't represent the general population in Saskatchewan and Alberta.

On the prairies, it is learned from a young age that Conservatives are cool and social democrats are nerds and losers. Conservatives attract the ignorant vote, people who are racist, redneck, your pipeliner, biker types. Yes, they also get the social conservative vote but they are a small minority of the overall picture.

Social conservatives have their small pockets where they are stronger, but overall the are pretty much non-existent as an issue. In fact, I am more worried about the ignorant, uneducated, pipeliner, truck driver, biker appealing types who are in-your-face bigots, racists, sexists, and everything else that I despise because these are your main threat on the prairies.

You see more social conservatives on the national stage coming from the west but their social values do not represent the vast majority of people, only their fiscally conservative and racist agendas, and nobody ever talks about social issues. It is all Trudeau bashing, immigrant bashing, environmentalist bashing, vegetarian bashing, and pipelines.

We have social conservative MLAs provincially. I am sure that they would like to see abortion access denied and our sex education curriculum changed etc., but those issues do not ever come up or hardly ever. If they were serious issues here, then you would hear about them, but you don't. And if the social conservatives were in the numbers that you imagine them to be then we would have no abortion access in Saskatchewan, and sick sex education curriculums that you Ontario people face with Doug Ford. Saskatchewan is not a backward province. We do not register on the radar for anything remotely associated with a socially conservative agenda. Alberta makes the news because they have a premier who is a bigot and wants to regress Alberta from a status of normalcy to a regressive and backward status. If Alberta people were socially conservative like you imagine, then there would be no programs in place in Alberta for Jason Kenney to take away.

Your Jesus hallelujah types are organized and get national attention because they are right wing and run on a fiscal platform that appeals to the majority of people who want to pay less in taxes and have more take home money for themselves.

Nobody on this board likes social conservatives. Although they get elected within the Conservative party and they are organized to push some clout within the Conservative party, they do not represent much of a base within the Conservative party. That is why Harper muzzled them.

And this ignorant undereducated mass vehemently loathes and despises Justin Trudeau. You could put the most obnoxious Jesus Hallelujah in the helm of the party and he would win because he is not Justin Trudeau. It doesn't mean that they are Jesus Hallelujah people, it means that their leader is from western Canada and is NOT Justin Trudeau. This demographic is quite scary and intimidating, actually. If you talked about this then you would be speaking to central core of what is wrong on the prairies. When you fret incessantly about social conservatives ad nauseum, you are merely discussing a perception that is perpetrated by the media. It is all smoke and mirrors. Social conservatives are militantly organized and know how to get elected in right wing regions of Canada. They create an illusion that the prairies stand for their ideals. They represent only a small yet vocal minority who very rarely, if ever, get their own way because they are really that insignificant of an entity. Saskatchewan has historically lead the nation on social and progressive issues. We are not  socially backward like you try to make us out to be. Aside from that blue collar, red neck demographic, most of us are more classy and sophisticated than you portray us as being, so yes, your bashing us on social conservative ideals does misrepresent us and perpetrates fear and hatred. It is dishonest and it misses the target of what is really wrong out here.

voice of the damned

Misfit wrote:

They represent only a small yet vocal minority who very rarely, if ever, get their own way because they are really that insignificant of an entity. Saskatchewan has historically lead the nation on social and progressive issues. We are not  socially backward like you try to make us out to be. Aside from that blue collar, red neck demographic, most of us are more classy and sophisticated than you portray us as being, so yes, your bashing us on social conservative ideals does misrepresent us and perpetrates fear and hatred. It is dishonest and it misses the target of what is really wrong out here.

Well, assuming the current batch of tea-leaves are being read correctly, it seems as if Saskatchewan MIGHT be heading in the same direction as Alberta, in terms of enshrining right-of-centre, one-party dominance, at least on the federal level.

But, if that happens, it'll likely be connected, as in Alberta, with the emergence of the oil industry as a major player in the province. Not because Saskatchewanites have all suddenly started reading old copies of Listen, America! from the local Goodwill stores.

Of course, electing more Conservatives means that you'll likely get more SoCons, even if you were voting on economic issues rather than "biblical ones", because SoCon politicians these days tend to be Conservative. 

But, as you say, that's not the same thing as the electorate itself being SoCon. Assuming such would be a little like assuming that, since Manitobans vote NDP more often than Ontarians do, there must be lots of people in Manitoba who share the same viewpoint as Canadian Dimensions magazine. Whereas, as we all know, the strong-left among NDP voters is pretty much a minority anywhere, and there were probably as many Manitobans who voted for Howard Pawley in '81 because they were creeped out by Sterling Lyon's smile, as there were who wanted to nationalize major industries. 

https://tinyurl.com/r57e2gf

 

voice of the damned

One more thing... 

