Why Political Ideology Is Still Important in Canada



Is Political Ideology Still Important in Canada?

A popular sentiment among scholars, columnists, commentators and intellectuals in recent years is that political ideology is less important than it used to be. They clearly acknowledge that there are still differences between conservatives, liberals, socialists, and others. Still, they believe that competition to political centers and changes in generational thinking have undermined the ideological foundations of political parties, leaders and movements.

Here is an example.

Proposed by Sean Speer, Hub Editor and Senior Fellow, Munch Global Affairs and Public Policy School, University of Toronto, March 23. National Post Column The historical difference between the Red Tory party on the left and the Blue Tory party on the right is no longer relevant. Focusing on the Conservative leadership race, he said that the “most important difference” between the two main candidates, Pierre Poirievre and Jean-Chareste, was “actually transgenerational.” He suggested that it could be described as “a battle between the late Boomers and millennials.”

On the other hand, Speer states, “It is a general but false notion that members are still equating with the legacy parties Progressive Conservative Party and the Canadian Alliance, and these identities are useful for understanding conservative parties. It’s heuristic. ” Regarding the young Conservative Party, he writes: “The Conservatives are their only source of political identity …. Old conservative conflicts are not part of their political perception. They knew nothing but the unity of the party.”

When it comes to “old conservatives” [who] We tend to think of party supporters along regional and ideological axes, “Spear believes. His goal is a new, durable centre-right political that can consistently vie for power over the old regionalized anti-liberal coalition that was prone to opposition and explosive divisions. It was to replace it with a means. “

As one of the “old conservatives” who have been directly involved in this debate for more than a quarter of a century, I pay homage to Speer and other like-minded thinkers.

The suggestion that “conservatives are conservatives” should be the general view of the party, and while the move is great, it is not recommended. In this case, in theory, you don’t need to properly distinguish between leadership candidates like Poilievre (Blue Tories’top choice) and Charest (Red Tory’s top choice), or Red Tory’s Charest and Patrick Brown. You can admire the Kumbaya-like atmosphere in the dog-eating dog politics world and promote party unity as an inviolable force.

But that is not the way the rich history of party politics has ever existed or operated.

The purity of ideology cannot be properly achieved by leaders, candidates, party members and thinkers. Political parties and camps exist in every party and are inevitable. As leaders, political parties, and ideas come and go, the political wind changes. Disagreements should always be encouraged. Intellectual discourse and lively debate often lead to sound exchanges and sometimes the introduction of new policy ideas and directions. When it comes to choosing a party leader, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons of each candidate (though many don’t) in order to make informed decisions.

Yes, the old and nasty ideological scars from the Reform / Alliance vs. PC battle have disappeared from public awareness. But the Conservatives still have political, philosophical, and ideological differences. Just as they still exist in other right-wing and left-wing parties at home and abroad.

Moreover, we still recognize that the Red Tory and Blue Tories, young and old, represent identifiable ideas, policies and political positions. The general taste of rock rib ideology is a bit older than before, so the left and right axes will not disappear. The same principle exists in different regions. Most Atlantic and Western Canadian conservatives have different views on the role of government, public spending, the free market, and individual freedom. They can openly acknowledge this and cooperate. This demonstrates the party’s ability to find a common ideological basis.

This will get you to Harper. His successful strategy of gradual conservatism has established an appropriate balance of fiscal and social conservatism. It appealed to party members as well as Canadians concerned about high taxes, big government, family values, individual rights and freedoms. It did not replace the “regional and ideological axes” that Spear hinted at, but supported ways to turn these existing (and eternal) differences into constructive political foundations. It is up to the conservatives to ensure that Harper’s ideological contributions are maintained and protected.

In summary, political ideology still exists, is important, and is an important part of the election puzzle. For future party activists and intellectually curious people, as well as white-haired veterans.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.

Michael Taube


Columnist Michael Tabe was a speech writer for former Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper.