Thursday, February 11, 2010

The CPC's Balancing Act

Ivison on the Conservative Party of Canada in the NP:

Power has brought a degree of discipline to this loose confederation of warring tribes but the differences between them remain and will inevitably resurface in due course.

This is one of the biggest questions in Canadian politics at the moment. How long can the CPC, or at least the CPC capable of forming government, last? We're told by one faction of the party that Canadians are really closet libertarians and are hankering for the chance to come out. The other faction has been telling us for years about the silent majority that hates homoexuals and wants to ban abortion. Yet anyone with an ounce of sense knows that a CPC that ran on a social conservative/libertarian agenda would be banished to the University of Calgary for a generation. The faction in charge knows how unpalatable they are to the Canadian people and so attempt to change the country in increments, hoping nobody will notice.

But how long can this last? With the Wild Rose stirring up the always angry Albertan populace and quickly becoming a provincial government in waiting, how long can the CPC keep up the illusion of centrism without pissing off its core? Can Harper distance himself from Wild Rose while his own caucus members publicly blow kisses at Smith? The yokels are increasingly jealous of the American tea-parties, and don't tell me there isn't a certain whiff of Palin about the "charasmatic" Rose leader.

I'm sure I'm not alone among progressives and conservatives in hoping that the CPC hangs a right in the next election. I expect there will be a good deal of noise coming from out west that Harper won't be able to ignore. Harper's success is based largely on his ability to keep the goofs in his party muzzled, but there's only so much temptation those dogs can take before they break their leashes and make a dash for some of that sweet libertarian love.


  1. Shiner, I'm not sure enough Canadians care any more about issues outside their own skins to marginalize the CRAPers. Maybe pessimism comes with age, but I find us smaller now than I remember us ever being before. The disgraceful "pavilion" in Vancouver symbolizes our current national state all to nicely.

    O/T, I loved the Harviestoun B&T. Found a raft of it over the weekend and filled the fridge. Splendid.

  2. Yeah, I'm finding it harder and harder to gauge the mood of Canada. Specifically, while I still believe the majority of Canadians land on the centre-left, I think there's a good deal of libertarian/small-government creep. It doesn't matter what Canadians would like anymore because nobody is willing to pay for it. Given the choice between cutting services and raising taxes, I think most governments will cut because the political fallout will be far less severe.

    As I mentioned over at RedTory's yesterday, my office overlooks Parliament Hill and I often wonder what kind of capital buildings we would build if we had to do it over. I'd suggest that MacDonald's desire for a show of strength and will no matter what the cost would go over like a lead balloon.

    Glad you liked the B&T, it's a keeper. Two offerings from Great Lakes Brewery tomorrow: Devil's Pale Ale and Canuck Pale Ale.