Misfit wrote:

Aside from that blue collar, red neck demographic, most of us are more classy and sophisticated

I'm not sure if we should be equating "blue collar" with "rednecked".

I suppose the typical image of a right-wing religious conservative might be someone working on a farm or driving a pick-up truck for somebody else, though most of the people I know who would fit the bill are more middle class, maybe petit-bourgeois, in the classical terminology.

Certainly, I think most labour unions would consider "working class" to be a non-pejorative term, and would not want it and its synonyms equated a priori with people fight against equality on the social-front.  

Pondering

I'm talking about the Conservative Party not the people of provinces in general with the exception of the point that Alberta dominates the Conservative Party. It wouldn't matter if PEI were 100% social conservative or libertarian because PEI does not dominate the Conservative Party. 

Misfit, I think you my have misunderstood my perspective. I think the conservative/liberal social divide is along rural/urban lines not provincial lines. It just so happens that a lot of Canada's rural areas happen to be in the prairies. Nevertheless social conservatism has a strong presence in some areas of every province. There tends to be an overlap with fiscal conservatism as distinct from free market capitalists who tend to overlap with libertarians. I think social conservatives in Alberta tend to be more militant but the Conservative party is home to all social conservatives regardless of where they come from. That gives them clout, as a group, within the party. 

Separately from that the prairies particularly Alberta dominate the Conservative party. That puts oil high on the agenda. 

The Conservative party is also home to free market capitalists who style themselves as libertarians. 

So the strong influences within the party in my opinion are:

  • Social conservatism
  • Fiscal conservatism
  • Free market capitalism
  • Albertan/prairie interests

Those influences overlap and I have no idea how strong each faction is only that they exist and will be jockeying for position.

There are a large number of Conservatives that don't care about social policy or just accept it's a losing proposition so are willing to drop social issues. For example, Rona Ambrose among many others. The editorials are full of analysis concluding that a social conservative cannot be elected PM. The money people think social conservatives have had their shot and need to accept defeat, but still keep supporting the party. It's not like they have anywhere else to go. The reform party didn't make it. 

That may be true, but when people don't feel represented they will form a party they know won't win. Witness the Bloc. The NDP gets votes even when they are low in the polls. Alternately social conservatives could just stay home and not vote out of lack of motivation. The Conservatives can't afford to lose chunks of their base. That's why they merged. 

Free market/libertarian Conservatives have no other home and they do priorize winning over purity. 

What I call fiscal Conservatives is probably what other people call red tories.

As you noted Alberta is more right wing than any other area of Canada. 

The Conservatives have been doing a balancing act since they reunited.  They give a little bit to each faction. Lower taxes for free market and fiscal conservatives. Lower regulations for free market libertarians. No abortion funding outside of Canada and many pro-life MPs that are allowed to speak and to vote their conscience, social conservatives leaders in Harper and Scheer. Tough on crime legislation also for social conservatives. Something for everyone.  As the party is trying to reject having a social conservative leader, social conservatives are getting more militant as they are encouraged by what is happening south of the border on abortion. 

Canada isn't 84% pro-choice. Alberta certainly isn't. your statistics include people who want laws at the 3 or 5 month mark. Pro-choice is 100% between a woman and her doctor. 

 

 

 

kropotkin1951

Pondering wrote:

I'm talking about the Conservative Party not the people of provinces in general with the exception of the point that Alberta dominates the Conservative Party. It wouldn't matter if PEI were 100% social conservative or libertarian because PEI does not dominate the Conservative Party. 

Not in a leadership race. The Conservatives elected Scheer in a weighted vote by riding.

Voting was on a one member one vote basis using a ranked ballot; however votes were calculated so that each electoral district had equal weight with each electoral district allocated 100 points.[35] Candidates were assigned a point total based on his or her percentage of the vote in each electoral district. To win, a candidate must receive at least 16,901 points which would be a majority.[2][36]

Given your use of PEI as an example it delivered the second highest percentage of first ballot votes to Scheer for the four ridings compared to other ridings by province.  A higher percentage of Quebec Conservatives voted for Scheer on the first ballot than the percentage of Alberta Conservative voters who voted for him.

