Monday, August 27, 2012

A "Progressive" alternative to the Neo-Cons

Today's Conservative Party is Yesterday's Reformists
When this blog was first created about two years ago, it's primary purpose was to bring to light the extreme, radical ideological agenda of the current Conservative Party of Canada and it's "Straussian" leader, Stephen Harper. I wanted to stress that this "new" Conservative party was not the Conservative party of our forefathers, that it is nothing more than the ideologically driven Ant-Canadian Reform/Alliance party that, through skillful manipulation, lies and deceit managed to lay claim to the "Conservative" name, thereby lending it a huge and entirely undeserved measure of credibility. I wanted to point out that the CPC are "fake Conservatives". They wish to "conserve" nothing of our democratic or socially responsible tradition. They are not Tories, they are not Progressives and I seriously doubt their credibility as Canadian citizens given their apparent intention  to change Canada beyond all recognition. 

When the Reformists succeeded in stealing the Conservative name back in 2003, they promptly dropped the "progressive" label. Though the old party adhered to capitalistic fiscal and economic policies,the "Progressive" moniker  honored the PCs belief in  responsible social and environmental policies. The CPC most certainly do not and many of the PCs, recognizing this, refused to have anything to do with the new abomination that was spawned by the Unite the Right movement. Former Prime Minister Joe Clark chose to sit out his remaining time in Parliament as a Progressive Conservative rather than join Stephen Harper in his quest to destabilize and ultimately, destroy Canada's social and democratic institutions and system of beliefs. 

Honorable Sinclair Stevens
Rather than recognize the merger of the two political entities to the right of centre, the Honorable Sinclair Stevens, a former Cabinet Minister in the Government of Brian Mulroney joined with several of his Progressive compatriots to form the Progressive Canadian Party. While this new party remains low profile and has garnered little in the way of attention from the main stream media to date, it's goal is to offer moderate Conservatives a viable alternative to the radical agenda of the CPC. It aims to restore the "PC" alternative at the federal level.  

Progressive Canadian Party
While I don't necessarily endorse this new PC alternative, I believe it's existence is essential to the democratic process in this country. Since the unification of the political right in Canada, there has been only one voice for Conservatives; Stephen Harper's, whose iron-fisted dictatorial rule of both his party and the country have stifled the voices of the true Canadian Tories, the moderate, Progressive Conservatives. These voices, the voices of reason, must be allowed to be heard once again on Parliament Hill because they are reflective of the millions of Conservative Canadian citizens whose values are not currently represented by the CPC. It's time for the oppressive reign of the CPC to end.

The new PC party is fielding a candidate  in the upcoming Calgary Centre bi-election. Below is a statement from Sinclair Stevens and a brief bio of the PC candidate, Ben Christensen:  

PC Party Candidate in Calgary Centre
For Immediate Release August 27, 2012

Newmarket, Ont. - 
The Honourable Sinclair Stevens, Leader of the Progressive Canadian Party, is pleased to announce that the PC Party will be running local businessman Ben Christensen as the first True Tory candidate in Calgary Centre since former prime minister Joe Clark was the riding's Progressive Conservative MP.

The Progressive Canadian Party was registered in early 2004 by Progressive Conservatives as the continuation of the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada. It provides Canadians with a genuine Tory alternative to the provincialism, continentalism, and neoconservatism of the party led by Stephen Harper. With "PC Party" on the ballot, it continues to offer policy directions consistent with those of progressive-conservative prime ministers from Sir John A Macdonald onward. 

The Calgary Centre by-election is expected this fall following the resignation of CPC MP Lee Richardson on 31 May. Richardson left the Harper caucus to become principal secretary to Alberta's Progressive Conservative Premier Alison Redford 

Mr. Christensen, a local Calgary businessman and recently in the news as the litigation advisor to the Occupy Calgary protesters, was quick to note the continuing ideological divisions between former Progressive Conservatives and the Reform Party turned Canadian Alliance turned CPC and has been somewhat amused by attempts to dismiss the divisions between old Reformers and PCs as mythology.

"Stephen Harper is described as a libertarian not a conservative by commentators like CTV's Craig Oliver, certainly not as a progressive-conservative, and Harper's firewall federalism, which he terms "classical federalism", is actually American, the opposite of the Tory vision of a united Canada.

"The newly nominated Harper candidate in Calgary Centre is identified with the Wild Rose Alliance, and that's not Progressive Conservative - nor the choice of Calgarians or Albertans," Christensen concluded. 

PC Party Leader Stevens continued, "Ben will, over the next several weeks and into the election, be seeking opportunities to meet with his fellow Calgarians to discuss several issues of both local and national interest. Watch for him!"

