01.12.2017 10:36 AM

Dead, near death, or just a case of the sniffles?

I take a look at the once-mighty Conservative Party in next week’s Hill Times. 

What do you think is my diagnosis about the relative health of the CPC? 

What’s yours?

And now? Well, now they are having a leadership race to replace the venti-sized brain guy. The candidate that has attracted the most attention – and the one who may very well win – has built a campaign entirely on fecklessly aping the Human Cheeto to the South, and bashing refugees and immigrants wherever and whenever possible. In this, a country of refugees and immigrants.

A couple of their leadership aspirants have started grousing about abortion. One has run ads saying marriage can only happen between a man and woman, common sense and Supreme Court rulings notwithstanding. 

“Politicians should have the courage to debate these issues in an open and respectful way,” said one of these leadership contestants, apparently unaware that denying citizens fundamental human rights is neither “courageous” nor “respectful.”
And so, yes, the Conservative Party has lots of money, still. It has bums filling seats in the House of Commons. It has a pulse. It is alive.

But its brain? Its heart? The things it did for a decade, to ensure that all Canadians were treated fairly and equitably? The efforts it made to make itself into a modern, diverse, tolerant political party?


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    sean cummings says:

    Still a very militant social conservative movement inside the party – one that was kept under the iron fist of Stephen Harper for a decade because Harper knew better than anyone how social conservatives split with progressive conservatives thereby splitting the conservative vote. It’s all coming out now because they have forgotten the years in the wilderness during the Chretien era.

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    smelter rat says:

    If there is a god, I hope she ensures the CPC dies a slow horrible death.

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      The Doctor says:

      Yeah, because whatever replaces it will be so much better.

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    Ronald O'Dowd says:


    If off the deep end becomes leader, I will have plenty of company as crossover Liberals…

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    Kevin says:

    I’ve volunteered on campaigns for pretty much every party, depending on the people involved (except the Rhinos. Too bad, because I hear their election night bashes are a real blast!!).

    The first one was the 1976 PC convention (the Joe Who? one). Back then there were people like Joe Clark, Flora MacDonald and John Fraser (and characters like Pat Nowlan and Heward Grafftey). Now there are Leitch, Alexander and Trost. Dear Lord.

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    Lyndon Dunkley says:

    My counter intuitive thought of the day – the health of the CPC has nothing to do with the health of the CPC.

    The much more important factor regarding the health of the CPC (assuming “health” is a proxy for getting back to 24 Sussex) is the health of the NDP. Lost amidst all the talk of electoral reform is the fact that we are coming much closer to a two-party system like the US than the multi-party cornucopia of say a Germany. The closer we get to a two-party system, the greater the likelihood of PM Trudeau for life, which the Liberals clearly recognize as evidenced by the abandonment of any real electoral reform efforts as long as the NDP struggle.

    The best chance for a “healthy” CPC, regardless of leader, is a whole-sale abandonment of the Liberals by the leftest of the left, due to weed, pipelines, taxation, continued indigenous struggles or any of the other issues that Trudeau will ultimately fail on in their eyes. My guess would be 23% or greater NDP support gives the CPC a chance, lower keeps them in opposition barring a series of black swan events.

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      Kelly says:

      We are more politically diverse than ever. The Liberals got their phony majority with almost the same share of the popular vote the Cons had when they got theirs. The NDP was supposed to win the election remember? They’ll be back because the conservative base is dying off. PR would knock the Cons like the current ones out of office for good. That is why they are fighting it so hard. They dont want to moderate. The party is full of cranks with terrible ideas that divide people and lead to stress and a generally poor quality of life except for a few. You know your crazy uncle who shows up at reunions and gripes about everything? He votes Conservative.

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        The Doctor says:

        The other thing Conservatives do is make gross, sweeping generalizations about other people.

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          bluegreenblogger says:

          I have told you a million times to stop exaggerating.

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        Lyndon Dunkley says:

        With all due respect, i think you are wrong on just about everything in your comment.

        150 year history and we’ve only elected PM’s from one of two parties with the official opposition virtually always represented by the other party – i would call that the opposite of diverse.
        I assure you one or two polls in the summer showing a brief NDP lead did not have any reasonable analysts convinced the NDP had a shot at winning.
        Part of the conservative base may be “dying off” but its being constant replenished by maturing adults as they realize the ridiculousness of the pie-eyed optimism of their youth.
        Canada was consistently ranked as one of the best places in the world to live during the Harper years – “generally poor quality of life except for a few” is a plainly stupid comment.
        The PC party consistently gets at least 30% support in this country – so its not only your crazy Uncle, its your aunt and a few cousins as well.

        I get the sense you are quite young so I’ll excuse you for not being engaged long enough to know that after every election (here and in the US), over reactions regarding the viability of the losing party are quite prevalent. (Harper was going to eliminate the Liberals, Obama was the start of a minimum of 20 years of DNC rule, post-Hilary the DNC is in absolute chaos/needs to re-invent itself. etc).