But the biggest thing to keep in mind is that Bernier received the most first ballot votes across the country and held his lead until the 12th "ballot" redistribution. So which one of them represents the true face of the evil social conservatives?

Bernier won the first ballot vote in Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, NFLD, NWT, Nova Scotia, Nunavit, Ontario, Quebec and the Yukon. Scheer won the other three provinces on the first ballot, Sask, NB and PEI.

With a weighted system for ridings then all the members in Calgary Center get the same weighted vote as all the members in the riding of Charlottetown despite my guess that there way more members in Calgary Center.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2017_Conservative_Party_of_Canada_leadersh...

voice of the damned

Persuant to the debate about Alberta's alleged monopoly on social conservativism...

As of Jan. 1, 2020, the legal age to buy or possess cannabis in Quebec is 21, giving the province the highest minimum age for cannabis use in Canada.

Elsewhere in Canada, cannabis is permitted at age 19, except in Alberta, where the legal age is 18.

I guess drug-paranoia might not be a SoCon stance per se, though if it were Jason Kenney giving Alberta the highest toking-age in the country, I doubt we'd be parsing the difference between "Something Pat Robertson would do" and "Something Nancy Reagan would do."

https://tinyurl.com/qnfvpz4

 

 

 

Pondering

The manner in which the leader is elected does not mean all areas of the country have equal impact on Conservative policy. Need I say money matters? 

From what I am am reading there are serious ideological differences between factions that mean no matter who wins the leadership there will be sore losers. 

https://www.huffingtonpost.ca/entry/scott-reid-conservative-mp-party-dictatorship-scheer_ca_5e0e4182e4b0843d360f8b41?utm_hp_ref=ca-politics

It’s a situation that reflects the overall state of the Conservative caucus — “dictatorial in its demands” and “opaque in its management practices,” wrote Reid, who represents Lanark-Frontenac-Kingston.  

“Today, an MP who votes with his or her conscience, or the will of his or her constituents, on any matter where the leader wants a different outcome will, in punishment for his or her disobedience, be tossed out of shadow cabinet and possibly off of committees.”....

Reid included his personal experience as part of his wider analysis of how Conservatives “should be leading, instead of lagging, on democracy issues.” Reid said he’s not writing out of dislike for Scheer, but because he has a number of suggestions for the next leader, including supporting an elected Senate and citizen-led referendums, and restoring free voting among MPs.

Allowing both libertarian and social conservatives to speak would make the internal war public. As long as both are forced to silence the party can pretend it is on both sides but doesn't have enough power to deliver. 

https://www.huffingtonpost.ca/entry/conservatives-2020_ca_5e0e11abc5b6b5a713b6f68c?utm_hp_ref=ca-politics

But the party has been running on much the same platform since Harper first formed government in 2006, said Dean Tester, a Conservative strategist who has worked on several party campaigns, including that of Scheer’s main rival in the 2017 race, former minister Maxime Bernier.

“Is running with that platform enough to get it done in the 2020s? Can we win with the exact same coalition and same policies with a different face? To me, I don’t think so,” he said....

Take supply management. That a party whose ideology is rooted in free-market capitalism continues to advocate for government control over the supply of some agricultural goods is a sore spot for many, and abolishing it was the centrepiece of Bernier’s leadership campaign.

But to farmers who believe their livelihoods depend on it, supply management is a sacred program. Those farmers helped propel Scheer to victory in the leadership race by just a hair over Bernier. 

So, in 2018, an effort at the party’s convention to abolish support for supply management never made it to a vote.....

Where there appears to be unanimity is that whomever seeks the job (party leader) must bring a robust set of policy ideas to the table.

Many insist more enthusiastic support for LGBTQ rights and a more ambitious approach to climate change must be among them, though there are others who insist hewing closer to the Liberals in either area is wrong — morally, strategically, or both.

Bernier himself warned as much in a fundraising email to supporters of his new People’s Party of Canada, suggesting that so-called Red Tories are out to hijack the movement and bring back the era of big government....

Reid is in the midst of a series of essays exploring themes he hopes leadership candidates take to heart and borrow for their platforms: democratic reform; finding a balance on issues of inclusiveness, equality and civil liberties; and the need for a clear vision on the economy and the environment.

“Not only will these suggestions help the borrowers to attract the support of median Conservatives like myself; the borrowers will also (I believe) stand a much better chance of winning the next election,” he wrote in his first essay about democratic reform. (He calls for an elected Senate, citizen-initiated referendums and greater powers for MPs versus party leaders.)

The leadership race can’t just be about winning that next election, argues Tester.

