Wednesday, April 27, 2016

An Albatross For A Long Time




The Conservative Party of Canada is in a bad place. Even Conservative cheerleader L. Ian MacDonald admits that -- as a recent EKOS poll suggests that those who call themselves Conservatives wish that Stephen Harper would rise again from the ashes:

There is no chance — none at all — of the Conservative party turning to Harper to lead it again. For that matter, there’s no sense out there that Harper would even accept a draft, in the highly unlikely event that one were to develop.

And none of his potential replacements look like good bets:

Peter MacKay recently accepted a partnership at a major international law firm on Bay Street, and has two young children at home. As much as he — as a favourite son of Atlantic Canada and representative of the party’s progressive wing — might be thinking about a leadership run, he knows it’s not the right time for him. [Kevin] O’Leary might be good entertainment, but a leadership race is much harder than a TV reality show. He also doesn’t speak French, and it’s a measure of how disconnected he is from political reality that he doesn’t see that as a problem.

Lisa Rait also doesn't speak French; and Kellie Leitch will have a hard time living down her snitch line.  Maxime Bernier could probably get a majority of the population of the Beauce to vote for him. But the rest of Canada is a different story. And, after Justice Vaillancourt's verdict, the whole Conservative machine smells dirty.

No, the Harper Years will be an albatross around the party's neck for a long time.

Image: netheatrergeek.com

22 comments:

Kirby Evans said...

Ah, well a-day! what evil looks
Had I from old and young!
Instead of the cross, an Albatros
About my neck was hung.

Anonymous said...

It likely will take some time before Conservatives are strong enough to challenge the Liberals. But I hope it won't be too long. It's not healthy for any political party to be in power for long, unconcerned about political opposition, smug. The Liberals were a perfect example of that when the Right was split and struggling to redefine itself. I'd hate to see that imbalance of power repeated so soon.

Owen Gray said...

After ten years, Kirby, we awoke -- sadder (and hopefully) wiser men and women.

Owen Gray said...

I do, too, Anon. Democracy requires an effective -- and principled -- opposition.

Lorne said...

It seems that a time in the political wilderness is the only opportunity for political renewal, Owen. Manitobans recently rejected the long-reigning NDP government not because they were so much attracted to Brian Pallister's Conservatives as they were tired of a complacent incumbent government, I suspect. The same would have, and arguably should have, happened in Ontario, but the Liberals here were sufficiently canny to know that a change of leadership might do the trick. Now all of us are paying for a party bloated by its own success, arrogantly selling off public assents like Hydro One.

Dana said...

Owen, what does the word "principle" mean in this 21st century world?

Owen Gray said...

Politicians are always trying to avoid trip to the guillotine, Lorne. Eventually, the clock runs out on all of them.

Owen Gray said...

I assume there are some things -- not many -- that all of us would go to the wall for, Dana. Perhaps I expect too much.

ron wilton said...

This harpercon quackery puts me immediately in mind of the Monty Python 'Dead Parrot`skit.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4vuW6tQ0218

Owen Gray said...

Classic Python, ron. And quite appropriate.

Dana said...

Anders Breivik has principles. Donald Trump has principles. Mugabe has principles. Even banks and petro-chemical companies have principles - and they are after all citizens because the Supreme Court of the United Snakes has principles too.

Everyone of those people and organizations (and many more unmentioned) would go to the wall for their principles - several have done so with the bloody results displayed for all the world to admire.

As a catchall the word has no meaning anymore. It's a platitude at best and a false flag at worst. "Words, words, mere words, no matter from the heart:
The effect doth operate another way"


Steve said...

Harper changed Canada, he made the Conservative party a side show

Owen Gray said...

I agree that everyone has beliefs, Dana. But there are demonstrably true beliefs and demonstrably false ones. Some people still insist that the earth is flat, despite those pictures from outer space. Some people insist that all Muslims are potential terrorists. And they believe that, because Donald Trump says it, it must be true.

When you discard the message, and you worship the messenger, you're in trouble.

Pamela Mac Neil said...

As long as conservatives remain reform/alliance and the ideology that goes with that Owen, Canadians will never vote for them again. This means that a real Progressive Conservative Party has to be created, one that is not just supported by a dogmatic focused base, but one that reaches out to all Canadians. The Liberals don't seem to have any competition either with the Conservatives or the NDP and from what I see of some of their decision, this is not a good thing. Majority governments with no real opposition to hold them accountable is never a good thing.Canadians themselves will have to take up that mantle. I don't think you expect too much Owen. I thinks there are some principles that Canadians would go to the wall for.

Owen Gray said...

I hope they would, Pam. Somethings are just too much to stomach.

Owen Gray said...

Certainly, long time progressive conservatives would agree, Steve. I'm just not sure how many of them are left.

The Mound of Sound said...


I hear that Preston's looking for a half-day job. Ben Mulroney? Doug Ford? Christy Clark (please, oh please)? Is John Crosby still dead? Day, did I say Day? Yes, Stockwell's just the man !!! There it is - Stockwell Day.

Dana said...

Is a principle a belief? Or is a principle an operational or behavioural manifestation of a belief?

Looking at synonyms for each is instructive.

Principles are not revealed by the spoken word. Principles are revealed behaviourally.




Owen Gray said...

I agree, Dana. The true value of a principle is in action. Words are cheap. The collective action citizens took -- before their politicians did -- to accept Syrian refugees says more about Canadian principles than a political speech before the Empire Club does.

Owen Gray said...

Strange how all those names elicit guffaws, Mound.

The Mound of Sound said...

Sorry, Owen, I mispelled Crosbie. That said I just checked and he's still not dead. I figure the Tories could get a good year, 15-months out of old John if they move quickly enough.

Owen Gray said...

Crosbie is never at a loss for words, Mound. And I suspect he has few kind ones for Stephen Harper.