November 11, 2004


Does Canada have a conservative party? (National Post, November 11th, 2004)

When Stephen Harper scored a first-ballot victory in the Conservative Party of Canada's inaugural leadership contest last March, it was a strong endorsement of the conservative values that had guided his stewardship of the Canadian Alliance. And yet, mere months later, Mr. Harper is shifting the party to the mushy middle.

As early as last June's federal election campaign, there were signs -- notably the Conservatives' statist health policies -- that Mr. Harper was wary of bold policy proposals. Since then, he has become meeker still: Having apparently deduced that his party lost the election because its policies were too bold, Mr. Harper has been reluctant to take any position that could spark even slight controversy -- the only exception being his curious and unwelcome flirtation with Belgian-style federalism.

The Conservative leader now appears to be sacrificing one of his party's top priorities -- assisting the United States in promoting continental security. Yesterday, it was reported the party is backing away from its support for Canadian participation in a missile defence shield. "The goal posts are moving on this," a party insider told CanWest News Services, "because there's a recognition that missile defence just doesn't sell in Quebec or among urban voters in Ontario."

It is pathetic to see the British and Canadian Conservative parties succumbing to the belief that the only thing standing between them and power is conservatism.

Posted by at November 11, 2004 8:42 AM


Blame the voters.

Posted by: M Ali Choudhury at November 11, 2004 12:46 PM

This was the result I expected when the Alliance merged with the wimpy rump that is the (gasp!)Progressive Conservatives. It looks like the Albertans are going to have to quit this group and start all over.

Perhaps, a policy encouraging Quebec secession might be a good start.

Posted by: Bart at November 11, 2004 1:28 PM

I told you the other day. Labour and the Tories ought to trade party names.

Posted by: Joe at November 11, 2004 6:36 PM

Bart, you hit the nail on the head.

Posted by: Randall Voth at November 12, 2004 10:35 AM