04.06.2017 08:22 AM

The Conservative Party is no longer the party of Harper

…and, for them, that spells disaster. Snippet from next week’s column below. And comments are open!

If the 2016-2017 Conservative leadership race is to be remembered for anything at all, it will be its willingness to replicate Donald Trump-style bigotry in Canada – and the narrow, mean-spirited bumper-sticker politics it has championed along the way. 

Too many of their leadership candidates have forsaken what Stephen Harper did. Too many have forgotten that, by (a) coming together and (b) bringing new Canadians into the Conservative fold, the Conservatives finally won power.


  1. Bill Templeman says:

    Some wags on the Left are saying they want Leitch or the Absentee Member from Boston to win so that the Conservatives will be reduced to 3rd party status. Wonder what Cons themselves are saying as to who the likely winner will be? Gord? Richard? Al? Are the polls right? Max or Boston? Your country needs you.

  2. Ted Heighington says:

    Agree. After a decade of Conservative rule, being Harper was bad. But being Harper’s Party was good.

    In an effort to distance themselves from both Harper the man, and Harper the Party, tomorrow’s Conservatives continue to distance themselves from Canadian voters, and from forming another government for a long while.

    None of the new Conservative leadership candidates are strong, articulate or compelling enough.

    They can wrestle and demean and debase each other into the ground, but none are clever enough to wrestle away the federal Liberal stronghold….

  3. BillBC says:

    Perhaps they will elect one of the more reasonable candidates. What a gift to Trudeau these idiotically prolonged leadership campaigns in the conservative and ndp parties have been…

    • Vancouverois says:

      Because backroom dealing where everything is decided by our type of people instead of the unwashed general membership would be so much better?

      Remind me how that turned out in the St-Laurent Liberal nomination, again?

  4. Alf Chaiton says:

    You mean like the Leader directing which Conservative Senators can sit on which Committees?

  5. Lyndon Dunkley says:

    Which party of Harper?

    The one that was going to put the military on the streets? Ban abortion? Ban gay marriage? Turn the country into an environmental wasteland?

    Every new conservative leader in Canada is met with the same inflammatory fear mongering then following a period of normal, centrist governance, they eventually wear out their welcome as all leaders do and the new round of leadership hopefuls is met with the same accusations. Meanwhile the leftist media starts to pretend-pine for the former leader, wondering why the new batch can’t be a moderate like him or her, conveniently forgetting their consistent bashing over the last ten years.

  6. rww says:

    But the Harper Party brought the Reform Alliance Christian Social Conservative Extreme Right Wing types into the fold. They believe it is now their turn and they are seeing Trump as a role model. The Conservatives will not have a long term future until they go back to their Progressive Conservative roots.

  7. CuJoYYC says:

    Sure Les(s) “west hating Liberals” nice repetition of a lame old argument. Approving pipelines that Harper couldn’t get approved in a decade is really hating the west. Do you really think that Alberta separating from Canada will really help us get our resources to tidewater and new markets? Think before you type. You’re regressing back to the 1980s idiotic “Imma gonna take my ball and go home” form of political “discourse”.

  8. Trevor says:

    Not withstanding everybody always loving whichever interim leader is the flavour of the day, I have to think Ms. Ambrose is kicking herself for not running. She still remains, Mr. Chong the exception, far and away the best candidate for the gig. It’s not even close.

    • CuJoYYC says:

      The important question is, how many CPC MPs will cross the floor if one of the “deplorables” actually wins the leadership?

      • For any ‘true’ conservatives, that must be a real consternation; because there is little question at all that Trudeau’s Liberals no longer have room for real conservativism (even if he is ultimately not as left-leaning as he proposed during his campaign), and certainly not social conservatism (which the “deplorables” do not represent); and it is unlikely the NDP will attract them any better (even if Charlie Angus gets in and widens the Orange Tent).

        It is most likely they’ll stick it out, hoping to win their own seats and do what good they can till some better option comes along.

      • Ronald O'Dowd says:


        Any CPC MP who crosses the floor to set as an independent puts him or herself immediately on political life support. They are gone in the next election if they hail from real CPC country.

  9. Robert Frindt says:

    when it comes to leaders of other parties, the Trump, Reagan and Trudeau examples suggest be careful what you wish for.

  10. Trudeau has grown into the job – he was more ready than many of us gave him credit for – but what we need now (at least) is for him to develop into a true democrat, and to embrace, even cherish and chase after, accountability.

    The job, unfortunately, isn’t what makes that sort of thing happen. It depends very much on character. And while he has much in the way of charisma, real character has so far been somewhat lacking.

  11. Ted H says:

    Well, since by definition conservatism is primarily a general defense of social and economic inequality I hope they wander in the wilderness where they belong for many years. It’s a failed political philosophy that does nothing good for the citizenry of our country. And speaking of Alberta, it’s a beautiful place but the economy in the best of times is still less than that of the Greater Toronto Area. We love ya but don’t think you are carrying us.

  12. As one who would identify himself as a red tory, one can now see why Stephen Harper absolutely HAD to rule his party with an iron fist: because it was the only way to keep the social conservative hot gospellers who loathe same sex marriage and want to turn the clock back on women’s reproductive rights in check. You know the ones … they support turds like Brad Trost who, I’m ashamed to admit, is an MP from my city. If there are any social conservatives reading this, please pay attention to what I’m going to say: go back to your church basements and grumble about all the gays moving into your neighborhoods. Go forth and put your billboard signs showing partially aborted fetuses in the middle of a farmer’s field next to the highways and biways of rural Canada, because that’s mostly where you people live. You will never, ever, ever, EVER form a government based on social conservative values in this country. Why? Because people like me will vote Liberal every goddamned time to keep you away from the levers of power in this country. You can never win. You will never win. You only need to look back 25 years and see how the old REFOOOOOOOORM party, your party, only managed to split the Conservative vote and hand Liberals government in perpetuity. Red Tories like me will always vote Liberal to keep you hot gospellers away from Ottawa. You can never win.

  13. Keith Richmond says:

    I am curious as to who would be able to create a broader base to the CPC a chance. I recall a lot of people thought Harper didn’t stand a chance, but he ended up being PM for almost 10 year, albeit most of those years with a minority.

    How well does Maxime Bernier resonate with traditional Progressive Conservatives and swing voters who go between LPC and CPC? How about Andrew Scheer? Any others?

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