Without control of the high ground on moral issues, conservatism is lost. What remains is the soulless image of the capable administrator, counting beans and biding time, until power is once again handed back to the heroes of “progress”.
The reason I bring this up today, is that the ultimate soul of true modern conservatism – the protection of all forms of human life, via resistance to abortion, infanticide, embryo-destroying research, and euthenasia – has now been ripped out of the federal Conservative party, thanks to the new regime of ex-Harris-ites who are now in full control of the Prime Minister’s office. After being challenged last week by Stephane Dion to explain his view on abortion, the PMO gave the Liberal Party an unthinkable gift: full capitulation on the issue. First, the words of Kory Teneycke, Stephen Harper’s Director of Communications, former Harris senior policy advisor, and right-hand man of new PMO chief of staff, and former Harris inner-cirlce advisor Guy Giorno, upon throwing pro-life Alberta MP Ken Epp and his Unborn Victims of Crime Act under the bus:
“I think it is important that Canadians understand what is on our agenda and what is not on our agenda,” Kory Teneycke, the Prime Minister’s communications director, told reporters following a news conference.
“What is on our agenda is being tough on crime and punishing criminals, and what is not on our agenda is re-opening a debate on abortion. That clarity I think is helpful for Canadians, especially as we go into a period where they might be forced to make a choice.”
Next, the words of Justice Minister Rob Nicholson, a well-known pro-life advocate, who has obviously been cowed from above by the Harris PMO:
Justice Minister Rob Nicholson, whose government is expected to go to the polls this fall, said he will introduce his own competing bill that would make pregnancy an aggravating factor for judges to take into account when sentencing those who assault expectant mothers.
But he stressed that he intends to make it clear that the new law is worded in a way that “leaves no room for the introduction of fetal rights.”
The message to social conservatives couldn’t be more clear: shut up, your views only serve to cost us votes. I couldn’t disagree more. When you take away social values, what do you have left? Fiscal conservatism, whose only pitch to the public is the mundane, visionless promise that they will be good administrators; versus liberals, whose pitch always claims the moral high ground of “social justice”, and always includes vast generosity with the public purse to the special interest groups who mobilize the voting public.
The Liberal Party may be intellectually bankrupt, but the liberal vision inspires people of a certain mindset, and the liberal agenda is great at buying votes. The Conservative Party is proving itself to be nearly as visionless, offering no coherent vision of Canada’s future, and punting on the very issues that can energize the base and make our country a better place.
The Harrisites should have learned this lesson by now. After years of governing in soulless bean-counting fashion, not an ounce of goodwill had built up for the Ontario PC party, and when Mike Harris handed over the reins to the even more soulless policies of the milquetoast Ernie Eves, the voters deserted the party and handed over Ontario’s government to a Liberal who was universally considered by pundits to be unelectable. Stephane Dion bashers – myself included – should take note. Mr. Harper, also take note: you’re being led down a very dark path.
At least Epp vows to fight on.