September 25, 2023

The Queens County Citizen

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A Political Frankenstein | The Journal of Montreal

A Political Frankenstein |  The Journal of Montreal

The festival of right-wing enlightened revelers is in danger of ending very badly for the Conservative Party.

Pro-Poillievre minions managed to get rid of candidate Patrick Brown. They think they did a good job by removing his votes from the second round, which still gives Jean Charest hope in the leadership race.

Now confident that Pierre Poilievre would surely win, these great scientists Dr. Like Frankenstein, they realize too late that their machinations have created a monster they cannot control.

A New Conservative Party?

With all the seriousness in the world, a large number of conservatives started talking about forming a new party. Tired of putting up with the hiccups of Harper’s emulators, they looked for another way. Way to give them a chance against liberals. Pierre Poilivre and his fringes running against Trudeau (or Freeland, or Carney…) won’t have that luck.

A group calling itself the “Centre Ice Conservatives” will meet in Edmonton next month to discuss the principles on which this meaningful, self-confident conservative movement, like Poilivre’s current party, can be.

Let’s be clear, these center Conservatives have nothing in common with the troglodytes who stormed Ottawa last winter and were praised and encouraged by Poileivre. The Poilievre clan loves their hero and they all vote for him. There is nothing to do. At least nothing rational.

And therein lies the rub: Poilivre realizes that competent, experienced and winnable Conservatives are a public entertainer unlikely to win a general election. He may be happy with Maxime Bernier’s base, but not many other Canadians. The average voter is looking for more solutions, not more uncertainty.

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Preston Manning 2.0

The Conservative Party, then known as the Progressive Conservative Party, had previously developed its own opposition when Preston Manning created the Reform Party. His cause was Western Canada, which saw him ignored by the Liberals and sanctioned by the CP.

It was Preston Manning’s model that could initially inspire these center conservatives: a protest party.

They can examine and study the CAQ model. François Legault created a party that abandoned the old dichotomy of sovereignty versus federalism and managed within a few years to form a government in Canada’s second largest province. A feat.

The unholy union of the Reform/Alliance with the Progressive Conservatives may have gotten Stephen Harper elected three times, but it has been a flop ever since.

Give way to moderates

The right-wing takes the blame, and right-wing radicals, like Poilivre, believe they can win by pitching further to the right. Canadian voters who want a government that is clean, competent, responsive and…realistic are not making any sense.

These Canadians can elect both New Democrat John Horgan in British Columbia and Progressive Conservative Doug Ford in Ontario. They have their theoretical starting point but, to the core, they know!

Canadians generally don’t want to know about ideological battles, and Pierre Poilivre’s party may find that out the hard way.