"A Citizen"s Eye View"

Sunday, November 25, 2012

It's Time For De-Unification of the Right

It is clear that since the merger of the Canadian Alliance Party and the Progressive Conservative Party in 2003, there has been one voice and only one voice in Canada for those  who tend to inhabit the territory to the right of the political centre. That voice is Stephen Harper's. 

Actually, the transaction that brought the two right-leaning parties together was less of a merger and more of a hostile take-over. It was a carefully orchestrated maneuver that involved equal amounts of manipulation and treachery. The main goal was not so much a meeting of Conservative minds but the acquisition of the Conservative name. You see, the only way Stephen Harper, Tom Flanagan and their cadre of Straussian ideologues could gain credibility east of Manitoba and hence, any hope of ever forming a government was through the annexation of an existing political party.  The Progressive Conservative Party was severely wounded and directionless since the Mulroney years and thus, ripe for plunder. 

Once he had his hands on the Conservative name, Harper wasted no time in dropping the "progressive" label. For the first few years of this shot-gun marriage, Harper had to keep the old progressives happy in order to continue the existence of his new creation. This included keeping co-conspirator Peter MacKay well placed in the Conservative hierarchy. Despite having become a political liability as a result of his numerous blunders, MacKay remains as deputy leader of the party. But as time passed and his core of hard-right disciples became stronger and stronger, the old P.C.s in the Harper caucus have had less and less of a voice in managing party or governmental affairs. In fact, all power with in the party rests with Harper himself and his collection of Harper-Youth within the PMO. 

No room for Red-Tories in Harper's Caucus
At first, this "new Conservative deal" seemed like a good idea. Harper had the grit, the smarts and the ruthlessness to finally lead right-leaning Canadians out of the shadows and into government, thus supplanting the age old Liberal party and their attitude of entitlement. The problem that has eventually come to light though, is that while Harper has finally formed a majority government (however credible it may be), he has stepped on a lot of toes along the way and forced the majority of his caucus into the rather embarrassing role of cheerleader. No one dares contradict "His Harperness". Any MP who inadvertently expresses an independent thought is quickly swarmed by the Harper-Youth and immediately "reprogrammed". As a result, all the old "progressive" voices with in the party have been effectively neutered, cut off by the hard-right cohort who sit at Harper's right hand. 

Many of the old P.C.s saw the hand writing on the wall from the outset. Ex-Prime Minister Joe Clark would have nothing to do with Harper's Hooligans and sat out his remaining days in Parliament as a P.C. Some Senators continued to do likewise. Former Mulroney Cabinet Minister Sinclair Stevens went so far as to form a new political entity, the Progressive Canadian Party (thereby retaining the old P.C. moniker). But Canadians, as Harper had calculated, are traditionalists by nature and have stuck with the party that still retains the Conservative name. Slowly however- ever so slowly - voters are beginning to wake up to the fact that the CPC is NOT the Conservative Party of Joe Clark, Robert Stanfield, John Diefenbaker or their grand daddies. Harper's party (and make no mistake about it, it is most definitely HIS party)is nothing more than the Tea Party on steroids. It has no room for "Red-Tories" or progressives. Various Harper minions such as Jim Prentice awoke to this fact and have since "retired" from politics. 

History will show that Richardson
backed the right horse.
One of the most telling departures from Harper's caucus of late was Lee Richardson from Calgary Centre who took his leave round about the time Parliament was having C-38 shoved down it's throat and various glassy-eyed CPC MPs were forced to applaud and shake their blue pom-poms on cue. While the timing of his departure is certainly suspect, the most interesting aspect of it is that he left the Harper-fold to work for Provincial P.C. leader Alison Redford. It's no secret that The Government of Harper supported the radically ideological Wildrose Party over the Progressive Conservative Party in the last Alberta election. This made Richardson's move all the more interesting, and telling.

 Harper likes to think of himself as overlord of the Provincial P.C. parties, simply because he stole the Federal Party out from underneath everyone's noses, but the Alberta scenario has proven that the Machiavellian Harper will squash any P.C. who disagrees with him and he'll prop up any Premier, regardless of Party, who he can manipulate. Harper is no friend of nor has he any loyalty to any provincial Progressive Conservative Party anywhere in the Country. Just ask Danny Williams. 

So moderate right-leaning voters are presented with very few options. Either support the radical ideologues who have stolen their party or look to the fractured left of the political spectrum. Not an easy choice. One that probably leaves many Canadian voters shaking their heads and deeply regretting the "Unite The Right" movement that at one time, shone like a beacon of hope and now burns them like an interrogator's lamp. It is time then according to this writer, for all good Red-Tories (and some disgruntled Blue Liberals) to reclaim their turf - to "Take Back the Right" from the autocratic Harper. To do this, they must undo the mischief wrought by Harper's Henchmen. They must untie the knot that bound their fortunes to a second rate Banana Republic dictator. The marriage born of treachery must be annulled.  It is time for the Re-birth of the Federal Progressive Conservative Party of Canada. 

Could Redford be the one to lead a
reserected Progressive Conservatve Party?
It says here that in the end, Lee Richardson has backed the right horse. If anyone is to lead the New Progressive Conservative Party, Alison Redford is a good fit for the job. She is proving to be a skilled tactician, in overcoming the manipulation of the CPC in the last Provincial election, certainly Harper's equal. But she is also a good politician who has demonstrated the willingness and ability to work with the other Premiers all for the greater good of the Federation. And in standing firm with the show-boating Christie Clark, she demonstrates the  ability to make the "tough decisions" when necessary.   And Redford's collaborative approach is gaining her supporters outside of Alberta's borders as well. So she is well equipped to lead the re-birth of a proud Canadian tradition. Hence, she is well placed to restore the Progressive voice to Canadian democracy and to pull the rug out from underneath his Harperness. 

It's Time For the Rebirth of the Federal Progressive Conservative Party.

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