Giede: the third time is the charm of the conservatives
The Conservative Party is facing its third leadership race in 40 months, so it’s clear it’s time for change, columnist Nathan Giede has said.
Ever since my ballot arrived from the Conservatives, I’ve been wondering what to say to the party’s malaise.
This is our third leadership contest in 40 months, with the previous two drivers thrown under the bus they failed to lead to victory, while leaving Trudeau to let the country decline. None of this inspires confidence. But all pejoratives aside, it’s clear that the Conservatives need a renaissance. So here are some new and old suggestions.
First, it is time to put an end to the myth of the Right Honorable Stephen Harper. He served his purpose as a unifier of the right and won a majority; but once in power, his incrementalism only squandered the patience of his supporters, while making the legislation easily reversible when the Tories lost. Add to that his fumbling about the Senate, the Supreme Court and the GST – while still doing nothing for social conservatives – and the mediocrity of his government’s tenure becomes clear.
Second, since short-sightedness defeated us last time, the solution is to think bigger and act boldly. There are so many atrocious and idiotic policies on the books of this country that keeping the various bands of conservatives together is as simple as letting them meddle in the Laurentian consensus they hate the most.
From anti-gun laws to government waste, from tax reform to ecological conservation, the opportunities are literally endless.
We need to understand that the realignment is real and that the mantle of “austerity for you but endless greed for me” has been taken over by left-liberal parties in the West, largely thanks to COVID-19 mandates. 19. Voters are reluctant, seeking any political apparatus that will bring accountability back to their institutions and affordability to their lives. Conservatives don’t need to frame their policy in terms of philosophical principles – they just need to deliver results.
Nationalizing industries and repatriating profits from our resources is an idea that offends only the thoughtless Bay Street tuxedos who usually vote Liberal anyway; the redistribution of manpower and salaries in our public institutions from the obese executive leadership to the starving front line would instantly change the way 50% of public servants currently vote; and renovating all the infrastructure would keep people employed for decades.
My right-wing critics are welcome to protest, using the neoliberal word salad that ran out of steam in 2008, or my left-wing opponents can claim that I have finally converted to their superior ideas. The truth is that I know my faith, which requires sound morals and society, that’s all.
But none of these obvious solutions to Canada’s problems can ever materialize if the Conservatives cannot solve the problem of getting elected. My third point is simple and perhaps the most important: it is time for the Conservatives to develop an electoral strategy that isolates and requires fewer seats in the Greater Toronto Area. In short, if a seat does not affect a major urban area or if it is a suburban-rural riding, it should be blue; if it is any color other than blue, every effort should be made to bring it to our tent in the general and by-elections.
Detractors, short and long pants, will say it doesn’t make sense. I’m going to parry with one last tip of the hat to the former boss – look at Harper’s coming of age map in 2011 and observe everything that isn’t GTA. We can reach the territories, Atlantic Canada, even Labrador and parts of Quebec. It is not a fantasy, the idea of forming a coalition that reduces the importance of urban Canada; it is the only path to “a strong and conservative majority government”, which rules securely for decades.
Let’s be clear, I don’t believe the Conservative Party will save us.
The fact is that Canada will not survive on its current trajectory, and these proposals are just some of the necessary corrections.
It only remains to be seen whether the Conservatives will be up to it.