There are those who believe that the Conservative Party of Canada suffers from some sort of political suicide ideation. There seem to be factions in the Party that are emotionally incapable of accepting any sort of compromise or moderation. The Campaign Life Coalition might be one of them. I see, in an article in the Peterborough Examiner, that, being dissatisfied with the Party’s current position, called Policy 70 …
… it hopes “to push the party to abandon its pledge that a Conservative government would not support a law regulating access to abortion.“
Let me say, first, that I have the utmost respect for the good people in Campaign Life Coalition. I understand that they believe, in their minds and hearts, that their position is the ONLY one that is morally acceptable and that social ruin will come to Canada because of those who follow the current Conservative and Liberal and NDP party lines. But, do they, I wonder, not understand that their proposal, to reopen the abortion debate, is exactly what Justin Trudeau ~ the most committed “pro-choice” leader in Canadian history ~ wants? The Campaign Life Coalition is NOT an arm of the Conservative Party. The Campaign Life Coalition doesn’t care about the other 160 Conservative Policy statements from 1. Role of Government to 161. Policy Development Principles. They care only about Policy 70.
Now, the Conservative Party says, in Policy 161, that it “believes true democracy involves vigorous participation by all citizens in the affairs of the country … [and] … We will commit to broad consultation with citizens across Canada to further the ongoing policy development process and ensure Members of Parliament have the fullest input from all Canadians.” That means that the Campaign Life Coalition must be given a fair hearing; it must be allowed to make it case. The Conservative Party is not like Justin Trudeau’s Liberals …
… it’s not like that “basic dictatorship” that Justin Trudeau admires so much. Thus, I expect that the Campaign Life Coalition will try to force the issue and if they succeed they will:
- Guarantee a landslide Liberal victory in the planned 2021 general election; and
- Destroy the Conservative Party of Canada that Stephen Harper and Peter MacKay cobbled together in 2003 and which gave Canada the best government (2006-2015) than it has had since the 1967.
I am not exaggerating. The Conservative Party cannot continue to exist as a useful political movement if it is formally, aligned against the wishes of a majority of Canadians.*
I do not believe that Erin O’Toole could or would stay on to lead a party that decided to make itself an officially pro-life party within its constitution. I doubt that e.g. Rona Ambrose, Candice Bergen, Michael Chong, Stephen Harper, Peter MacKay, Caroline Mulroney, Pierre Poilievre or Michelle Rempel-Garner would associate themselves with that party, either. I know that I would not be able to support its candidate in my riding.
I have said, before, that I believe that there is room for more political parties in Canada. I mean that there is “room,” specifically for a party that stands to the right of the Conservatives. That is what will have to happen if the Campaign Life Coalition succeeds in destroying the current Conservative Party. Canada is, already, a moderate, slightly left-leaning country. Justin Trudeau’s Liberals are working very hard to peel off the moderate (right) wing of the NDP by promising almost everything that has been in NDP election manifestos for decades. The NDP seems intent on helping by reaching out to proven anti-Semites like Jeremy Corbyn, but perhaps the absolutely loony-left wing is all that’s left for them.
As the Liberals move left they actually leave their own right wing exposed and the Conservatives need, now, to move in on that by being more, not less moderate. Faced with the Campaign Life Coalition threat, Erin O’Tool needs to get tough. He needs to reach out to every MP, to every candidate, to every riding association executive member and say: “You’re either with me and our Party or you’re working to destroy us, there is no middle ground on this issue. If I lose this then I’m gone and so are our Party’s chances of winning an election much before 2035. But, I intend to win, and then I WILL clean our Party’s house of all those who did not stand with me.“
Quite frankly, the religious right has no place to go. They would, if they were really honest, form their own political party, but they know that do not have the support of enough Canadians to ever be more than a handful of independents, à la the Greens. There is a place for the religious right in the Conservative Party IF that movement can accept that it will get a respectful hearing but that’s all … its policies will not become Conservative policy because the Conservative Party is a moderate centre-right and right-of-centre party, not a right wing one.
* Recent (2020) data says that a solid majority (75%) of Canadians are “satisfied” with the current abortion laws ~ which means they are satisfied with no laws regulating abortion. The data suggests that only 13% of Canadians identify as “Pro-life,” which is to say that they agree with the Campaign Life Coalition. But there is also data which says that many, i some cases even most Canadians, want some restrictions, most notably, a majority oppose “sex-selection” abortions and many want some rules regarding third term abortions. (I think that it is not so much that Canadians are happy with the current state of affairs; they are, I suspect, simply unable to believe that any political debate will do any good.)