06.09.2011 06:44 AM

The house is rockin’ with domestic problems

It’s an old Cheap Trick tune, but I’m reminded of it when I read stories like the one below.  Seems like quite a few ambitious Conservatives don’t expect Stephen Harper to finish his term, no?

They’ve won a third consecutive election victory and now control the first Conservative majority in 17 years, but Stephen Harper’s Tories have still found something to quarrel about as they gather for a convention in Ottawa Thursday.

The dispute is as old as the Conservative Party and hints at the fault lines in an organization that was only formed in late 2003 when the Red Tories in the Progressive Conservatives put aside their differences to merge with the right wingers in the Canadian Alliance.



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    Kevin says:

    From the article: “The Defence Minister said those agreeing to the merger never contemplated moving away from a system that treated all riding associations as equals.

    “As one of only two signatories to the founding principles of our successful, national, unified Conservative party, I assure you there was no intention to change these principles.” ”

    He was also a signatory to some other document, earlier, if I recall correctly.

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    Sean says:

    History repeats itself almost perfectly… These dummies should ask Tobin, Copps, Rock and Martin what these petty, meaningless fights have done to the LPC. I previously submitted that the Tories remind me a LOT of the LPC circa 2000. Divided oppo, majority by default for ten years etc… I wish I could be at the convention this weekend. I’ll bet there are half a dozen “almost leadership campaign” suites set up, complete with bad entertainment, free food, free booze, lots of young people who don’t know any better and lots of old guys who’ve seen it all before.

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      Ottawacon says:

      I don’t the comparison is apt. By 2000, even a casual observer knew that Martin was undermining Chretien within the Liberal Party. Conflict was not quite open, but it was absolutely clear that the struggle would have two clear phases, Martin v. Chretien and then some level of Anybody but Martin – which turned out to be minimal though in its own way quite damaging.

      The Conservatives do not have anyone challening Harper, and the positioning is far more muted about a successor. That is what makes this potentially the most divisive fight within the Cosnervative Party, it is on an issue where Harper is not directly challenged, but future contenders can struggle openly.

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    JH says:

    Fodder for the press no doubt and the junkies, while the average citizen watches playoffs and plans the summer vacation etc.
    Still not quite the high drama of the Martin – Chretien wars, but then again ask the guy on the street and he won’t remember them either.

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      Catherine says:

      agree with you JH – simply more of the PPG and media pups looking hard for a story, when really no one gives a poop. Lorrie G. explains the media plan nicely.


      Sitting here all morning listening to the buzz of chainsaws cutting through debris left by a major and violent storm that had us up and in the basement at 3:00am. Hope your cottage didn’t take too big of a hit yesterday W?

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    Ottawacon says:

    Gord, I think it would be more accurate to say that for some, it was understood to be permanent. The basic logic was that it made no sense to have leadership resolved by a system that did not replicate the electoral system, the obvious example being how many more votes the West would have had. That logic has not changed.

    Basically, the duration or term of this arrangement was simply not resolved at the time.

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    Michael Watkins says:

    Despite being in power, CPC policy conventions impose nothing on the Leader (PM) and thus have all the meaning and purpose as a navel lint picking session.

    It really doesn’t matter what gets decided as policy at the fabulous blue convention, does it? Harper will do whatever the hell he wants to do.

    As for the leadership selection process… yawn. If it gets changed to favour big ridings, say goodbye to Quebec as well as to any future candidates who aren’t plugged in to the BC/AB heartland. If it gets changed, most members won’t even realize it because they, like most Canadians, don’t really pay attention to the details.

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    Patrick Hamilton says:

    A pox on both their houses. I rue the day I listened to MacKay and Loyola Hearn’s siren song, swallowed the blue-kool aid, and voted to merge my party with the Reformers and Harris neo-cons…Had I known what was in store, I would have voted for David Orchard…..
    I helped ruin a perfectly good political party that had out reformed Reform on grass roots involvement, that was open and accessible to all, and that was progressive on the environment and womens issues.
    I joined a Conservative party that is rife with homophobia,(despite having front benchers who are homosexual), that has to be dragged kicking and screaming towards any concrete action on the environment, and that would like nothing better than to see the womens movement silenced.
    Personally, I hope internecine warfare breaks out, and the Conservative Party once again splits asunder…..

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    Mike London says:

    Now that they have a big fat majority, it’s hard to imagine that there won’t be some internal warfare. Egos will be bruised because someone didn’t get a cabinet position, and on it goes.

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    Anne Peterson says:

    They didn’t get a big fat majority. In a better election system than ours they wouldn’t be in power unless they worked with others. All you Progressive Conservatives do you really support this bunch. You followers of a party that included Joe Clark, Robert Stanfield, Flora MacDonald are you happy with the sleaze and the lying dishonesy. Don’t you think you had better do something to help this country and free it from the power hungry King of Sleaze. Has it been worth it to be the brunt of the contempt of 70% of Canadians.

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      Michael says:

      If my grandmother had wheels she would be a bus. She doesn’t, so she isn’t.

      In a better system 40% of the popular vote wouldn’t get you a majority. But in our system it does. So yes they did get a big fat majority and there is nothing you or I or anyone else can do about it.

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      Patrick Hamilton says:

      No, thats why I left this sorry bunch quite a while ago. To a person, Progressive Conservatives from my former riding assn have either become non-active, left the Cons, or joined the Liberals, including our former PC candidate in the riding(who, like me, initially supported the merger)
      If the ReformaTories have their way this weekend, and opt for a non weighted system, the utter co-option of the PC wing of the party will be complete, paving the way for the fundy Christian element of the Conservative Party to hold sway at any and all future policy conventions….
      Hopefully well see a lot of members leaving after this weekend….

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    Michael says:

    “Thankfully that won be an issue for at least eight years…”

    By the time the next election rolls around Harper will have been PM for close to 10 years, and party leader for longer. I am not so sure that everyone is going to sit quietly on their hands for 8 more years. Potential leaderships hopefuls will start to see thier time slipping by and start getting impatient.

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