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          Dan Calda says:

          The problem with your position is that there is no PC Party. Thus your 150 year history is moot. The Conservative Party only has a 12 or so…year history.
          I get the sense that you are quite old, so I will forgive you for being out of touch with regular Canadians.

          Only when the new Party sheds, banishes and cuts ties to its racist base…will it become a viable Party.

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            Lyndon Dunkley says:

            A Tory is a Tory is a Tory in my book but I get your point and appreciate your attention to detail.

            As a master of details, how many of the 5.6 million that voted conservative last election are part of this racist base?

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    J.A.Paterson says:

    Michael Chong seems to be a moderate in a field of zanies, but Mad Max cannot be disregarded. Former speaker Scheer seems to have a following, but his angry tone does not become him. My pick would be Lisa Raitt, because that would be noticed as a new move for the CPC to select a human being.
    But I am not in that swim, as the old saying goes.

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    the salamander horde says:

    .. well .. Good Luck & Good Night.. to the Kellie Kouvalis Krowd.. that shrill gang that can’t spell ‘Canadian’ but would klaim to be the keepers of the flame of Canadain Values eh. Mebbe Ray Novak Jenni Byrne & Arthur Hamilton will coming riding out of the sunset to save the day eh. But I suspect those screechers who became rich & any others who played the election fraud game & like the venti brain claim ‘they had no knowlege of these things’ will pull deeper into the shadows, fearful that a guy with a red goatee, or one who hides in Kuwait.. or that perfect fall guy Sona will blow the entire party right out of the water someday,ceven soonly.

    The Duffy Scandal showed how insidious, organized & prevelant the Conservative Conspiracies could be.. It seemed to me, the only one with any real courage was a lawyer named Perrin, plus other MP’s who basically walked away from Harper Inc.

    Having followed the bizarre tale of Peter Kent, Keith Ashfield, Joe Oliver, Flaherty, Gail Shea et al – who drove various Ministries under Harper/Novak & Wright – ie Environment, Fisheries, Finance, Resources etc toward destruction of Canada’s environmental protection legislation – for tar sands dilbit and LNG for Asia – has left me wondering why no intrepid journalist has stepped up to unravel the convoluted mess & collect a Pulitzer Prize.

    It ‘didn’t end well’ .. and the screeching of Kellie the Reformer – the thin whine of the so called Contenders a la O’Toole and the nonsensical raving of the Blaney, Scheer types who were just lackeys won’t end well either. Perhaps Christy Clark will shed her ‘Liberal’ camouflage and switch sides to fill the void, deliver the unicorns.. It sure won’t be O’Leary.. and Michael Chong is running for the wrong party..

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      The Doctor says:

      Keep on dreaming about Sona . . . in between sips of Kool-Aid.

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    Matt says:

    I would hope that when the candidates have to put up another $50,000 by the middle or end of January to stay in the race the likes of Trost, Scheer and others will be forced to drop out.

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    Bill Templeman says:

    If “she who cannot be named” gets in as CPC leader, we may all yet rue the day Harper hung up his skates for good. Harper brought consistency, discipline and tolerance to the Conservatives. Absent Harper, the wing nuts start popping out of their holes like hot rivets. All of which means Trudeau can be PM until retirement and beyond.

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    daveconstable says:

    CPC surprised me in the election and since then.
    They won more seats than I though they would (or…that I though they deserved…) , and they have a healthy sized caucus.
    Some of their former cabinet people have done well in opposition, Ambrose, Bergen Raitt, Scheer(before the latter two took up the leadership race)…and some new MP’ s have done well: Vecchio and Deltell come to mind.
    They do not have MPs from the Maritimes, but hey have MPs from pretty well all the rest of the country.
    They have to be bouyed by conservative success in other parts of the world: Brazil replaced a left regime with a right wing group; all across Europe, conservative parties are doing well, Eastern Europe especially in Hungary, Poland, Ukraine and Russia there are conservative regimes; Also , in Asia, Japan, Philippines and India have conservative parties in government.

    The leadership candidates have to be aware of what the rest of us see and hear, but, primarily, they are speaking to party members right now. That affects what they say and do.
    CPC is in good shape (…he said, ruefully…)

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    Eric Weiss says:

    If the Conservatives think that Trump style politics will work here, they’ve truly lost their minds, and I will never vote for them again. The Niquab/Barbaric practice hotline BS was enough to keep me away last election.

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    Dan Calda says:

    Over the next 4 years, we need to be more united then ever…given the lunatic down south. I hope everyone….all politicians tone down the partisan crap and put the Country first.
    We could be in for a very bumpy ride.

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    JamesF says:

    Prognosis… uncertain. I think the next leader will provide the answer. Dead if it’s Leitch or Trost, if it’s Chong or maybe Bernier then sniffles, near death if it’s Scheer or Barney.

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    Ted H says:

    Not enough lipstick in Canada to put on all of those pigs.

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