“For many Conservatives, myself included, there is a much bigger challenge,” he said.

“Are we going to be a party that seeks power for the sake of power, or are we going to be a party with a comprehensive vision for the country?”....

The only way the Conservative parties win is by convincing the public they are economically similar to the Liberals and will not act on social conservatism. 

 

Pondering

voice of the damned wrote:

Persuant to the debate about Alberta's alleged monopoly on social conservativism...

As of Jan. 1, 2020, the legal age to buy or possess cannabis in Quebec is 21, giving the province the highest minimum age for cannabis use in Canada.

Elsewhere in Canada, cannabis is permitted at age 19, except in Alberta, where the legal age is 18.

I guess drug-paranoia might not be a SoCon stance per se, though if it were Jason Kenney giving Alberta the highest toking-age in the country, I doubt we'd be parsing the difference between "Something Pat Robertson would do" and "Something Nancy Reagan would do."

https://tinyurl.com/qnfvpz4

No one here has alledged that Alberta has a monopoly on social conservatism so what are you arguing? Are you arguing that the west isn't a dominant force in the Conservative party?  Or are you arguing that social conservatives aren't a dominant force?  Both those things can be true without a single social conservative coming from Alberta. 

You want to argue every area of Canada is equally socially conservative I'll agree because it really doesn't matter. 

My focus is on how the different factions within the Conservative party will impact the leadership race and how they will react to whomever wins because in my opinion they are coming apart at the seams. 

Pondering

https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/social-conservatives-leadership-1.5418035

The upcoming leadership race may serve as a test of just how much sway social conservatives hold in the Conservative Party.

In the 2017 leadership race, with the help of support from groups like Campaign Life Coalition, former MP Brad Trost came in fourth place in a field of fourteen candidates. The eventual winner, Andrew Scheer, also had socially conservative leanings.

After Scheer failed to dislodge the Trudeau Liberals in the recent election, some Conservatives argued Scheer's apparent discomfort with media questions about abortion and LGBTQ rights alienated too many potential voters.

Many social conservatives say that argument amounts to an attempt to shut down one side of the debate within the party....

Too often in the past, Gunnarson said, social conservatives have felt like the Conservative Party of Canada took their votes for granted without taking action on the issues that matter to them.

"It's not a difficult thing to get social conservatives involved," he said. "But it certainly is difficult to keep them involved when we get people who betray us or ... there's a lot of pressure coming from the Red Tories or the media that say we don't have a voice, or say we shouldn't even have a voice. And that's just ridiculous."

He points the finger at Scheer and "anybody who was or is considered a social conservative and turns his or her back on issues like abortion or even traditional marriage."....

Décarie calls for defunding abortion services and said he also wants to change the definition of marriage so that it exclusively applies to religious weddings (everything else would be considered a civil union).

"I think conservatism by itself is the respect of what was good in society in the past," he said.

I don't know how much power social conservatives have within the party but they certainly form a sizable group. Social conservatives split for Reform/Canadian Alliance. Bernier didn't appeal to them so that Bernier failed to split the party is not a sign of the party's strength. It may even be a sign of the party's devotion to social conservatism. 

The Canadian Alliance's origins were in the Reform Party of Canada, which was founded in 1987 as a populist party supporting Western Canadian interests. However, soon after its formation it moved sharply to the right and became a populist conservative (largely socially conservative) party. Initially, the Reform Party was motivated by the perceived need for democratic reforms and by profound Western Canadian discontent with the Progressive Conservative government of Brian Mulroney. Led by its founder Preston Manning, the Reform Party rapidly gained momentum in western Canada and sought to expand its base in the east. Manning, son of longtime Alberta Premier Ernest Manning, gained support partly from the same political constituency as his father's old party, the Alberta Social Credit Party.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canadian_Alliance#Background

Western allienation and social conservatism birthed the Reform party and the Canadian Alliance. Bernier appeals to neither group so it is no wonder he failed. 

Social conservatives are not stepping back. It remains to be seen if they have enough power to impact the leadership choice but many high level conservatives and conservative pundits are all but declaring social conservatism dead to the point where their views are unspeakable. 

I very much expect the party to elect someone like Rona Ambrose who has a chance nationally. Assuming that happens the question becomes "what will social conservatives do about it".  Will the Reform/Canadian Alliance be reborn under a new name? If not will social conservatives be inspired to vote? 

The other major issue is climate change. The Conservatives know they have to deal with the file but is it possible to have a program even as good(bad) as the Liberals without infuriating Alberta? 

