Conservatism in Canada

Topics: Progressive Conservative Party of Canada, Conservatism, Conservative Party of Canada Pages: 7 (2688 words) Published: April 11, 2013
On the greasy pole:

The Canadian Conservative Party

Whether or not the Conservative party will secure another majority government in the 2015 elections is a question occupying everyone's mind. There are, of course, arguments to support both the possibilities yet the debate seems to be lopsided. The Canadian Conservatism as well as the Conservative party is bound to fail, eventually, at replacing the Liberal party in its role as the federal level governing party of Canada. There are certain factors at play that suggest the Conservative party can not cut the mustard in this race. It has been apparent over time that the successes of the Conservative party are owed to the shortcomings of the Liberals rather than actual popularity of the Conservatives. Moreover, the core values of the Conservative party are in contrast with the increasing Canadian social democracy as well as the current trend of and move towards liberalization. Maneuvering from these values may very well cost the party their key supporters and players. Furthermore, based on the trends of their popularity, it seems fair to state that the Conservative party is finding it hard to uphold a strong and certain standing.

Essentially, at first, the Conservative party was composed of the “Tories” which followed the English conservative system. The Tories belonged to a school of ideology that was contrary to the liberalism in Canada. This was because of their primary focus on upholding traditional values, order and support of inherent hierarchy whereas the liberals advocated the use of reason/logic, freedom and equality. The Liberal party has always preached what Canadians like to hear i.e. a more individualistic approach which has always been a rising trend. With this trend and their popularity, the Liberal party came in full force to maintain its position in Canadian politics. The liberals have managed to remain the governing party of Canada in the past century. The Conservatives did win a few elections but in comparison to the Liberals' power, this was insignificant. The one-party dominance of the Liberals in the 20th century can be elucidated by the fact that the liberals won 21 out of 31 elections and ruled for 71% of the total of the 20th century (Dyck, 2009). Moreover, the 1993 election saw a landslide defeat for the Progressive Conservative party with only two seats. The year 1993 marked a watershed for the Conservative party, making it into what it is today. Dyck (2009) observes that following the elections of 1993, the Reform party represented the Canadian right. The Reform party ended up merging with the Progressive Conservatives to form the Conservative Party as it is at present.

Nelson Wiseman (2009) argues that Conservatism and the Conservative party are “going nowhere”. The Conservative party apparently finds it hard to strike a balance between the English Conservatism and the libertarian ideologies. With changing trends, more of the minorities started forming eminent electoral bases and Toryism, in Canadian politics, lost its essential elements with time. With its essence fading away and the deteriorating English heritage, the Conservative party faced almost fatal blows and ended up being absorbed into the Reform party towards the end of the 20th century. Also, Wiseman claims that the Conservative party will fail in its efforts to last in power for long because the Liberals will bounce back to their position of the “government” party in no time. Social democracy and the Liberal party have dominated Canadian politics for long whereas Conservatism has mostly enjoyed a secondary role. Wiseman (2009) further elaborates on this point by arguing that the Conservative party was just a party for voters to fall back on whenever the Liberals were unpopular or unsatisfying. The fact of the matter is that the rigid and orthodox nature of the Conservative party does not allow for it to mould itself according to the Canadian political mindset. As a...
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