01.30.2021 10:47 AM

Conservative partisans, explained in one tweet


  1. Ronald O'Dowd says:


    Here’s my report card as a CPC member:

    1. Not my mindset;
    2. Absolutely not my mindset;
    3. Definitely not my mindset. It’s up to the leader to use his personal strengths and God-given abilities to win;
    4.Correct. I quite deliberately limit myself to my sole area of expertise: political strategy.


    • Nick M. says:

      Your last line makes me chuckle.

      My first campaign I asked the manager in charge of putting signs up why he always does the physical jobs? His reply, “Because everyone wants to be a strategist.”

      • Ronald O'Dowd says:


        Precisely. Talk is cheap and you’re only as good as your last piece of strategic work. You can be on target five times in a row but as soon as you really blow one, if the leader is smart, you’re history. LOL.

  2. Peter says:

    Very good, although the point about the stupidity of voters I would say is a bi or even tri-partisan phenomenon. It’s a sentiment that infects a large number of Dem activists down south, and it’s going to cause them trouble once they and the media realize the Trump era is over. One thing activists and ideologues often refuse to understand is that there are a very large number of voters who aren’t particularly interested in politics and don’t vote on the basis of high principle. In fact, they can, at times, be wary of it. In Canada, I think the Libs understand this better than the others, but they have other problems.

    You might have added “Bloody Quebecers!”

    • Ronald O'Dowd says:


      True, with the exception of this cycle, self-designated independents tend to lean Republican. But fortunately for Biden, this same group had finally had its fill of Trump and voilà!

      Transpose that to the Canadian reality and we’re now way beyond Trudeau fatigue. And yes, it has yet to clearly demonstrate itself in the polls but it’s coming. Only the CPC leader can snatch defeat from the jaws of victory if he has a flawed electoral strategy. It’s entirely up to Erin as to whether he wins the next election or not. He’s half way there with DeLorey but his other advisers better be of the same strategic calibre otherwise…

      Look at MacKay: had he made the expected decision and listened more to his own gut and instincts, he more than likely would have fared far better in the race. But No, he repeatedly and almost serially deferred to his advisers and quite frankly, they certainly did not have what it takes to win that contest. O’Toole: politically sentient enough to politically buy off the Lewis and Sloan supporters. MacKay, not so much. You can lose on a Wynne strategy but you can also WIN BIG as her team amply demonstrated in her race.

      • Ronald O'Dowd says:

        And while I’m at it, seek out King Norquay’s seasoned political advice and then TAKE IT. IMHO, there is no one better on the CPC strategic front. (Mind you, our host’s friend Powers is damned good too.)

        • Douglas W says:

          Agreed: Tim Powers, top notch.

          Interested in finding out who’s the Conservatives leading strategists are.

          • Robert White says:

            I’m not attempting to ruffle any feathers, but every time I listen to Powers I’m left with the feeling that I have heard everything he has to say for the last 15 years at minimum even though I didn’t really.

            Powers is a regular guest on CFRA & Rogers FM 101. And he’s a HarpyCON too which is not an endearing quality IMHO.

            I’m sure he is a nice fellow though.


          • Robert,


            Fortunately, that too shall pass, eventually.

    • faithless elector says:

      Peter said: “there are a very large number of voters who aren’t particularly interested in politics and don’t vote on the basis of high principle…”


  3. Douglas W says:

    Libs win because their strategists are smarter and slicker.

    • The Doctor says:

      I think they have some built-in demographic and (especially) geographic advantages that tilt the balance. Liberals have always been strong in Quebec and Ontario, where there are shitloads of seats. Liberals are also increasingly strong in urban areas, which are thriving. Conservatives have typically been strong out west (except in Vancouver and Vancouver Island, where most of BC’s population is) and in rural areas.

      Especially post-Reform, post-Harper, Conservatives are fighting an uphill demographic and geographic battle every election. Reform and Harper have made the CPC a tough sell in most urban areas, on account of (real or perceived) social conservatism.

      • Doug Brown says:

        Really? The CPC could readily appeal to suburbanites, possibly the country’s fastest growing demographic.

        The biggest issue with the CPC is that it hasn’t stood for anything since about 2014, allowing its opponents to conjure the tried and true narratives of racism, Americanism etc.

        If I were an advisor to the CPC, I would recommend taking some policy risk:

        1) Austerity. The mainstream opinion that deficits don’t matter will be proven false at some point. Believing that central banks can create something from nothing is akin to religion

        2) Deregulation of telecom, air travel, dairy and poultry and media (by extension privatization of CBC). Other countries have competition in these industries and haven’t suffered

        3) Some non-technocratic moves to improve housing affordability. Command and control measures like government building housing or providing grants are doomed to fail. Removing regulatory barriers to housing construction is mostly provincial jurisdiction The feds could absolutely crack down on money being laundered through housing, require foreign purchasers to provide documentation as to the source of their down payments and preventing buyers from hiding behind agents, brokers and holding companies

        4) Promote greater diversity in the civil service, which means less bilingualism and more people with liberal arts backgrounds with experience outside government. A side benefit would be less of a left leaning bias within the civil service

        5) True carbon pricing instead of the Liberals’ fake carbon tax that is really rewarding its voter base with wealth transfer. Tax each molecule of CO2 the same. Exclude emissions incurred to export products to maintain competitiveness, similar to the GST. Increase the GST rebates to compensate lower income earners (in place of an explicit rebate designed to make people feel good
        6). Do not allocate any of the revenue to technocratic green energy solutions. Implement the same regime across the country

        7) Take a stance against Quebec Bill 21

        • Doug,

          1) Depends. If we stay in deflation, deficits and debt don’t matter. But if inflation picks up, as it’s doing now, watch out.

