Monday, January 02, 2006

A Conservative Minority: The Best Option?

As a progressive, it is hard to endorse any government that has the Conservatives at the helm. However, when I look at the current political landscape, as well as the future prospects for Canada, I wonder if the best post-election scenario isn't a Conservative minority government. Strange request I know, but bear with me.

The Liberal Party is a mess of patronage, corruption and old cronies that has become detached from the grassroots. This situation is not historically unique, most parties that hold power for prolonged periods suffer this fate. Martin looks the tired politican, who seems increasingly idea challenged. With these facts in mind, another Liberal government would only serve to further institutionalize this bloated legacy. The only way for a substantial purge to occur is electoral defeat- the party needs to cleanse itself. New leadership, fueling a new vision, and a renewed sense of purpose. A Liberal victory means the status quo and that is increasingly unacceptable.

Now factor in the overt feelings of alienation from the west and you begin to see a timely solution. I am not speaking to the merits of western alienation, merely to its existence. With this election, we are witnessing some sort of "line in the sand" mentality, wherein another Liberal victory and subsequent rejection of the Conservatives is seen as a watershed moment. Albertans in particular view this election as a turning point, where we either embrace their ideas or force the talk of seperation to the fore. It really seems a dangerous time in the history of Canada. Seperation has historically been Quebec's domain, now it has found an interesting ally.

Solution? A small Conservative minority. This outcome accomplishes many things in the short term. The Liberal Party will reconfigure itself and emerge relevant again. The feelings of western alienation will be tempered and a sense of inclusiveness will emerge. Quebec will still be Quebec, irregardless of whether the Liberals cling to power- you could argue a short term fall from power may be the key to blunting the seperatist movement.

Also, and most important, a Conservative minority has the added benefit of a relatively neutered Steven Harper. The Conservatives would be unable to enact a bold right wing agenda and in turn would be forced to temper policy to appease a predominately moderate house. Shortform, the Conservatives would accomplish little. A minority government would have a shelf life of two or three years, within that time the Liberals would have ample time to morph back to a real party for the people.

If we think longterm, a tiny Conservative minority in the near may be the best medicine for a country increasingly in disarray.

Disclaimer- I still can't actually see myself pulling the lever for shark eyes.


Anonymous said...

You are one of the few in the "Progressive" Bloggers group that is actually progressive (the majority of them are regressive).

Indeed, how can a reasonable person support a party whose sole ideology is personal enrichment, corruption, lying, stealing, mob conections, etc?

One-party rule, and support of it, is highly regressive. In fact, there is nothing that could be more regressive (and retarded!).

I commend you for keeping an open mind and thinking of what's best for Canada.

A Tory government (minority or majority) is not the end of the world), and as a commenter wrote in reply to your post on the Progressive BLoggers website, the Tories are not bible-thumpers - that's the current flavour of Republicans in the States, but this is not happening in Canada.

Granted, just like any party, the Tories too have some extremists. But I'd rather take a bible-thumper than a communist (and there are communists, for example, in the NDP).

AT said...

Basically, I believe if we get a minority government, the actual party that would be ruling is actually NDP. The reason is because we all know that Liberal or Conservatives would oppose the policies of eachother. Therefore, whichever side NDP takes would be victorious.

Nevertheless, I think a Conservative minority would unite Canada again. I believe if a referendum takes place under liberal federal government, federalists would have a less chance of winning than if it was under a conservative government. The reason is because the western Canada than would be supporting federalism under conservatives.

Steve V said...


"One-party rule, and support of it, is highly regressive. In fact, there is nothing that could be more regressive (and retarded!)."

Thanks for the comments, but I hope this sentiment applies to provincial goverance as well. King Ralph is another example, for differing reasons.

Anonymous said...

Indeed, I am also against Ralph Klein and the PC one-party rule. I am fighting on two fronts here: restore democracy to Ottawa AND Edmonton.

I want Klein and his PC out of power as much as I want to see the Liberals gone from Ottawa.

ferrethouse said...

Good read!

If the Liberals win the last remaining Conservative judge on the Supreme Court will be replaced by a Liberal making the entire Supreme Court Liberal.

I don't care if you are left, right, or center. You have to acknowledge that having our political system THAT far out of balance (after all a solid 30% of our population is conservative) is not healthy.

You make some very good points here. A Tory minority not only means a strengthening of our anti-corruption laws and an expansion of the auditor general's role but it means a healthy shakeup of the Liberal party that will emerge stronger and cleaner than before. I'm hearing more and more liberals (small l) like yourself accepting that the Liberal Party needs some time in the wilderness to reflect on things (a timeout). Mr. Harper faced with three "progressive" opposition parties, an overwhelmingly Liberal senate and Supreme Court would not be able to do any of the supposedly "scary" things that many on the left have warned about.

Steve V said...


"needs some time in the wilderness to reflect on things (a timeout)."

Timeout is a good way to put it.

Blogger said...

My seat forecaster is now showing things all tied up!