Thursday, February 16, 2017

A Toxic Brew

Lawrence Martin writes that the Conservatives appear ready to take a leap off the cliff. The two leading contenders for the leadership of the party are Maxime Bernier and Kevin O'Leary:

If the polls are to be believed, it’s become a two-man race between newcomer Kevin O’Leary and libertarian Maxime Bernier. Kellie Leitch is far back. The more conventionally styled Tory candidates are not even within shouting range.

Mr. Bernier would be the biggest privatizer the party has ever had as leader. One of his radical planks is to end the federal role in funding health care by transferring tax points to the provinces. This could bring on a Balkanized system as well as more and more privatization. It risks, argues candidate Michael Chong, moving voters away from the party in droves.

Choosing Mr. O’Leary could invite as much, if not more, peril. He has never been elected, has no background in the party, is unilingual, hasn’t lived in Canada for years and has a policy kit – decried as juvenile by critics – that is all over the ideological map and devoid of substance.

Modern conservatism has become as scrambled as Donald Trump's brain. Andrew Coyne writes

Conservatism used to have some claim to being a coherent political philosophy. Of late it has become a series of dares. The most extreme voice will lay down the most extreme position, then challenge others to endorse it.

As often as not this has nothing to do with conservatism. It is rather a kind of moral exhibitionism, populist virtue-signalling, in which the object is to say and do the most intolerant or ill-considered thing that comes to mind — anything that might attract the condemnation of bien-pensants in the media and elsewhere, whose opposition becomes proof in itself of its merits.

The willingness to court such controversy in turn becomes the test of political purity. To demur, conversely, can only be a sign of cowardice, or worse, liberalism, a heresy that that would seem to have overcome much of the conservative movement, to judge by the ever-lengthening list of the excommunicated.

Like it or hate it, conservatism used to possess internal consistency. All the parts fit together. Now the parts form a toxic brew and the centre will not hold.


the salamander said...

.. ah.. the great buffalo jump.. or lemming off the cliff flinging they-selves .. Of course O'bleary of Boston will pull up short.. leave the stampede to Leitch et al.. and rest o th the thundering evangelistic herd

Hell, he's scored big time.. mucho publicity & brand payoff for his measly 75 thou large.. and he's still reaping the harvest!

This is McLuhanism 101.. it's the Medium, not the Massage.. (yes - massage - not message)

But hey.. as an Indy blogger once said 'fill your boots'.. The non nutritious blathering of the current weasel crop is about as diverse as barnboard.. aside from Michael Chong..

When I steam broccoli to go with baked salmon and mixed rice tonight.. I won't try to also serve up the steam or the greenish water.. nor will we eat the salmon skin baked onto tinfoil, much less the tinfoil.. But that's what the current 'reformertives' are selling as 'our values'

Being played for fools? If we don't recognize the dull reflection of Trumpism & Harperism in Leitch, Blane, O'Leary et al we deserve to eat foil & sniff their steam.. while they eat our lunch & dinner

Owen Gray said...

Trump's influence is painfully obvious, salamander. And you ask the right question: Are we that stupid?

The Mound of Sound said...

I think they're reduced to dry humping, Owen. It's a grotesque spectacle. The biggest problem confronting O'Leary and Leitch is the disaster now playing out at 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue. We get to watch the train wreck that they're seeking to emulate unfold. Oh sure it will still appeal to the misfits and degenerates among the Canadian electorate but the Tories have now seen, first hand, what that has done to their Republican cousins.

Owen Gray said...

You'd think that having a ring side seat to the debacle might give them pause, Mound. But, so far, there seems to be no indication of that.

the salamander said...

.. dry humping.. ! Mound will hear from my soliciter shortly.. I will sue re spewing my coffee all over my IPad.. with an explosive guffaw (entirely his fault) (malice & aforethought) - which resembled a bursting pipeline.. one of our dogs bit me, thinking I was either choking or rabid.. so the damages claim will be high ! !

On a comedic note however.. the Rona Regime seems always to find the Contrarian Position.. Now this may be a rodeo tactic.. or a reversed Mormon backflip manoeuvre .. thus where a compass points true north.. the Kellie Leitch and misc Rona faction see the ass end of the needle points due south.. and rush off that away.. True North can be complicated to the perturbed, partisan or pathetic.. when gazing at a compass.. and seeing it as some sort of biblical signpost.. like a burning bush or immaculate deception .. or interception..

Always remember the remarkable wisdom of the owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers.. who announced to his wife that Franco Harris.. was their 1st round draft pick.. I believe she said 'Oh wonderful! A good Irish running back, fine choice!'

Owen Gray said...

"Dry humping" . . . "immaculate deception." You guys do have a way with words.

zoombats in Hong Kong said...

Trump's influence is painfully obvious, salamander. And you ask the right question: Are we that stupid?

I think that The U.S.A. government are a bunch of copy cats. We Canadians underestimate ourselves in this desire to feel we are not as great as our cousins to the south. I maintain that we are and have been that stupid. We had Harper long before they got Trump. We are the leaders here for a change. We had all the lies, the fight with the media, the racial bigotry, etc., etc., and suffered many years of ridicule with an erosion of our standing in the world. Give Canadians some credit.

Owen Gray said...

Having lived through this show before, zoombats, you'd think we'd avoid reruns.

Steve said...

when Wiley E Oriley is out over the canyon, Canada should remember above everthing else
he does not even live here.

Owen Gray said...

He's just visiting, Steve.