You often hear the conservative and liberal parties referred to as big-tent parties. We would therefore assume, in contrast, that the greens, new democrats and peoples’ party are just little tents. And that would leave the united conservatives of Alberta and the cranky bloc Québécois as pup-tents. Whatever size, we know that these tents are quite flexible and all parties like to think of their tent as being of the marquee class.
In our latest federal election, it was obvious that, conservative leader Erin O’Toole thought his conservative tent was ready to expand as he invited Canadians to step into his party. He had started through the leadership contest that was held for his party to tell everybody that he was a “true blue” conservative. This was taken to mean that he would accommodate everybody from the social conservatives to the progressive conservatives and even the united conservatives of Alberta. He assured these diverse conservatives that he would rid them of carbon taxes, gun control and abortions.
But, to our surprise, come the election, Mr. O’Toole sought to further enlarge the conservative tent. He really wanted everybody to be able to crowd in. He proudly pointed out to his fellow conservatives that he was from the greater Toronto Area (GTA) and he knew how to win there.
The O’Toole solution was simple. To win in the GTA, all you had to do is support carbon taxes, agree with gun control and go soft on abortions. And Mr. O’Toole was sure the conservatives who hated carbon taxes, hated gun control and probably hated abortions would understand if he made slightly different promises to voters in the GTA and in Montreal and in Vancouver.
To Mr. O’Toole’s surprise conservative voters were not all pleased with his solution. Some were so surprised at his changing promises that they decided to vote for Mr. Bernier’s peoples’ party and some did not even vote.
And to make matters worse for Mr. O’Toole, the conservative knives are out for him. If he thought ‘Chuckles’ Scheer got the bum’s rush as leader, he should not wait to test the party’s venom.
Copyright 2021 © Peter Lowry
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