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What Harper must do to win power (Complete lies - BARF ALERT!!!)
Toronto Star ^ | 05/23/05 | Arthur Cockfield

Posted on 05/23/2005 8:14:27 AM PDT by Heartofsong83

What Harper must do to win power What Harper must do to have a chance of winning the next federal election

ARTHUR COCKFIELD

With the defection of Belinda Stronach and defeat of a Tory-sponsored no-confidence vote, Canadians need to take another look at the Conservative party's support for socially conservative policies. Despite ongoing corruption charges and a Liberal government well past its shelf life, polls suggest the country is evenly split between the Tories and the Liberals.

To stand a chance of forming a majority government, the Conservatives need to move to the centre on social issues while sticking to their guns on fiscal and economic issues.

Inspired by the work of a group of University of Calgary economists, Tory proposals on economic policy make sense.

Harper's government would reduce government regulation to encourage entrepreneurial efforts that drive the economy forward. The Conservative party also advocates sensible tax policy that would cut tax rates and eliminate tax subsidies, which would also promote a vibrant economy.

These approaches appeal to a broad section of Canadians who value sound government policies that create jobs and expand opportunities.

The Tories start to run into problems when they deal with social values. Progressive social policies have won the day in modern Canadian federal elections, at least since Pierre Trudeau's first became prime minister in 1968.

To earn successive majority government victories, Brian Mulroney's Progressive Conservatives recognized the need to fight for the centrist voter through a big tent social platform that reached out to women, urban dwellers and other moderates. They opposed capital punishment and restrictions on access to abortion while accepting moderate tax hikes to help reduce budget deficits.

It is unlikely that a Canadian political party that promotes both social and fiscal conservatism will have a real chance to achieve political staying power. A hard line on social value issues does not play well in politically important provinces like Ontario and British Columbia.

The idea of social engineering is particularly unappealing to the `live and let live' attitude of many Quebec voters, without whose support a majority government is virtually unobtainable.

By changing a few of its policies, the Tories could signal to voters they are willing to embrace social policies that would attract a broader base of moderate voters. The policy shifts could be accomplished without turning away current supporters by appealing to shared Canadian values and policies that promote a just and decent society to meets the needs of a diverse citizenry.

Consider the Conservative party views on gay marriage and pot decriminalization.

Legal gay marriage is already a fact of life in Canada as courts forced changes to marriage laws that violated constitutional protections against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.

The Tories would seek to change this as they advocate civil unions only for same-sex couples. Instead of attempting to turn back the clock on this important human rights issue, the Tories should accept gay marriage on the ground that all Canadians should enjoy the same rights and bear the same responsibilities.

The Tories need to endorse gay marriage because it is simply the right and decent — and hence quintessentially Canadian — thing to do.

The Harper government also opposes steps, proposed by the Liberals, that would decriminalize possession of small amounts of pot along with stiffer penalties for marijuana trafficking.

Two recent parliamentary committees recommended legalization or decriminalization. The committees noted that convictions for pot possession harm the lives of many young, often poor, Canadians and enforcement takes up valuable police resources.

The acceptance of decriminalization would signal that the Conservatives are willing to promote constructive policy that tolerates diverse forms of behaviour. Decriminalization is also consistent with the libertarian strain that informs Conservative party economic views.

Without the encouragement from moderate voices like Stronach's, it remains to be seen whether the Conservatives will make the necessary policy changes. Her departure highlights the fact that Conservative party social policies have little appeal to a broad base of Canadian voters.

By crafting more tolerant social policies while maintaining their current positions on fiscal conservatism, the Conservatives would greatly improve their chances of obtaining real political power and affecting positive changes for this country.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Arthur Cockfield is an associate professor with Queen's University Faculty of Law and author of NAFTA Tax Law and Policy: Resolving the Clash between Economic and Sovereignty Interests (University of Toronto Press, 2005).


TOPICS: Canada; Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Editorial; Foreign Affairs; Government; Philosophy; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: adscam; antichristianbigotry; barfalert; canada; canuckistan; harper; liberalbias; lies; loonyleft; mediabias; stephenharper

1 posted on 05/23/2005 8:14:28 AM PDT by Heartofsong83
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To: Heartofsong83
Just be Liberal-Lite. Which begs the question: why vote for the Conservatives? Canadians aren't stupid and if that's the only choice, one might as well stick with the original classic Liberals. The last thing Canada needs are two Liberal parties.

(Denny Crane: "Sometimes you can only look for answers from God and failing that... and Fox News".)
2 posted on 05/23/2005 8:37:23 AM PDT by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives On In My Heart Forever)
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To: goldstategop
Except that he's correct. Reformers and their progeny often claim that Central Canada "doesn't understand me". It's a bit like the adulterous man in the bar talking about his wife.

The truth is, it cuts 2 ways. Reformers don't understand Central Canada. In Ontario, Quebec, and the Maritimes as well, the social conservatism of the Reform/Alliance/CPC is their major stumbling block.

CPC has a choice, either moderate their social conservatism or spend their time in the political wilderness. If you want to sell something, your self, used cars or a political platform, you have to offer something the customer wants.
3 posted on 05/23/2005 8:46:06 AM PDT by Observer of Life
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To: Observer of Life
Of course, you can be a Red Tory and offer to be a liberal on everything but taxes and spending. That doesn't make you a conservative. I'm surprised Belinda Stronach did not run as a Liberal in the first place.

(Denny Crane: "Sometimes you can only look for answers from God and failing that... and Fox News".)
4 posted on 05/23/2005 8:52:33 AM PDT by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives On In My Heart Forever)
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To: Heartofsong83

Its a bit of a mystery why the Tories can't win just by not being corrupt.


5 posted on 05/23/2005 10:47:32 AM PDT by agere_contra
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To: agere_contra

It's because most of the Toronto folks like corruption...


6 posted on 05/23/2005 3:25:27 PM PDT by Heartofsong83
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To: goldstategop

That strategy may help them win a FEW urban seats, but that will turn off their base, which by the way gave them 98 seats last time out...


7 posted on 05/23/2005 3:27:58 PM PDT by Heartofsong83
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