Thursday, November 01, 2007

Harper is no Red Tory and the Mark Warner Case Proves It

The reasons why Harper rejected Mark Warner are spelled out in June 2003 paper, entitled Rediscovering the Right Agenda.

“conservative parties simply cannot shy away from values questions. On a wide range of public-policy questions, including foreign affairs and defence, criminal justice and corrections, family and child care, and healthcare and social services, social values are increasingly the really big issues. Take taxation, for example. There are real limits to tax-cutting if conservatives cannot dispute anything about how or why a government actually does what it does. If conservatives accept all legislated social liberalism with balanced budgets and corporate grants - as do some in the business community - then there really are no differences between a conservative and a Paul


Third, rebalancing means there will be changes to the composition of the conservative coalition. We may not have all the same people we have had in the past. The new liberal corporatist agenda will appeal to some in the business community. We may lose some old "conservatives," Red Tories like the David Orchards or the Joe Clarks. This is not all bad. A more coherent coalition can take strong positions it
wouldn't otherwise be able to take - as the Alliance alone was able to do during
the Iraq war.”

As for Warner's processed roots in the Progressive Conservative party, Harper was always quite clear that he regarded the Progressive Conservative party as a “second Liberal Party”.

As to Warner's attempts to address issues relating to social housing, access to education and issues related to poverty, make no mistake Harper has no time for such issues and is not afraid to say so. To wit:

"These [federal government] proposals included cries for billions of new money for social assistance in the name of 'child poverty' and for more business subsidies in the name of 'cultural identity'. In both cases I was sought out as a rare public figure to oppose such projects. ..."

Harper’s unwillingness to attend the AIDS conference in Toronto is a pretty good sign that he regards such conferences and Warner's interest in them as so much “social liberalism” and he wants nothing to do with them.

The case of Mark Warner should serve as a wake up call to chattering classes. Harper is no Red Tory. There is not one policy proposal in the Rediscovering the Right agenda that Harper has not adopted and he is only dropped one, viz., ssm, and that was only after a three year loosing battle.


Anonymous said...

Note also the denial of Brent Barr in Guelph. Barr is definitely not a Red Tory.

Wake me up if Harper decides to dump Patrick Boyer in Etobicoke-Lakeshore. Boyer is very left and is a supporter of proportional representation here in Toronto. At the same time, John Capobianco ran well against Ignatieff there.

Koby said...

The Boyers and Capobiancos and Tony Fogarassys of the world are not running in a high profile by-election. The fact that Warner was dumped no is not insignificant. Once it became clear that there would be no election this fall the Conservatives decided they were not going to run a candidate in a high profile by-election, who was essentially running against their platform.

Susan Delacourt Toronto Star: "We've had, for a number of months, a series of differences between our campaign and the national campaign, over the degree to which I could run a campaign that would focus on the kind of issues that matter in a downtown urban riding," Warner told the Star.
Conservative officials have been actively resisting Warner's emphasis on housing, health care and cities issues, he said, even blocking him from participating in a Star forum on poverty earlier this year and pointedly removing from his campaign literature a reference to the 2006 international conference on AIDS in Toronto – which Warner attended but Prime Minister Stephen Harper did not.
Don Plett, Conservative party president, signed the letter that was delivered to Warner this week precisely as the government was unveiling its mini-budget on Tuesday afternoon.
Plett said yesterday he didn't want to elaborate on the decision to oust Warner, for privacy reasons. However, Plett didn't argue with Warner's characterization of the dispute.
"Well let me just simply say this; that in a national campaign, that is exactly what it is – a national campaign. There are certain things that we expect all of our candidates to do in a national campaign," Plett told the Star yesterday.

Koby said...

Barr is a turd.

Anonymous said...

There are no Red Torys anymore within the CPC.

Joe Clark was the last of them and his return to the House of Commons showed what they are reduced to, a group of Atlantic Canadians clinging to a "culture of defeat".

Koby said...

"There are no Red Torys anymore within the CPC."

Prentice and Keddy might qualify.

This is how Warner titled his press release. "Red Tory fired from Downtown Toronto Electoral Race; Federal Conservative Party has no interst in engaging urban Canada"

Anonymous said...

Not Prentice. The most vocal proponent from the Progressives in uniting the right.