Okay – time to start calling a spade a spade. Currently the polls are showing the “Conservative Party of Canada” as being on track to win a majority government. This is would be incredibly bad news for Canada if it were to occur. Part of the problem I have is the ways and means by which this party has come into being.
In 2002, with the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada on the ropes and no possibility of reconciliation of differences between the PC Party and the Reform Party, I joined the PC Party in the Ottawa-Vanier riding as my part to promote a more fair and equitable system of Government. I have never been tied to one particular ideology but rather have always voted strategically based either on which party has had the better platform or based on balance in Government and accountability. Joining the PC Party was a big switch for me as I had never joined a political party in the past.
What happened over the next year still sticks in my craw even today. In 2003, Peter McKay, then leader of the PC Party of Canada, negotiated a back-room deal with Stephen Harper which would deliver the PC Party into Harper’s hands though a circumvention of the democratic progress. Technically it was a legal maneuver however ethically and morally it was wrong on multiple fronts.
In normal votes, each riding would send a slate of delegates to a convention rally to ratify votes that impact the party as a whole. So for example each riding would get to send 6 delegates and if 51% voted for a resolution and 49% voted against then 4 of those delegates would be for the yes side and 2 would be for the no side. For decades this system had represented fairly the overall direction of the Party until it came time for discussions of mergers. For the Party to be dissolved and merged with the Reform Party, a 2/3rds majority had to be represented at any convention which called for such a vote. During successive tries, the 2/3rds majority couldn’t be reached.
What McKay did in the summer of 2003 was change the rules such that 50% + 1 in favour of the resolution to merge meant that all 6 delegates would have to a) represent the “yes” side, b) would have to sign a declaration to that effect before being allowed to go to the convention and c) that any and all riding ballots cast should be destroyed immediate upon the vote being taken and counted in each riding. (i.e. there could be no recount, no accountability, and no transparency of the process). The result was that in October 2003, the PC Party convention was stacked so that the vote couldn’t have been anything other that acceptance of the merger. As it was, McKay announced an 80% vote in favour of the resolution based on this skewed system which was both undemocratic and unfairly penalized those people which had legitimate issues and concerns about the merger of the parties.
There are multiple ways to slice the numbers but no matter how you cut it the vote as taken could only ever provide transparent and accountable proof of acceptance of the resolution to a maximum of 50%+1 based on the way the vote was handled. There is no transparent or accountable way of twisting the numbers no matter how hard you try without having the original ballots to authenticate a vote of 66.7%.
It was at this point I dropped out of any further association with either the PC Party or the Reform Party. And before you say anything – yes I know they had officially changed their name to the Alliance Party by that point – but here is by core issue. The essential makeup of the executive leadership has remained the same regardless of whether you call the party the Reform Party, the Alliance Party, or the Conservative Party.
History has shown us that these types of unethical back-room dealings happen on an all too frequent basis but that they can serve to stimulate positive change over the long term. History also shows that the people who architect such maneuvers rarely if ever get to benefit from the fruits of their manipulations over an extended period of time. Invariably, the architects of such regime over-throws must give way to people who were not associated with the events that created the new regime. This hasn’t happened with the Conservative Party. All the core Reform party members that architected this over-throw are firmly entrenched.
Now they are asking for a majority government to railroad through a pile of changes that will fundamentally change the make-up and character of Canada – and not for the better.
- If you are in favour of US Style Prison systems
- If you are in favour of US Style Medicare
- If you are in favour of no Transparency in Government
- If you are in favour of lack of Accountability in Government
- If you think that Negative Ads and Slander Campaigns are acceptable
- If you think that putting Criminals in the Senate is in the Public Interest
- If you think that Contempt of Parliament should be the way your Government should be run
Then go ahead – Vote Conservative – but don’t come running to me 5 years from now crying about how bad government corruption has become, or why all these back-room deals have been approved that you didn’t know about, or why didn’t we see this coming. We did see this coming. You have been warned.
Don’t get me wrong on this – Ignatief is no great shakes either. His “Ya-But” interview with CBC last Saturday clearly shows that the Liberals are in no way truly ready to step back into the leadership spot. In fact the only Leader that is showing well currently is Layton (no disrespect to Elizabeth May withstanding). But we all know that a vote for the NPD is a vote to split the only other party that is capable of bringing this Reform Party Gravy-Train to the slow track and to enforce any type of accountability in Government. Most of our greatest victories as a country have been the result of minority governments – and this election should be no different.
Harper, McKay, and the rest of the Reform Party’s leadership need to take their laurels for merging the Right and graciously bow out. The only way that is going to happen and for Canada to have true change in government is if there is another Conservative Minority Government. And for that to happen people have to start calling a Spade a Spade and to get their head out of their arse to see things for how they are. If you are on the fence – don’t vote split. If the NDP has a solid chance of winning your riding – Vote NPD. If not, Vote Liberal. But don’t vote Conservative just because the Reform Party media machine tells you to.
You have a right to demand accountability in Government and so far the Reform Party a.k.a. Conservatives have not really done anything substantive to warrant your trust other than take credit for financial policy benefits that were put in place when Paul Martin was Minister of Finance. You need to keep in mind that what your Government does today will only make itself apparent 5-8 years down the road from now. Harper is benefiting from fiscal policy put in place by the Liberals prior to 2004 the same as Martin benefited from fiscal policy changes put in by the Mulroney administration before him.
Good leaders gives credit where credit is due. This Prime Minister seems incapable of that and more to the point seems bent and determined to hide things you have a right to know.
Demand more – Look – Read – Think – Act – Do — But don’t act like sheep and take media propoganda at face value – Not even mine.
— Kevin Feenan