October 30th, 2020

The ongoing evolution of conservatism

By Letter to the Editor on December 24, 2019.

We appreciate Deirdre Mitchell-MacLean’s historical perspective on how and why conservatism has changed since being taken over by Preston Manning’s Reform Party. Harper’s giveaway quote, “Centrists don’t belong in a conservative party,” says it all, despite elections showing repeatedly that at least 60 per cent of Canadians are just that, or some minor variation thereof. That’s a majority, and the only reason that isn’t reflected in the current House of Commons is because the right wing is now united while the left remains fragmented by the usual political narcissism of small differences.

She reveals definitive Reform-Conservative strategy when she talks about a “preferred narrative.” Their tireless commitment to this is reflected in the dynamics of language – they are now called “cons.” The best example is their proud claim of being a product of the “grass roots,” when the far more rigid roots of religious doctrine is what actually guides them. This is that famous “hidden agenda,” about which polite, tolerant Canadians have expressed themselves most openly in the voting booth.

Religion is not mentioned in Deirdre’s article, but she refers to the consequences of its doctrine that keep appearing as an intractable and growing encroachment on evolving human rights, starting with women of course, as religious doctrine invariably does. Forty-five “pro-life” federal MPs and 28 UCP MLAs attest to that. And yet “social conservatives” are counted among those most unhappy with the very Catholic Mr. Scheer, who’s obviously not religious enough for them. If we look at the GOP, and Trump, casual destroyers of truth, as the ultimate aspirations of the religious right (90-plus per cent of evangelicals voted for him), it’s starting to look like the more “purist” they become, the closer we all get to living in the fantasy that is theocracy. Just one that’s hiding in plain sight is all.

Many of us long for the former Progressive Conservatives who were mainly differentiated by some variations in fiscal policy, but were certainly not interested in using that as a Trojan horse to covertly and incrementally meld church and state. Huge difference. Meanwhile, the flag is flown by recurring private-member bills regarding women’s basic reproductive rights.

Back to history, here in Alberta 55 per cent of people proudly and defiantly do not learn from it, which is another of reform conservatism’s least appealing features – overt anti-intellectualism.

Patricia and Tony Pargeter


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If the Pargeter’s were not so paranoid about finding religious zealots under every rock they might realize that other federal parties have similar or worse problems of their own . With a more dynamic leader the Tories might easily have won the last election, indeed they won the popular vote as it was.
As far as their sneering opinions on the voting choices of a majority of Albertans, what else could one expect of pseudo elitists. It must be difficult for them to deal with divergent opinions from the great unwashed.

Tris Pargeter

So you think that Maxime Bernier may have done the trick then eh? And trick it would have been because for SOME reason that good, old hidden agenda just keeps popping up and sabotaging perfectly “good” campaigns, (albeit with the help of some outright fraud, and excessive reliance on misinformation….)
At some point the conservatives have to start admitting that their outdated, toxic, and inhumane policies are the problem, similar to evangelical doctrine, not their leader as such, and we ARE hearing that Scheer was indeed too “socially conservative” or too religious, as I have said. Even Peter McKay called it the “stinking albatross around conservative necks.” So maybe a woman could deke everybody out? Cue Rona Ambrose…

Dennis Bremner

So Tris how do you account for the obvious explosive growth in Conservatism in Alberta? Seniors are 13% of the population and the mean age of Albertans is a rather stunning 35 years of age. That means that in the last election of which 64% voted, if you apply that too ALL the Seniors and assume ALL 64% voted which would be inaccurate, but practical to the question. Then Seniors accounted for 7.8% of the vote. Assuming not everyone voted Conservative that would mean somewhere between 5-6% of the Senior population which is about 220,000 votes.
So my question: How do you account for the explosive growth in Conservatism in the X and Y generations, generations you insist are hyper intelligent and understand Climate Change, they obviously understand politics and are in favor of Religion/Politics mix, because they tossed the NDP in the favor of CONS. So how do you explain that it was obviously young X/Y that elected the CONS and yet still try to maintain its some mystical aged “Nights Templar group” that created this change of events?


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