 

jerrym

Pondering wrote:

I don't know how much power social conservatives have within the party but they certainly form a sizable group. Social conservatives split for Reform/Canadian Alliance. Bernier didn't appeal to them so that Bernier failed to split the party is not a sign of the party's strength. It may even be a sign of the party's devotion to social conservatism. 

The social conservatives have a potential candidate in Pierre Poilievre, although he semi-masks his views, just like Harper. He has some advantages in being from Alberta but represents an Ottawa riding and is bilingual. However, his attack dog reputation could hurt him. 

After Scheer failed to dislodge the Trudeau Liberals in the recent election, some Conservatives argued Scheer's apparent discomfort with media questions about abortion and LGBTQ rights alienated too many potential voters.

Many social conservatives say that argument amounts to an attempt to shut down one side of the debate within the party.

"I don't think anybody with their authoritarian dialogue has the right to dictate some issue off limits and others not," said Tanya Granic Allen, an outspoken social conservative who ran for the leadership of Ontario's Progressive Conservatives in 2018. ...

Gunnarson did reveal that none of the people his group is urging to run is a current federal MP. He said that, of the current crop of potential leadership candidates being talked about in the media — Rona Ambrose, Peter Mackay, Jean Charest, Erin O'Toole and Pierre Poilievre — it's Poilievre whose record looks the most promising to the Campaign Life Coalition.

"Poilievre has a good track record, a good voting record for our issues. [But] he's not somebody that is out there in a very public way about his position," said Gunnarson. His group tracks the voting records of politicians on abortion and other social issues, such as the definition of marriage and gender identity. Poilievre gets a "green light" from Campaign Life coalition with a "life and family issues voting score" of 94 per cent, he said.

That's not quite an endorsement of Poilievre, he added. "I'm not sure where he stands now. It really depends on what he says as a leadership candidate, whether or not he would get our support," he said.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/social-conservatives-leadership-1.5418035

Pondering

Harper's answer was to humour the social conservatives by defunding foreign abortions and letting back-benchers try to formulate a bill and by not marching in Pride. 

The Liberals and the NDP will hammer any leader on abortion and LBGTQ2.  Canada is the only developed nation with no abortion law. Social Conservatives believe they are compromising and being reasonable arguing for a 3rd trimester law. Social conservatives expected more from Harper when he won a majority. So, social conservatives are being told they have to settle for less for the sake of electability at the same time as they are expressing disatisfaction with Harper and Scheer for not defending their beliefs. 

https://leger360.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/Federal-politics-January-07-2020-1.pdf

From the numbers in this poll 22% of Conservatives think it is important for the leader to be pro-life. 82% think a balanced budget is important. 

Lots of other interesting numbers in the poll however I found it interesting that the poll did not include a question on the significance of climate change which seems a rather large oversight. 

I think the Conservative policy on climate change will be very important. 

JKR

Peter MacKay set to enter the Conservative leadership race today

https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/mackay-tweets-leadership-1.5427544

It will be interesting to see if Jean Charest also runs for the Conservative leadership.

The "decline of the Conservatives" seems to have been greatly exaggerated as the "moderate" wing of the Conservative Party seems to be alive, well and very healthy. The Conservatives top-two position seems as safe as it has been since Confederation was established more than 152 years ago.

From McDonald to McKay??

Sean in Ottawa

As hopeful as the premise in the thread title is, it is not as accurate as we all would hope it would be. No that I suggest changing it becuase it still is nice to see.

JKR

I agree. "The Conservatives will likely continue to be the junior partner to the Liberals" is not a hopeful or captivating title. 

I think if McKay or Charest become leader the Conservatives improbable decline will become even more remote.

Sean in Ottawa

I said this in anger in another thread but the gist is very true: when the Conservatives get extreme they eventually get into power. When the left gets extreme they get taken out of the conversation.

There are three reasons for this:

1) the conservatives have so much uncritical power (Capitalized who hold no standard or condition for their support other than the damage they do to government and social justice) that they remain the alternate government and fall into power whenever the Liberals mess up no matter how extreme they are and

2) the conservatives are presumed to be the most credible and best on a whole raft of issues where they are not sufficiently criticized and objectively keep turning in a poor performance on (like managing the economy). The result is that they get forgiven their nuttyness.

3) They are not a building party. They are a wrecking party. Any anger with government (even if theya re themselves the cause) helps them

This is why they never will be in decline. They are the political partners of an economic system of exploitation and reward those who win in the game they built rigged against anyone else.

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