Everyone today has an opinion on the Conservative Party of Canada: why the conservatives have lost. What should they do about it? What a respectful amount of time it is before Andrew Scheer gets kicked out.
Background of the discussion is the future of conservatism in Canada and what it means to be conservative.
It should come as no surprise that most of the experts involved in this topic seem to be less interested in the nature of conservatism than in shaping it into something that makes them feel good. For them, the Conservatives must become another centrist party, barely different from the half-dozen that already dominate Canada's political landscape.
The consensus among media experts is that the party is right for conservative Canadian voters who want a leader who participates in gay parades and has developed sufficiently in terms of abortion, gay marriage and other progressive issues.
The left-wing media telling conservative Canadians what they're doing wrong is like the fox telling the farmer how to build a better chicken coop. The media can not benefit from a strong conservative movement because, according to the English philosopher and writer Roger Scruton, conservatism is "true but boring", while progressive views are "exciting but wrong".
What's boring is kryptonite for the media, while everything attracts new and progressive attention. As a result, conservatism suffers from a kind of "rhetorical disadvantage" to liberalism, says Scruton.
For the people of the faith, however, conservatism is of crucial importance. Whichever party religious people actually vote for, they tend to be more conservative than their unbelieving neighbors. They tend more to traditional notions of family, marriage, social behavior, tradition, and a limited relationship with the government. As Scruton notes, "Conservatism is about conserving things: not all of course, but the good things we admire and cherish, and which we could lose if we do not care about them."
Which makes the current debate about conservatism so stifling. It begins with a false premise of what conservatism is or should be, and advocates taking over the movement, the party, the leader, and the nation there.
The national post office After the elections, there was a series on conservatism in Canada. What could have been a revealing series proved banal and was stifled by contributions from a think-tank director, scientists and politicians, a historian, and a newspaper columnist. They concluded that we need a new economic program for the new societal challenges, a rethinking of the Laurentian model of Canada that involves the West, and a revised liberalism based on a limited redistribution of government and "social market" rather than regulation aims.
Needless to say that this will hardly arouse the passion of Canadians. It also sounds like something that could come from any party leader trying to sound as in the middle of the road as possible.
In the five essays, the word "family" did not appear once. Do not believe either. Or the marriage. Or some indication of the inherent dignity of life from conception to the natural end. The next point was an allusion to Canada's "civil freedom of speech, religion, conscience and assembly" and a line that laments the loss of our traditions and institutions.
Scruton commented on a similar debate among conservatives in England, pointing out that conservative people are "not all educated to think that economy is the only thing that matters".
Conservatives believe, he said, "the family is the core institution through which societies reproduce and pass on moral knowledge to the youth." The primary institutions of civil society – marriage and family – "have no clear approval from our new political class." The emphasis is on "abstract ideas and utopian schemas" and "discrimination that can control what we say and what we do in an ever more intrusive way."
Politicians who are afraid to get into the basics and focus on the transient and the trivial reminded me of the words of Cardinal Thomas Collins in the electoral debate of the Archdiocese of Toronto.
He highlighted Saint Thomas More, the patron saint of politicians, as a model for integrity, someone whose life "was not split as a split in two, with the personal part guided by his faith and reason, to the truth search. but with the public part of him who adapts to the changing moods of his monarch or public opinion. "
Saint Thomas said what he believed and what he did, said Cardinal Collins. "He did not personally believe anything while publicly doing the opposite."
Our political leaders desperately need the intercession of St. Thomas More.