Oh boy, the fun we’ll have in the next couple of years trying to figure out whither conservatism. I continue to maintain that so-called conservative parties ought to be – at least somewhat – conservative. The same way NDPers ought to be, well, NDPesque (Liberals can continue to be for themselves; they’re the only ones who really care). As this little gem of reasonable argumentation explains, “It’s obvious that, whatever face Harper presents to Canadians, his dark grass roots will always be showing.”
Though to be fair, Ms. Zerbisias has a point. (Really. I looked.)
Conservatives, social or otherwise, will continue to press for their agenda, the same way public-sector unions or artists or auto workers or nurses push for theirs. That’s just life, no matter how some columnists dislike it (and no matter how much I dislike public-sector unions). And yes, conservatives, especially the social kind, and putting pressure on the leadership of the so-called “Conservative” party to move in their preferred direction. What else they gonna do? Push in the opposite direction? Suddenly turn around and say, you know, we’ve always been completely wrong, let’s advocate for even more abortions?
The more Stephen Harper tries to distance himself from what the grassroots of his party really want, the more dishonest he looks. And the more annoyed grassroots conservatives get. That is what people used to describe as a “lose-lose” situation. If you’re going to be accused of having a hidden agenda no matter what, why not pay some attention to what the folks in your own party are saying? Engage them, argue with them, fine. But at least do it out in the open instead of trying to pretend there ain’t no grassroots.