The Birth of the Conservative Party of Canada

Discussion in 'Canada' started by Isaac Brock, Dec 7, 2003.

  1. Isaac Brock
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    Isaac Brock Active Member

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    As you may or may not know our two "right-wing" parties the Canadian Alliance (Her Majesty's opposition, think Republicans) and the Progressive Conservatives or Tories (Founding party of Canada, your Democrats) have merged. Now there are four major parties in Canada: The Liberal Party (current ruling party), The Conservative Party, The New Democratic Party (leftish party) and the Bloc Quebecois (left-centre Quebec seperatists).

    Here's more on it:

    Right votes to unite
    90% Tory Support. Move hailed as step in journey to power


    They gathered in cities and towns across the country to eulogize Canada's oldest political party and overwhelmingly approve a political merger that Progressive Conservative leader Peter MacKay hailed as the first step of "a journey that will lead us back to government."

    Buoyed by his party's 90.4 per cent support of a union agreement with the Canadian Alliance, MacKay called the result a vindication of his leadership and noted the historical import of the occasion.

    "Today, we make a historic step toward forming a new national conservative government. Today, we open the door to a new era of hope and opportunity for Canadians. Let us walk confidently through that door, united with each other and united for Canada," he said, adding the merger was "nothing less than the rebirth of hope in democracy."

    An exhilarated MacKay later told reporters he will decide by January whether to seek the leadership of the new party.

    He was visibly emboldened by the results of the vote, saying "we have just become (prime minister-designate) Paul Martin's worst nightmare."

    MacKay also reached out to the dissenters who fought ratification of the merger, urging them to remain in the fold because "we not only want you, we need you with us to build this new national alternative."

    After the final tally was announced to roughly 250 Tories gathered in an Ottawa ballroom, MacKay gave a fiery, campaign-style speech, similar in tone to the address delivered by Canadian Alliance Leader Stephen Harper at his party's ratification announcement Friday.

    MacKay reserved his sharpest rhetoric for Martin, dubbing the incoming prime minister Canada's "tax avoider in chief" and vowing a tough election fight against the Liberals.

    The delegates had gathered in 27 cities and towns across Canada to vote on a resolution approving the agreement-in-principle reached in mid-October by Harper and MacKay.

    The focal point of the meetings was in the basement of a hotel in downtown Ottawa, where national meeting chairperson Guy Dufort moderated the debate among the various locations, which were linked by tele-conference.

    Despite a number of early technical glitches, the meeting came off with few problems.

    After opening comments from the chairperson, MacKay addressed the delegates and delivered an impassioned defence of the merger deal.

    Former Tory cabinet minister Flora MacDonald followed with a solemn speech warning the assembly that abandoning the Progressive Conservative Party and its values would be disastrous: "You are trying to create a party with no policies and no higher purpose than opportunism."

    Sharing MacDonald's qualms, former cabinet minister Sinclair Stevens said he will file a lawsuit tomorrow to contest the result of this weekend's balloting.

    Tory premiers Bernard Lord of New Brunswick and Pat Binns of Prince Edward Island both spoke in favour of the deal.

    Former prime minister Joe Clark implored delegates to the convention not to carry out "suicide." Clark has indicated he won't sit as a member of the new party in the House of Commons.

    Of a maximum 3,286 delegates elected at the riding level, 2,481 cast votes yesterday. Of those, 2,234 voted in favour, 247 against, and five abstained. The No forces won only one polling site - Whitehorse.

    After the votes were tallied, Harper issued a statement on the result, calling it a tribute to MacKay's tireless efforts.

    Harper has stickhandled around the leadership question and MacKay followed suit yesterday, but it appears likely the Tory leader will join the race.

    Nova Scotia MP Scott Brison took himself out of the running, saying he has "a great sense of doubt that this new Conservative Party will, in fact, reflect the values of Canadians."

    Former Ontario Tory cabinet minister Bob Runciman, on the other hand, said he is seriously weighing a run for the job.
     
  2. 5stringJeff
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    5stringJeff Senior Member

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    Isaac,

    Please pardon my ignorance, but does Canada hold elections on a regualr cycle (like the US) or just whenever they are called for (like the UK)? It will be very interesting to see how the new Conservative party establishes itself in the first couple of elections.
     
  3. Isaac Brock
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    Isaac Brock Active Member

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    No, no my pleasure. Canada holds elections every 5 years (maximum), however they can be called anytime after 4 years or even before if there is a good reason (ie. death of the PM).

    The conservative party is not doing so well so far. They're heading towards both social and economic conservatism. Economic conservatism is welcome in Canada with many people, however unlike the United States, Canadians, in general, have little desire for social conservatism. Therefore, the party is losing quite a bit of credibility. I think the liberals don't have to sweat for awhile yet.
     
  4. 5stringJeff
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    5stringJeff Senior Member

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    Interesting. I wonder if the social conservatives or the economic conservatives will prevail in having the most power in the party. I guess it will wait to be seen.
    In the US, social conservatism gets the base Republicans energized, but it is usually economic conservatism that gets swing voters to vote Republican.
     
  5. Isaac Brock
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    Isaac Brock Active Member

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    Indeed, that's what I've always found curious about american politics is that both parties are so polarized. Either you're conservative on everything, or you're not. I supposed that makes sense if there is only two parties.

    In Canada, there just is very little interest in social conservatism. This is mostly likely due to Canada's large, non-homogeneous, cultural base. The uniqueness of the participants in this base make it very hard to justify moral grounds to apply to the whole.
     
  6. Lexington
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    What the Unite the Right movement has studiously ignored is that polls have consistently shown the second choice of the majority of Conservative voters is the Liberals, not the Alliance. With the pre-merger Conservatives polling about 15% and the Alliance even less the parties, even merged, are hardly a credible alternative to the Liberals.

    Indeed for people like me it seems the only conceivable alternative to the Liberals now is the NDP.

    And I voted Conservative in the last election.
     
  7. Isaac Brock
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    Isaac Brock Active Member

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    I agree entirely. There is no place now for the "red" Tory in Canadian poltics anymore which is a real shame. Simply put most Canadians will not stand for social conservatism effectively ruling out the conservative part of Canada. Nor has the NDP ever shown signs they are able to run our nation. We're in between a rock and a hard place indeed.
     
  8. MASTER G
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    the UK holds elections every four years at the moment this can only be changed by a party who gets into power with a majority of over 65%. Isaac you truly are a complete dumbass.
     
  9. jimnyc
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    jimnyc ...

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    Don't even bother replying, Isaac. This piece of garbage is history.
     
  10. Isaac Brock
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    Isaac Brock Active Member

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    Done and done.
    My thanks.
     

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