Adam Daifallah believes Canada’s right-wing merger
must succeed for the sake of our political movement
and the good of our country. He feels Canadian conservatives
“understand the need to find common ground and
put their differences aside.”
Does Daifallah really feel the merger is being conducted
in an effort to find common ground? As I alluded to
yesterday, the ideological and cultural differences
between the CA and PCs are quite dramatic.
Unfortunately, this merger is occurring for the worst
of all possible reasons–fear and desperation. Fear
that the Liberals will continue to maintain their
historical stranglehold over Canada’s political and
economic fortunes. And desperation in that these two
fundamentally different political parties must merge,
or both face the possibility of political extinction.
That’s not the way to create a new political entity.
Daifallah also believes Canada’s Conservatives should
work in “one big tent” like the U.S. Republican
party. Without getting into the intricacies of trying
to compare a stable two-party system (U.S.) to a perplexing
multiparty system (Canada), the big tent philosophy
already exists in Canadian conservatism.
The CA brought together fiscal conservatives and social
conservatives. It brought together conservatives,
libertarians and classical liberals. It even brought
together Reformers and right-leaning Blue Tories.
The one group that wasn’t invited to the party (so
to speak) was the left-leaning Red Tories. This large
faction, in many ways, caused the right-wing split
in Canada in the first place. From policy proposals
to political agendas, the Red Tories have one dogmatic
philosophy–my way or the highway.
Therefore, bringing the Red Tories (or worse) back
into the fold–which is seemingly the only point of
this merger, since most true conservatives support
the CA–would serve to create a Conservative Party
that resembles the old, divisive PC Party that collapsed
in the 1993 federal election (dropping from 157 to
2 seats). If the goal isn’t to bring back the Red
Tories, then the merger’s sole purpose is simply to
recapture the few remaining Blue Tories that either
initially refused to join the CA or left in frustration.
Meanwhile, Daifallah believes Canadians want this
merger, since they “want to see that conservatives
are capable of running the country.” But that’s
not accurate–polls have only shown that Canadians
want an alternative to the Liberal government. The
word “conservative” doesn’t seem to be a
part of their vocabulary.
In fact, the excitement level for the CA-PC merger
has barely reached a whisper among potential Canadian
voters. Neither CA leader Stephen Harper nor PC leader
Peter MacKay have generated enthusiastic responses.
Even the heavily touted former Ontario Premier Mike
Harris (who has decided not to run) only registered
about 30 percent popularity against the Liberal juggernaut.
In fact, with Harris out of the race, the Conservative
Party has an uncertain future. PC supporters would
find it difficult to support Harper, the acknowledged
front-runner, as a leader. And CA members would find
it equally difficult to support MacKay, or former
PC leadership candidates Scott Brison and Jim Prentice.
I’m afraid that neither scenario bodes well for the
struggling Canadian conservative movement and the
questionable CA-PC merger.
Taube is an editorial writer for the Windsor