by Yule Heibel on October 17, 2003

One of Canada’s real conservatives is screaming mad about the just-announced merger between the so-called Progressive Conservatives and the Canadian Alliance (…for frontal lobotomy & intolerance in the name of rah-rah capitalism & generalized homophobia….). David Orchard, who still clings to an increasingly archaic meaning of the word conserve – ative, is worried, and I can’t say I blame him. Something unpleasant is happening here, with Canadians about to be squeezed between the national Liberals, who all-too-often behave like neo-cons on the provincial level, and a massive modernized so-called conservative party that’s just dying to be Canada’s answer to American neo-conservatism. The NDP is fast diminishing in all this. Oy.


Doug Alder October 19, 2003 at 1:13 am

There was an interesting set of interviews on CBC Radio 1 this morning – I think it was Sheilagh Rogers’ program – where she seperately inteviewed Harper, MacKay, Orchard and Martin. Orchard was the most interesting to listem to. McKay is indulging in a great deal of revisionism right now to try and justify his action in the light of his promises at the leadership convention. Then again, when have we ever been able in the past 4 decades or more ever been able to trust a tory politician to tell the truth. We only have to look at NAFTA and the GST to see how much their word is worth (not that the Liberals are much if any better). I don’t think this merger will happen. I think the Joe Clark supporters, the Orchard supporters and the Red Tories in general will bail and vote against it. On the Alliance side there will be quite a number that feel this is a sellout of their homophobic, misogynistic, fundamentalist principles and they will vote against it.

What does worry me though is the possibility of it going through – if you look at the last 3 elections and make the assumption that had there been only one condervative party and all those who voted Alliance/Reform and PC would have voted for that party, then the Liberals would have had minority government in each of those three elections. As much as I despise the Liberals I would rather see them in power than the PC/Alliance.

Yule Heibel October 19, 2003 at 1:48 am

I missed the CBC program… I know so little of what’s going on, having returned to Canada only last year. I was really appalled at the Can. Alliance party — they are just awful. When we left Canada nearly 20 years ago, Joe “Hamster” Clark was trying to run things, and getting the run around for it, too. We came back last year and first of all noticed the bleedin’ GST, which I understand was supposed to pay something down, but now that it has, it’s still active and will likely never be rescinded. The GST came under Mulroney, right? Next, the main thing that struck me about the Can. Alliance was the branding aspect: so incredibly slick. Oily. But then I can remember Trudeau-mania, too, although they were media & branding-savvy, didn’t seem at all oily, just exciting: we lived in Winnipeg at the time, and even my parents — none of you reading this are likely to have known my parents, but …well, even my parents were excited about Trudeau, which I remember just left me wondering, “what the heck is it that’s working here anyway?” Trudeau was ….ungh, I don’t know, a real animal, cute, too, but Harper??? Pee-yew, he’s awful. Meanwhile, the Liberals are just kind of institutionalized, and the NDP is stuck in neutral. You’re totally right though that the Liberals are better than a PC/Alliance government in power. They’d completely sell us out to the US.

A long time ago I wrote a research paper on Harold Town, a not very good abstract painter from Toronto. He was big in the 60s. I learned a lot about how Liberalism changed in Canada around that time, to being very hip & pro-American, and how Diefenbacher, maligned as a 50s fuddy-duddy, actually represented a kind of conservatism that doesn’t even exist on the PC/Alliance radar screen anymore. We’ve kept the names, but utterly changed the content. Big surprise.

Doug Alder October 19, 2003 at 5:23 pm

What a lot of people don’t understand is that the original conservartive party in Canada was known as he Liberal Conservatives 🙂 they are the real progenitors of today’s “Red Tories”. The word Progressive in their name come from a merger in 1941 between the Liberal Conservatives (by then known as the Conservative Party) and the Progressive Party, a defunct western protest party – sound familiar :-).

Today’s PC and Alliance Party do not bear any resemblence to the Conservatives of Diefenbaker’s era (although he too sold us out to the US – we should never forget that it was his Conservative government that cancelled the Avro Arrow – a fighter plane far more advanced than anything on the planet at the time, it was a good decade ahead of US manufacturers in design and technology – on orders from Washington) –

Yule Heibel October 19, 2003 at 10:18 pm

Going over course material with my kids now, I’m hoping that I’ll get a crash course in Canadian government politics eventually. A close look at how things falling apart in the UK Empire around ’45 affected Canada — one of the colonies! — and how the special relationship with the US changed …well, all that stuff is just fascinating. We Canadians (even we immigrant ones) act so self-effacing, but hell’s bells, Canada is actually pretty interesting. And definitely worth being interested in: the Great White North, eh? I heard Lloyd Axworthy on CBC the other day — he was in Victoria to promote his new book (but I missed his reading at Munro’s — I have a hard time stepping out of my cell, it seems!,haha) . He spoke about global warming’s effects on the North, and how there’s no policing or legislation or anything going on up there, and how we’re so obsessed with what’s happening near the 49th parallel when Canada is in fact also so hugely hugely a country of the Arctic circle. If I’m not mistaken, he seemed to be suggesting that the warming trend will actually start to draw in the human jackals, trying to exploit things. Man, we’re sitting on a big pile of something here, and it’s not all about America really (except for that they might try to come in here and tell us what to do with our natural resources, i.e., hand them over…).

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: