There is a report in the Hill Times headlined “High-profile Conservatives organizing to shift party to centre: activist.” The report says that “A group of influential Canadian conservatives has been working over the summer to create an organization that will try to pull the Conservative Party closer to the political centre, say several sources with knowledge of the effort … [and] … The group includes well-known conservatives in and outside of the party, according to four sources speaking on the record and on background so as not to betray the confidence of the people involved. One political activist said he attended one of the emerging group’s meetings in June, and was joined by several former rivals to new Leader Andrew Scheer (Regina-Qu’Appelle, Sask.) for the party leadership.“
““It’s the old Progressive Conservative diaspora coming back together and reclaiming its party,”” one activist said.
The Hill Times article notes that “The new organization wouldn’t be the first third-party conservative group to spring up after the leadership contest: several libertarians with connections to the Conservative Party, and second-place candidate Mr. Bernier in particular, recently launched Conservative Futures, an advocacy group that aims to promote a libertarian message.“
“Third party conservative groups” are, in my opinion, either …
- sore losers; or
- perhaps unwitting dupes of the Liberals who want to split the Conservative Party Stephen Harper and Peter MacKay brought together;
… neither is beneficial to any of the broad conservative movement, the Conservative Party of Canada or to Canada itself.
We do not need another Libertarian Party in Canada ~ one is quite enough and I wish it well. Way back, in October of 1993, Canadians resoundingly rejected the old Progressive Conservative Party … the fragile coalition that Brian Mulroney had cobbled together shattered: Lucien Bouchard’s Bloq Québecois and Preston Manning’s Reform Party emerged from the ashes with a respectable combined total of 106 seats ~ far short of Jean Chrétien’s whopping 177 seats (in a 295 seat House of Commons). So there’s no pressing need for a PC revival, either.
What the Conservative Party of Canada does need to do is to craft policies ~ an election platform ~ that can and will appeal to the moderate middle … but it doesn’t need to become a pale imitation of the Liberal Party.
The CPC needs to be a party of principles … principles like fiscal responsibility, honesty and openness in government, respect for the rule of law (not just for “law and order”), and for a cleaner environment, free(er) trade, lower taxes, less government but better, more efficient government. Those are Canadian’s core values. Those are principles behind which most Canadians can unite.
The challenge for Andrew Scheer, now, is to unite the party behind his leadership; to show respect for the wide range of views that we, Conservatives, have without pandering to any particular faction; to develop a team who espouse social moderation, fiscal responsibility, principled policies and respect for others. That may mean, for a start, reigning in dissidents from all of the progressive and libertarian and social conservative wings of the party and persuading all of them to support a suite of polices and programmes that will appeal to the 70+% of Canadian who occupy the “moderate middle” of the political spectrum.