- 30-
For more information on the issues raised above:

The Hon. Sinclair Stevens, 
PC Party Leader,


Ben Christensen is a true blood Calgarian. After graduating from high school in southern Alberta, Christensen returned to his home roots in Calgary to pursue his passion for business as a youth entrepreneur. His later involvement with the Occupy Calgary movement and his passion for human rights made him a recognized leader in the community as human rights advocate. 
   He founded a well known automotive business in the Calgary area and continues to contribute and dedicate much of his time to preserving equality and human rights under the Canadian Charter of Rights and freedoms, believing that the veterans of our country who fought for these freedoms deserve to be respected and given better support within the community.
   His involvement in the business community and his belief that small business is the root of economic progress have earned him acknowledgement with the founders of organizations like the Canadian Shoppers Club and the Corporate Group of Allied Associates and The Remarkable Man Project groups with which he actively participates and in which he holds membership.
   As a new face in the political community Christensen states that he is here for the people of Calgary to listen and respond to their concerns. As a genuine True Tory Christensen has vowed that he will work to restore the public trust in government and leadership that has been tarnished by the neo-Con agenda.
  "I am a Calgarian and I value the feedback and opinions of my fellow Calgarians. This is why I believe it is time to let Calgary have a voice instead of being graced by the occasional chinook of hot air we have been getting from some of our current representatives."
   Christensen will be appearing over the next several weeks to homes and events in the Calgary Center riding to meet his fellow Calgarians and hear about their concerns and feedback.

Ben Christensen at an "Occupy Calgary" Protest

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Is Uniting the Left a Good Idea?

Give Stephen Harper credit for one thing, he is driven and he is relentless. It was his opinion and that of Reformist architect Preston Manning (and several other Neo-Con, Western, Evangelicals) that the Mulroney led Progressive Conservative Party of the Eighties didn't speak for them. To them, the PCs were far too "Liberal" in their actions and not representative of Western Canada, specifically Alberta. The Social Credit Party of Ernest Manning, Preston's Father, had all but disappeared and so did the voice of the far-right- Western Separatists. Hence, the creation of the Reform Party of Canada in 1987. It was to this party that a young WASP Evangelical - "Steve" Harper - was attracted and as National Campaign Manager in 1988,  saw him, coin the election slogan "The West Wants In".   

But the Reform Party of Preston Manning could never shake the perception of being a narrow minded,  extremest party despite gaining Official Opposition Status during the Chretien years. It was a purely Western-centric group who couldn't buy a seat east of Manitoba, even after changing it's Name to the euphemistic Alliance Party of Canada. The Alliance's first leader, Stockwell Day, being an adherent of Young Earth Creationism (which holds that men walked with dinosaurs among other such nonsense) proved to be an embarrassment and a huge disappointment. This set the stage for the ascendancy of Steve Harper, the Great Western Hope in 2002. 

It was during the time between the end of the Mulroney years in 1993 and the unification of the "Right" in 2003 that the Progressive Conservatives, or Red Tories all but lost their political voices. The PCs had been reduced to third and fourth party status during the Chretien years and many traditional Tories felt they had more in common with the Liberals than with the bizarre collection of Reformist Neo-Cons from the West. Despite the fact that the Right was fractured between the two political entities, the faltering Progressive Conservatives still preferred to cling to their autonomy and hence their own voice, weak as it was, as opposed to jumping into bed with the Reformists. 

But then the unthinkable happened, The Progressive Conservatives were betrayed by their own leader, Peter MacKay in 2003 who sought merger with the Neo-Cons. But at the time of the merger, the PCs were so weakened that they were gobbled up by the ravenous, power hungry Alliance led by Stephen Harper. Harper and his band of Neo-Cons were then free to appropriate the Conservative name and anoint Harper himself as the savior of the political Right. And by gaining the Conservative name (after promptly dropping the "Progressive" label), Harper and his Western-centric group of radicals now had the illusion of credibility they never had before and were able to fool voters in Central and Eastern Canada into thinking that the Conservative Party of Canada (as the new Reformist abomination came to be known as) was the same Conservative Party of Diefenbaker, Stanfield and Mulroney. 

Many of the old PCs who joined the united Right bandwagon erroneously believed that the Tory voice would once again echo throughout the Halls of Parliament. It was their chance to regain power and to punish and ultimately extinguish the Liberal Party for becoming all too cocky in their belief that they were the "natural" governing party in Canada. But as time has passed, from 2003 until now, and as the Harper led Conservatives have gone from Minority to Majority Government status, it has become all too apparent that the old moderate PCs- the "Red" Tories and the socially progressive Conservatives- have in fact, lost their voices all together. They have been all but choked off by the autocratic Harper and his "Gestapo-like" staff at the PMO. There is one voice and only one voice in the current Conservative Party and that belongs to Stephen Harper. 

