Why it’s worse among Tories than liberals

As is often the case after losing the Tories election, after the 2021 election, it didn’t take long to start a call requesting a review of leadership. The latest attention-grabbing request came from Senator Dennis Batter.

The tensions between the conservatives over the party’s leadership and direction are nothing new.

Rebellion and asylum have plagued the Federal Conservatives since the mid-1960s. Dalton Camp led a grassroots campaign and called for a review of the leadership of Progressive Conservative Party leader John Diefenbaker. John Diefenbaker was replaced by Robert Stanfield in 1967. In addition, the Progressive Conservative Party was reduced to two seats in 1993 as the withdrawn Bloc Québécois and Ascendant Reform Party finished second and third after Jean Chrétien’s Liberal Party, respectively.

This century has brought even more turmoil. In protest of Stockwell Day’s leadership, 12 members left the Canadian Alliance in 2001 to form a caucuses of the Independent Alliance. At a subsequent 2002 leadership meeting, Day lost to Stephen Harper.

Political strategist Tom Flanagan helped Harper take leadership in the Canadian Alliance and the Conservative Party, and later became Harper’s Chief of Staff.

“Harper was able to keep the lid on as long as he won. The same was true for Maloney. But as the conservatives have been losing streak since 2015, their internal struggle is more pronounced. “It’s been,” Flanagan told the Epoch Times.

Andrew Scheer won the party leader in 2017 after Harper left. A year later Maxime Bernier left to form the People’s Party. Some Conservative insiders have successfully expelled Share after failing to bring the party into power in 2019.

“Successful leaders are sometimes overthrown when the party seems to be safe in the government. Alberta’s PC could defeat Ralph Klein and the Liberal Party could defeat Jean Chrétien. They thought the party’s retention of power was invincible. However, previously successful leaders could also be attacked when members of the caucuses were worried about the prospect of reelection. [such as] What’s happening to Jason Kenny right now, “he said.

“All parties are experiencing attempts to overthrow their leaders,” Flanagan added. “See what happened to the Greens lately. [With the Liberals], Chretien was intrigued by Turner and Martin was intrigued by Chretien. However, these internal tactics tend to rush into the field more often when political parties are defeated. “

A unique challenge for conservatives

Malcolm Bird, an associate professor of political science at the University of Manitoba, says that with government power, leaders can provide power to their supporters and deny it to challengers.

“Justin Trudeau has basically stacked cabinets with his friends,” Bird said in an interview.

“Why is Marc Garneau not in the cabinet? Probably the most capable and capable person in the room. He tells Mr Trudeau that his thoughts may not have been so great. I don’t think he’s there because he was one of them, “he said.

“”[Excluding Garneau] It may be maintaining harmony within the Liberal Party. It definitely does not maintain domestic harmony. “

The Liberal Government has designated September 30, 2021 as the first day of national truth and reconciliation to commemorate the harsh heritage of housing schools. Trudeau announced that he would spend a personal day in Ottawa, but instead flew to Tofino, British Columbia. Bird believes that the case shows that the liberal prime minister is far more distant from criticism than conservative leaders.

“Maybe you’ll have to attend one or two events in the morning or afternoon and ride Tofino in the evening,” he said. “But no one did it, and Mr Trudeau didn’t think of it himself. It’s amazing in the sense that they’re obviously not interested in images or optics, and it’s privileged. It is tied to the position of natural governance [that Liberals enjoy].. “

Birds often believe that conservatives will break more easily because they adhere to their principles and perspectives, rather than what might be popular to win elections. This makes it difficult for Tory leaders to balance principles and pragmatic principles in a way that is pleasing to the party, yet gain power in the face of the majority culture and media that disagree with them. ..

“It’s an incredibly soft ride from the media in central Canada,” Bird said of the liberals. “That’s really great, but this generally applies to centre-left and centre-left people. Mr Trudeau, given his past, long ago if he was a conservative prime minister. It would have been a muddy swamp, but for some reason these things aren’t really sticking to him. “

Power struggle brings renewal

Flanagan states that the inevitable faction struggle is generally healthy because it helps prevent leaders from becoming too powerful. However, he added that in the authoritarian regime, “if leaders suppress factionism through violence, the consequences can be devastating.”[as did] Stalin, Mao, Castro. “

Mr Bird said he believes the Reform Party has helped reduce government spending and a balanced budget, even if the two parties were not in power due to competition from progressive conservatives.

“They were enthusiastic advocates of Western interests and fiscal prudence. Well, I’m not saying that the Liberal government in the mid-’90s didn’t accomplish what it had to do without the Reform Party. No, but they did take that core idea from the Reform Party and did it, “he said. ..

Lee Harding


Lee Harding is a Saskatchewan-based journalist and think tank researcher and contributor to The Epoch Times.