Jason Fekete, writing in the Ottawa Citizen, says that “Thousands of Conservatives from across Canada will begin charting a new course for the federal party this week at the Tories’ national convention in Vancouver … while many in the party are pushing for more progressive policies on things like same-sex marriage and the environment, they will be facing stiff resistance this week from social conservatives who maintain a strong voice in the party … many other Conservative MPs, including leadership candidate Michael Chong and former minister Michelle Rempel, hope members support a resolution that would remove the party’s current definition of marriage — “the union of one man and one woman” — from the policy declaration as part of an effort to promote a more inclusive party … [and] … Michele Austin, a chief of staff in Harper’s Conservative government and now senior advisor with Summa Strategies in Ottawa, said there’s a lot of enthusiasm in the party because members feel there’s a genuine opportunity for renewal and to be heard.“
That last bit, “a genuine opportunity for renewal” in the directions that e.g. Michael Chong, Deepak Obhrai and Michelle Rempel want to move the party is why I think the Conservative grassroots should be feeling optimism, not anger. But, we have to move towards being a Big Tent party again … as Prime Minister Harper understood we must be in order to win elections. And that means we must, at the very least, be socially moderate ~ even though I, personally, would go farther and advocate for “social libertarian” policies.
I think it going to become steadily clearer that while Canadian did, indeed, vote for change, they are not getting the change for which they hoped.
I am convinced that we, Conservatives, need to be ready to take power in 2019 because I believe that, by then, Canadians will have grown disenchanted with …
… and will want a return to good, solid, honest, principled policy.
I will also repeat that we need to have policies that make good sense to most Canadians … to millions more than those with whom we ‘connected’ in 2015: fiscal policies, foreign policies, social polices, law and order policies, defence policies, environmental policies, aboriginal policies and, and, and … and we need to have a fresh, open, attractive, personable leader … most likely someone from this group …
… but someone who will, consciously model her or himself on a long dead Liberal prime minister who, it was said, “… probably gave Canada the most consistently good, financially responsible, trouble-free government the country has had in its entire history.” That must be our goal: good, financially responsible, trouble free government for most Canadians … the greatest good for the greatest number and Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill put it. there are some Canadian who will, likely, never, every vote Conservative, but we must still govern for them or, at least, not against them, as I fear some conservatives wish to do.
But, on balance, I am optimistic. I believe we can look beyond the narrow, socially constricted views of a few and look beyond the fears of some others and offer Canadians policies and programmes and a platform and a team that will bring good government back to Ottawa.