Top Conservative minister, Peter Mackay is NOT running again. Fellow Con John Blair opted out awhile back. Other Cons are facing trials and investigations. The federal Cons seem to be coming apart at the seemingly unseamly seams (sorry). The provincial Cons in Alberta imploded, exploded and erased themselves in a political Hari Kari just a few months back. Con-psuedo-lib, Christy Clark is remarkably absent from the media and is keeping her head down and her mouth shut (thank God). She is, essentially, in hiding and has been for the last few months. The right-wing side of the political spectrum is having to come to terms with their lack of popular support and their record-setting litany of errors. They are all embarrassed and smelling defeat. Or should be. All the signs are indicating yet another eradication of the Cons (first one: post Mulroney. The one inflicted on Kim Campbell).
And that is NOT a good thing.
I have never had much time for the Progressive Conservatives, the Conservatives, the Canadian Alliance or the Psuedo-Liberals of BC that used to be the Social Credit because, for the most part, I simply disagreed with the policies they promote. But, honestly, I have not disagreed with all of them. Preston Manning’s Reform Party had a number of positions that I not only agreed with, I would have supported completely and even would have run for them. For Preston Manning, I went right.
The planks in the Reform Party platform that I found irresistible were that the MP was allowed to represent their constituency first, the party second. And, further, they would be allowed to speak their minds freely in the house and vote their conscience. As I mentioned before, history shows that those planks were quickly dropped but it also shows that the ‘right’ is not always wrong. At least it was that way for me.
In theory, Canada is a democracy. At the very least, that means respecting the existence of differing opinions. And you first have to have differing opinions before you can decide to respect them further or not. Right-wingers provide differing opinions. And I respect that. I rarely agree with them, but I respect some of them. I respected the ones stated above so much that I would have sent money and run for the party. Had they kept to those, I would call myself a rightie today. Or, better put, right-leaning.
Why? Because those planks are the essence of democracy for me. They are more important to me than this or that tax break or this or that social program. Having my representative free to speak his or her mind and to have the option to vote as they see fit rather than as the party tells them to is almost enough to make democracy work. I think. Add in proportional representation and you just might have a workable system in my opinion.
And it was Preston Manning and the cowboy-hats from Alberta that first put those ideas forward – to the extent that the party did, anyway. They eventually dropped them but still, credit where it is due.
Which brings me to the point of this political blog: those democratic reforms were not posited by the Liberals. Or the NDP. Sadly, they are not even part of the GREENs platform today (although they did try for proportional representation in BC).
The current batch of Cons are bad guys and some of them might even make official ‘con’ status if they get convicted of things. They clearly have to go. But, just because we rid ourselves of riff raff, that does not mean we get good people in their stead. History is replete with riff raff replacing riff raff.
Bottom line: we have to MAKE the next batch of political porkers do the right thing. And that starts with telling them what that is. I don’t trust them to find that out on their own.
Write your porker.