“The Conservatives have made themselves electable by making themselves indistinguishable from the Liberals.” (Columnist Richard Gwyn, The Toronto Star, 22 March 2005.)
Gee, isn’t it grand to know the Red Tories, oops, I mean the “Conservatives” are now “electable?” So what does it take to get “electable” and media approval? First of all you must state clearly that on the issue of abortion you will not pass a law. Then the abortion supporting media will give you praise for getting rid of an “extremist” principle and being on the proper road to becoming government and being a “mainstream” alternative to the Liberals.
Don’t you love this liberal media? They criticize pro-life people for being “one issue” people yet as soon as Harper and the Red Tories, oops, I mean “Conservatives,” say they will not legislate on abortion they go into ecstasy mode and declare the “Conservative” convention a success. A Quebec paper had this to say about the Tory convention: “They also appeared moderate enough to govern, on most of the contentious issues on the floor, none more so than abortion. Harper supported a resolution that a Conservative government would not introduce abortion legislation, and when it passed, another resolution to ban late term abortions became moot.” (The Gazette, Montreal, March 21, 2005.)
Still it’s not only the liberal media that is back on side, even old Progressive Conservatives are filled with Red Tory joy. A Tory Senator had this to say: “Senator Pierre Claude Nolin boasted that members from Quebec had helped draw the party to the centre of the political spectrum, to a point where it is not far from his former party, the Progressive Conservatives.” He went on to say: "The things we adopted suit me, and I consider myself pretty progressive," he said.” ( National Post, March 21, 2005. )
Wow, it really is a relief to know that the Senator is on side. Can they now expect a “Conservative” landslide in Quebec in the next election after this endorsement? This is starting to sound like a Red Tory love in! Perhaps we’ll get approval from Joe Clark next? Where are you Joe now that they need you? They need your political expertise and confirmation that things are now “pretty progressive.” This would really seal the full meal deal. Anyway it’s good to know Quebec is on side. It was a good idea to hold the convention there, it lets them know that this is not an “intolerant” or “bigoted’ party. A Quebec delegate had this to say: "We've finally put the whole social conservatism thing to rest, and we have a strong, moderate policy platform to build on, this has been a good convention for us all around," said Dany Renauld, a long-time Tory organizer and one of 500 Quebec delegates.” ( The Toronto Star, 21 March 2005 )
Quebec was also at the forefront on the abortion issue: “ Quebec-based Tories were mostly buoyant at the convention's end. The reason? Delegates from the province mustered their troops to lobby hard - and successfully - in ensuring the party opposed legislating on abortion.” (The Toronto Star, March 21, 2005.)
With Quebec on side the next election should be a walkover. Who needs those silly western policies like recall and referendum anyway? Bury them, and they did: A Quebec newspaper article said this: “Two basic tenets of the old Reform movement, recall and referendums, were given an unceremonious burial.” The article went on to say: “The Quebec delegates, mostly remnants of the former PCs, got what they demanded from Harper's office to organize a provincial wing. They also got what they wanted in one resolution recognizing the fiscal imbalance between Ottawa and the provinces, and another supporting official bilingualism.” ( The Gazette, Montreal, March 21, 2005.)
Well, isn’t that nice and good to know that official bilingualism will still be maintained even though its costing the taxpayers billions over the years it has been in operation. Still, it is money well spent, isn’t it? And that’s what counts, eh? Now the Red Tories, oops, I mean “Conservatives” cannot be accused of being fiscal conservatives when they endorse expensive official bilingualism. Heck, the way they are trashing all the “neanderthal” populist policies they used to have; “same-sex marriage” is the only one keeping them from being “mainstream.” The Toronto Star had this to say: “As for his opposition to same-sex marriages, it's fair to guess that Harper has only adopted this stance as a sop to his considerable number of ex-Reform/Alliance social conservatives. In exchange, he's been able to abandon the party's opposition to abortion and to junk all its Reform-type populist notions, such as voter recall and citizen-initiated referendums.” (Toronto Star, 22 March, 2005.)
In summing up these are great days to be a Red Tory, oops, I mean “Conservative.” Everything went almost smoothly at the convention except for a bit of a blow up over “equality of ridings”, but this was solved after the Deputy Leader of the party stuck to his Red Tory “principles.” And a resolution went down to defeat that would have given clout to ridings with more members. This resolution was: “The one the PC wing of the party needed to win, and the one Harper passed the word it must win, was the defeat of a resolution tying riding representation to the number of members, rather than all ridings being equally represented.” ( The Gazette, Montreal, March 21, 2005.)
A cynic might say this was how the West got done, and delivered to the Red Tories.
Anyway the “ Conservative family” is back together again. Brian even sent best wishes and Senator Pat was on stage at the end of the convention. Most of the media are on side and it is all systems go. The Red Tories, oops, I mean “Conservatives” are, according to a media pundit, “indistinguishable from the Liberals.” So the “Conservatives” are in “good” liberal shape, to have won media approval.
Stephen J. Gray
March 29, 2005.