Conservatives in Canada
Why the Conservatives have lost my vote
by Klaus Rohrich
Monday, October 3, 2005
This past week The National Post, Canadas other "national" newspaper has run a series of articles examining the state of conservatism in Canada. The articles have been well thought out and thought provoking, but have largely failed to explain exactly why conservatism in Canada is failing. Certainly, there is the quasi-belief that real Canadians are Liberals and any other political orientation is totally un-Canadian. Ditto for our tax structure, as the conventional wisdom maintains that real Canadians want to pay high taxes and have their government look after them. Finally, there is the belief that diversity is the key defining trait of real Canadians and that in order to win politically, you are obliged to out-tolerate the opposition.
Frankly, I think none of the above defines real Canadians, but I believe that the Conservative Party has bought this line, along with its hook and sinker. And thats why they have lost my, and I suspect many other Canadians votes. How else could it be explained that despite the kleptomania, gross mismanagement of programs such as health care and the gun registry, blatant patronage and the so-called "democratic deficit for which the Liberals have become so famous, Canadians still prefer them over the Conservatives?
The short answer is that the Conservative Party has failed to differentiate itself from the Liberals, adopting the Libs agenda almost word for word. There is no real vision in the Conservative Party of how things could or should be. Hence the party is forced to borrow from their opponents platform. The voters answer to this is that if we want Liberal programs who better to deliver them than the Liberals? Why would anyone be in favor of having the Conservative Party form a government only to continue with the Liberals policies?
Most thinking Canadians see the Conservatives bid to form a government as a losing proposition and they are not inclined to throw good money after bad. All one has to do is read the polls to know that the Conservative Party of Canada has no chance of forming a government this decade and maybe even the next. My colleague Rachel Marsden recently wrote in these pages that "if you really want to do something for conservatism [in Canada], put your cash where its needed- on the ground, not in the ivory tower."
I couldnt agree more. Having once been a contributor to the Conservative Party of Canada, I made the decision last fall that they were not going to get one more penny out of me until they started acting like Conservatives.
I want to see a comprehensive tax policy that will stop the erosion of private sector jobs and the growth of the government. Currently the government in Canada consumes over 41% of this countrys entire Gross Domestic Product. No wonder all families have to have two breadwinners, one to feed the family, while other pays off the government.
I want to see policies that reward success and do not encourage failure. In the United States welfare is limited to two years per lifetime, meaning that they have reversed the trend of creating welfare dynasties in which three or more generations of a family spend their lives waiting for their government checks. The Liberals discourage initiative, as people that are beholden to them for their livelihood, will continue to vote for them. I am not advocating that people should be left to starve. But there needs to be some incentive to turn ones life around and become a productive member of society rather than a leech.
I am looking for an immigration policy that will encourage individuals who have something to contribute to come here and that will make it less onerous to deport unwanted visitors. Its a joke that some 30,000 war criminals, terrorists and street thugs are under a deportation order, yet no one can find them. If someone does, the deportees merely hire a legal-aid lawyer to fight it, in some cases for as long as 20 years. The system is dysfunctional and in desperate need of major surgery. Ditto for our refugee policy. How can someone exit an airplane claiming not to have a passport, when at that planes point of origin, one needs a passport to board?
I want members of Parliament and government department heads to be held accountable for how taxpayers money is spent. I am tired of hearing the "Pork-Barrel Polka" played as my taxes spiral ever upward. The recent Ad-scam scandal is a case in point. One of the chief culprits, Paul Coffin, admitted to stealing $1.5 million and pled guilty to the charges. His "punishment" was repaying 66% of what he stole, a suspended sentence and being forced to teach an ethics (!) class to business students. Who said, "Crime does not pay"?
Healthcare, the one trait that for so long seemed to define the real Canada is on its deathbed. Yet a whole regimen of possible cures, namely privately provided care, is proscribed from consideration, much less discussion. If we are to heal our healthcare system, then all cures should be examined and Conservatives should lead the way in these discussions.
If we are to have a senate, then that senate should have teeth and claws, rather than be a home for aging supporters being put out to a cushy pasture. The senate needs to be elected and it needs the power to influence legislation. Currently, very few government bills are not ratified by the senate, because the senators owe their bizarre existence to the Prime Minister.
Conservatism is about ideas. Its not about chasing an elusive middle ground in order to pander to voters. Its about selling a vision for a better Canada.
So, Stephen Harper, if you really want to form a government start thinking about what the word "conservative" really means. Otherwise dont waste my time trying to get me to contribute to your campaign.
Klaus Rohrich is senior columnist for Canada Free Press. Klaus also writes topical articles for numerous magazines. He has a regular column on retirementhomes.com and is currently working on his first book dealing with the toxicity of liberalism.Ê His work has been featured on the Drudge Report, Rush Limbaugh, Fox News and Lucianne, among others.Ê He lives and works in a small town outside of Toronto and is an avid student of history. Klaus can be reached at: email@example.com.
Recent articles by Klaus Rohrich