Saturday, May 28, 2016

Will The Conservatives Move Left?

Not very likely, says David Orchard, who was betrayed by Peter Mackay, when Orchard threw his support behind Mackay's bid for the leadership of the Progressive Conservative Party. Mackay threw in his lot with Stephen Harper. And Progressive Conservatism went out the window:

The party's leadership will likely continue to hew hard right, says a prominent member of the former Progressive Conservatives, David Orchard.

Orchard was famously misled by Peter MacKay in 2003 when the Canadian Alliance merged with the Progressive Conservatives to created the modern Conservative Party.

Orchard was running for the party leadership and dropped out to throw his support behind MacKay on the condition MacKay would not allow the merger of the two parties. Later that year MacKay sealed the deal with Stephen Harper's party.

Those who helped MacKay twist the knife still hold most of the power in the Conservative Party, Orchard told the Tyee, and that will prevent the party from shifting towards the centre.

As Harper existed stage right on Thursday night, there was no sign that the party would reject what he stood for. And that's a big problem:

Studies show younger voters in Canada, and in much of the western world, lean more to the left than in previous decades and tend to be more populist.

Meanwhile, Conservatives are trying to rebuild their popularity after Stephen Harper's long, hard shift of the movement rightwards.

Harper prioritized the oil industry, passed the controversial Anti-Terrorism Act, refused to fund abortions in developing countries and proposed a telephone line for Canadians to snitch on each other if they saw a suspected a barbaric cultural practice was committed.

"The past is no place to linger," Harper told his audience on Thursday night. But that is where the Conservatives plan to plant their flag.



UU4077 said...

"The past is no place to linger" says Harper who renamed th CAF back to the Royal Canadian Air Force and changed the ranks and insignia of the armed forces back to the confusing British versions

Owen Gray said...

You can't judge Harper by his words, UU4077. They mean nothing to him. But his actions shout out what he stands for.

Lorne said...

it stuns me, Owen, that a man so totally bereft of both integrity and intelligence is still being touted as the undeclared frontrunner to replace Stephen Harper. I'm glad Orchard took the time to remind us of the 'caliber' of Peter Mackay's 'character,'

Owen Gray said...

Even now, people refer to Mackay as a "progressive conservative," Lorne. Some lies have great sticking power.

The Mound of Sound said...

Let the Tories continue their blunder. Canada's shifting demographics do not favour the far right. I'm delighted no end that today's younger voters realize that their future does not lie in neoliberalism but in something significantly more progressive. The Tories can keep on banging their heads against that brick wall just as long as they like. Time is clearly not on their side.

Owen Gray said...

It's a little like climate change, Mound. The evidence of it is everywhere, but they don't see it.