“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.