          2) Right with you with the exception of air travel.

          3) That plan is called the Bank of Canada’s digital looney and its quietly but assuredly on its way.

          4) My family in the public service get quite a laugh: absolutely every ZOOM call is in English only with public servants working here in French speaking English only 100% of the time. So much for a supposedly bilingual federal public service…

          5 & 6) Don’t have the expertise to comment.

          7) Not in a month of Sundays. No party will ever do that if they like the idea of Quebec votes.

  4. faithless elector says:

    Conservatives need to lay out a serious COVID plan. They need to hold onto it until the election is called and simply run on that. They need to layout what the return to normal will look like especially for the economy. That’s all they need, because no one has any faith that Justin will ever articulate anything honest or serious re. Canada getting back on its feet.

    • Ronald O'Dowd says:


      Respectfully, you’re presuming there still is an economy. My contention: it’s already DOA here in Canada, in the States and pretty much everywhere else in the modern world economies.

      • faithless elector says:

        I agree actually. The stock market is a bubble right now. Its being puffed up by people who still have jobs but can’t spend on anything. Eventually retail is also going to fall apart. Service / sports / entertainment etc.. will take 10 years at least to recover.

  5. Gilbert says:

    Erin O’Toole just needs to show he’s serious, articulate and intelligent. Then it will uh be clear uh that he’s uh not Justin. He also needs to win the support of centrists and present a vision of the country. If he does that, he’ll win.

    • Ronald O'Dowd says:


      Is Erin capable of being at the top of his game? I think so. And if O’Toole does, I also think he wins.

    • Doing that requires a serious climate policy. I’m not holding out much hope for one from the Conservatives.

      • Ronald O'Dowd says:


        Absolutely. This CPC member believes that we can’t win government without one. Of course, there will be huge pushback from the long suffering oil and gas producing jurisdictions but some things ultimately rise way above all else and climate change is the top issue because it’s existential on a worldwide basis. Having a job in the energy sector and being able to provide for your family is also existential but that unfortunately, necessarily has to come second in the pecking order. As Dion so rightly said: it’s all about priorities and worldwide planetary priorities take precedence over national economic priorities. That’s just the way it is.

  6. Phil in London says:

    Great topic. I’m a former conservative card carrier as well. My bigger problem with the Tories is they let everyone else define them. When they win it’s because they define themselves.

    Rather than build on the pride of being the party of MacDonald and Diefenbacher and Mulroney they almost apologize for being conservative.

    When the other credible party can get so mired in muck and you can’t beat them, you gotta buy a mirror. They also need to quit arguing against the NDP/Green/Liberal coalition. It does not exist till conservatives create it. As Gilles Duceppe pointed out to Jack Layton in debate a dipper was not going to be prime minister.

    Conservatives need to spend all their time ignoring the smaller parties that cleave votes from the liberals and campaign only against them while defining themselves with a good platform.

    • The Doctor says:

      Phil, that’s a good point about defining yourself. That election that Harper decisively won, that’s exactly what he did, with the GST cut etc. Came out with some clear, easy to understand policies that were then top of voters’ minds.

  7. Steve Teller says:

    OK, sure – you can package the talking points of any political party into a semi-condescending list. For example:

    – There is a corporate plot against us.
    – Everyone who votes against us is racist / sexist
    – Oh and by the way – free money! Don’t you all want Free Money? Let us explain how the “rich” are going to pay for everything.

    – We didn’t win? But we are the Natural Governing Party! Didn’t anyone get the memo?
    – The Conservatives are big meanies, and everything bad that’s ever happened in Canada was under their tenure.
    – What the NDP said about Free Money? Yeah, us too. Except we have the magic beans that also make the economy sing! Hey, what are you doing? Don’t question us – don’t you remember we are the Natural Governing Party?

  8. Pedant says:

    Is it fair to note that Alberta is per capita the most under-represented province in the House of Commons (though Ontario comes a close second), while the Liberal-automaton Atlantic provinces are grossly over-represented?

    • Pedant,

      They can cry me a river. You know how English Canada has not reopened the constitution since 1985 to accommodate Quebec, well now that stupidity is backlashing on them. Opening the constitution now is like inviting Stalin or Hitler to dinner. In other words, they royally fucked themselves so they might as well enjoy it. Naturally, Quebec will block all constitutional reform until we get a deal that we’ve been waiting for since the crickets started in 1985. Ah, the pure joy of it all!

    • The Doctor says:

      Of course it’s fair to note that. We quite rightly condemn gerrymandering in the US, when we effectively have the same thing here. Same shit, different pile.

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