Monday, 29 May 2017

Canadian Conservatism R.I.P

Over 250,000 eligible voters, and this is the best the Conservative Party of Canada can come up with?

A man former Liberal staffer Warren Kinsella described as a "perpetually grinning harlequin" is now to lead the official opposition to Justin Trudeau in the Great White North, and has ambitions of being Canada's next prime minister, following the next election, which is supposed to happen in 2019 sometime.

If that seems like a long wait, don't be afraid to sleep through the intervening years until voting day arrives.  If you can't get to sleep, don't worry.  Just listen to newly minted Conservative Party leader Andrew Scheer speak for any length of time.  You'll be out like a light in no time.

Mr. Andrew Scheer garnered as much applause as he was able to get during his victory speech when he talked about how important it was that Canadians be able to have a debate on any subject, especially on college campuses.  A sentiment I fully agree with.  And a statement that I suspect Mr. Scheer will deeply regret making once he actually does end up in a debate with Trudeau.  Or anyone, come to that.

R.I.P Canadian conservatism. Good or bad, it's dead. Simple as that.

Listen at 8 minutes in as Mr. low energy launches into talking points from Ronald Reagan's 1979 presidential campaign.

"Cutting your taxes! Making it easier for the private sector to create jobs. End the liberal policies that make it harder to start new businesses."  

All in a perfect nasal monotone drone so perfectly suited for such a stale, tin eared, graph paper brained policy platform.  I remember rolling my eyes reading drivel like this in Sun newspaper editorials back in the early 1990s, and they were painfully old and shopworn even then.  

Yup.  You guessed it.  Trickle down economics. 

Really? REALLY? 

Come on, Andrew. Come on. 

You might as well be handing Trudeau a crown and a scepter. Flaky as Justin Trudeau and the whole "social justice warrior" movement may be, at least they have a comprehensive vision of what they think society should look like that they're actually passionate about and believe in. This is just the same old turn the keys of the kingdom over to corporate lobbyists that has been conservatism in the western world for decades now. Unless Trudeau manages to completely run things off the rails in the next few years - and I suppose I shouldn't put that past him, he is a Canadian PM after all - this guy and his low energy party are not going to win. As simple as that. He's the quintessential example of what the alt-right would call a cuckservative.

Is conservatism really so ideologically and philosophically exhausted that this kind of monotone dweeb and his 1970s lolbertarian talking points really their idea of the leader and the ideas they need?  It was quite obvious that the answer is no.  The narrow margin by which he won, and the tepid response of the crowd to his droning econ 101 copy-pasta makes that perfectly clear.

What's tragic is that they have so much potential.  So much they could work with.

With one exception, this speech is absolutely everything wrong with conservatism in the great white north. I honestly felt like I was at an annual shareholder's meeting, listening to the presentation of the audited financial statements. Except when he stood up for free speech and open debate on college campuses. You'd think the thunderous applause that got in contrast to the tepid and delayed applause to the threadbare Conservative Inc. trickle down talking points should tell right (and left) leaning talking heads and policy wonks something. 

Get the hint, guys. 

I sure the hell won't be betting on it, though.  Doubtful he'd even be able to follow through on his threat to withhold funding for colleges that enable no-platforming even if he wanted to, which I honestly doubt.  Universities are provincial jurisdiction.  Canadian conservatives haven't cared about this - or anything other than their perfectly pressed suits and haircuts - for decades now.  They're not about to start now.  That's why the best they seem to ever be able to come up with are endlessly recycled Milton Friedman soundbites.  


Ronald Reagan has been dead almost 14 years now. Time to bury the guy and move on.

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