Progressive Conservatives Punch Right
It seems like Social Conservatism and Economic Nationalism just isn’t in the cards for the Progressive Conservatives, and it looks like Andrew Sheer isn’t turning out to be much different than Stephen Harper. It seems as though, just like when the PC’s expelled MPP Jack MacLaren back in 2017 for being more socially conservative, they have expelled MP Maxime Bernier, who has spoken out against mass-immigration, who has a history with Quebecois Nationalism, who ran against Sheer for party leadership, and who foresaw the upcoming trade war despite conforming the party’s Neoliberal economic outlook. It would be interesting if Bernier punched left towards the PCs, like MacLaren did.
This tendency to move left and punch right has become quite typical of the PC Neoliberals, and it begs to question whether or not PC should stand for Progressive Conservative or Political Correctness. Even in their roots under Harper back in the days of the Reform Party, they have always been Neoliberals, and even parties like Trillium Party seem to echo the past of Reform, a past in which the Overton window has only shifted leftwards by appealing to open markets dominated by corporate entities with progressive agendas.
By this point is should be clear that Progressive Conservatives are prepared to throw true conservatives under the bus. This has happened with more-Conservative media outlets as well, and Sheer himself disavowed the more milquetoast and classically liberal Rebel Media while Donna Skelly recently disavowed the more-Libertarian leaning Free Bird Media.
Last August, Sheer said of Rebel Media that, “Anything that gives a platform to those types of obnoxious groups is certainly worth condemnation”.
While, this May, Skelly said of Free Bird Media, “Would I condone or endorse people like this? No. I’m still old school. I like traditional media and balanced reporting.”
This shouldn’t be surprising coming from a party where the last leadership election was based on one upping each other in terms of increasing immigration quotas, and the expulsion of Bernier shouldn’t come as a surprise given that he represented a stand against Sheer’s more-Progressive Conservatism. Just look at what the past few terms of Conservative mayors have done for Toronto, and ask yourself what they’re really conserving…
The legacy of the Fords and Harper don’t help to reverse this tendency for PCs either, and if anything, they have only made it worse. We have drug addicts and sellouts characterizing modern conservatism in Canada and we have seen a reversal of the the nationalist trajectory that we were put on by leaders like MacDonald, Borden, Bennett, Mackenzie King, and St. Laurent. Can much really be said for a party of self labeled “progressives” who try to up each other in terms of trying to win the increasing ethnic minority vote each year? A Toronto ruled by Ford and Tory is a microcosmic reflection of what a progressive conservative Canada could be, what with its famously crack-addicted mayor and Fentanyl problems.
It’s ironic because, on one hand, the Progressive Conservatives have shown disregard for the Anglophone heritage in Ontario when they expelled MacLaren, on the other hand they are showing disregard for the Francophone heritage of Quebec when they expel people like Bernier. And there is something to be said for both positions. There is something to be said for politicians like MacLaren when they implicitly acknowledge that Canada has a predominantly Anglophone heritage that needs to be respected, just as there is something to be said for politicians like Bernier when they acknowledge that Quebec has its own unique, regional autonomy that needs to be respected. What Canada ultimately needs is a kind of Federalism that shows respect for both of these traditions.
We need to understand that, while Canada is a country made up of a Euro-Descended majority, and while Canada has been characterized by a broader English tradition, there is still a place for the Natives, the Quebecois, and other minorities so long as they don’t infringe upon or prevail over what makes the country up and what characterizes it.
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