Harper controls his party with an iron fist and there is no room what so ever for dissenting voices. Anyone who dares speak out against the government is attacked, discredited, fired and ultimately silenced. Conservative MPs who don't spout the CPC talking points and rhetoric at every turn are "re-educated". This is nowhere as apparent as with the recent passage of bill C-38. Back-benchers such as David Wilks, who expressed any reservation about the monstrously undemocratic bill quickly had their individuality erased and were reduced to "cheer-leader" status during the subsequent voting in the House. 

Harper's performance and the lack of ethical behaviour by his party is beginning to stir up dissent among some grass-roots Conservatives including previous PC Ministers and Provincial counterparts. They know this party that is Conservative in name only (and certainly undeserving of the Tory label which the media has bestowed upon them) does not speak for them.  It is clear to them that the Ideologically driven pro-reformists in the party have no tolerance for political moderates. And though this is still early days as far as the Harper majority goes, the possibility of a palace revolt is not out of the question. At the very least, it could well lead to the political Right becoming splintered once more as Progressive Conservatives seek to distance them selves from the tyrannical Harper.  

Which brings me back to my original statement about unification of the Political Left. It seems to me, and it is only my opinion, that the motivation for unification of the Left is identical to the reasons that saw the political Right become a single entity. The Liberals and New Democrats joining forces would serve one purpose and one purpose only, to overthrow the Harperites - much as the PCs and Alliance came together with the express purpose of deposing the Chretien Liberals. But if the parties of the left do join forces and manage to overthrow King Stephen, then What?? A unified Left would theoretically represent a broad spectrum of people- What Michael Ingatieff referred to as the "Big Red Tent". What would their mandate be? Who's voice would be dominant? Would it be the Centrist Liberals? The more Socialist inclined NDP? Would merger eliminate the Socialist voice in favour of a more corporate friendly entity? And what of the environmentally conscious Greens? 

Personally, I think there is not only room, but an absolute need for all of these so-called "Leftist" voices to be heard in our House of Commons. And yes, I even think there is room for progressive Tories as well. It is called balance, it is giving voice to all Canadian people and their various beliefs. No one segment of society has the right to bulldoze the others in the name of it's own ideology, thinking  that theirs is the only right system of beliefs and that all the others are wrong. Democracy is about consensus building, about doing what is right for the collective, not the selective few. Therefore the more disparate voices that can be heard in the House of Commons, the better. 

If the political Left were seeking to join forces in order to build on their strengths and commonalities, I would be all in favour of it. However, the voices of unification are being raised for one purpose only, to defeat something, to overcome something, to gain power, not to create something better that might be all inclusive. Therefore, I believe the Left should remain the way it is. All the many and varied voices in the vast political tapestry to the Left of Center are far too valuable to be gobbled up and packed into one all encompassing and vague entity just as the Harperites cannot hope to ever speak for all the people who are truly Conservative of one variety or another.

I recommend then, that instead of the parties of the Left joining forces, they should seek to strengthen their identities, hone their messages, reaffirm the values that they hold to be true - and wait. For eventually, the Government of Harper will  self-destruct as more and more grass-roots Conservatives decide they have had enough of the the One Man Band that claims to speak for them. The Political Right will once again divide itself  as those voices that have been suppressed for so long, seek to be heard once again. 

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Can we find 13 Conservative MPs to Vote against C-38?

Can we find 13 Conservative MPs (the PC kind, not the Reformist kind) who are fed up with the Harper regime? Surely some of the Old-School Progressive Conservatives must be aghast at what The Government of Harper is doing to Canada? Surely there must be any number of backbenchers who are tired of being Bullied by Harper and the PMO? Surely there must be numerous Conservative MPs who's  conscience is not letting them sleep at night, who are ashamed of the corruption? We only need 13 of them to "do the right thing" and oppose the repressive Harperites and vote against C-38. Better yet, Are there 13 willing to cross the floor  or to become independents? 

Hint: I wouldn't bother with Ted Optiz (Etobicoke Centre)

Here is a list of Harper-Con MPs by province with links to their constituency offices. Canadians, do your stuff!

MP - Gail Shea

Nova Scotia
West Nova
MP - Greg Kerr

New Brunswick
Tobique - Mactaquac
MP - Michael Allen

Roberval - Lac-Saint-Jean
MP - Denis Lebel

York Centre
MP - Mark Adler

Winnipeg South Centre
MP - Joyce Bateman

Yorkton - Melville
MP - Garry Breitkreuz