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Thursday, 29 October 2015

Canada and its Two Liberal Parties

I’m not sure it makes any kind of sense mourning the conservative loss on October the 19, 2015. Sure, the Trudeau Liberals filled the void, sure it is another Trudeau at the head of Our Majesty’s Government, but that is not the be all end all. The Liberal party being back in power is not unusual (they have governed the country for the better part of its history); it’s just a return to what the Liberal Party does best secure and hold power, which would not be possible unless we discard the cries of Canadians on the right that the liberals are radical leftists. In fact, the concept that the liberal party and Mr Trudeau are radical leftists makes almost no sense. Despite our efforts to paint the party otherwise the Liberal Party has always been a broker party holding the center, regardless of shifts, and adopting Tory and NDP policies when necessary to ensure its continued hegemony: William Lyon Mackenzie King pulled off this trick many a time. So what can we lament, and what can we look forward too instead?

We can lament the onset of a variety of progressive policies: Trudeau has made it clear that he will not approbate pro-life sentiment in his caucus for example. We will likely see counterproductive foreign policy, just as bad in fact as Harper's, but perhaps lacking in a moral compass to an even larger degree. And finally, we will likely be hit with some misguided Keynesian stimulus, the stuff of election winners who think the government can direct the economy with any kind of authority, Stephen Harper at least knew that the economy was not some malleable thing.

At least it's not the Mulcair NDP. No great revolution is coming, some tweaks and perhaps some disregard for the sentiments of the better part of the Canadian polity, but not great NDP restructuring. Trudeau is not at the head of a revolutionary government, just an obnoxious one tempered by liberalism and progressive dogmatism.

But what rankles me more than anything in the past few weeks is the utter deification of Stephen Harper post-mortem.

Few would dare to say that we have two liberal parties in Canada, but in fact we do. Stephen Harper's government was no conservative government. It offered not even an effective olive branch to the social conservatives both amongst the public and in caucus; it effectively drove a massive and possibly unbreakable net down over our heads with bill C-51 and other misguided terror legislation antithetical to our ancient rights under English Common law; P.M Harper drove government spending throughout the bureaucracy to new heights; he annihilated manufacturing through free trade and anti-union legislation; market fundamentalism traded cheap goods for cheap jobs, and finally, he eviscerated environmental legislation despite our duty to preserve our majestic landscape for our posterity. His failure in providing for the unborn both through the debt burden, environmental legislation, and a failure to acknowledge the abortion debate are a deep betrayal of conservatism at its core: we should stop pretending otherwise. The Stephen Harper government was liberal, libertarian at best. Now let's work on electing real conservative leadership in his place and restore respect for our tradition of peace, order, and good government.