Saturday, August 9, 2014

Time Is A Flat Circle

A couple of weeks ago, I got an email from Durham MP Erin O'Toole asking for donations because Sid Ryan and the unions had elected a Liberal in his riding provincially, the riding that his own dear father had held for so long. It was a good email. It played on people's emotions. It'll likely achieve its objective, which is to net the CPC a good chunk of cash. But for all that, it missed the point entirely.

The point being- as we all know- that we have a group of unions ready to activate at a moment's notice and destroy everything conservatives hold dear. And nobody seems to be able to do anything to stop them.

Now you would be justified in wondering precisely why (after three elections in which the Working Families Coalition made a very big difference) the right has been so slow to do anything substantial to counter their influence. You might even ask this question aloud. But as I've found out over the years, suggesting that anything more be done than "spreading the word" about nefarious union influence in the hope that the average Canadian won't stand for it gets party people very very nervous and causes them to start making a spiel that I call the "We Need To Be Very Careful" speech.

Supposedly, if you listen to these people, when the contract was drawn up that created the Working Families Coalition, the Liberal lawyers wrote in some super-secret magickal legal incantation from the fourth circle of hell that our top legal minds can't hope to decipher, much less replicate. I of course have no legal training (and neither do lots of other rank-and-file conservatives), so I wouldn't even be able to begin untangling this knot. The upshot of all this, though, is that whenever anyone starts musing about raising money as a third party as a possible counter to the WFC, chances are they're going to get pulled into a room somewhere and told that We Need To Be Very Careful about that because unspecified horrible things will happen with Elections Canada being somehow involved.

While I admit to not being able to tell a legal brief from a brief summation, I have a pretty good understanding of human psychology. And I know that when people start expending a lot of energy worrying about beside-the-point issues, it's so they can distract people, and themselves, from massive, truck-sized problems like "What the hell are we going to do, to really do, about this WFC and these unions" that they've convinced themselves are way, way too hard to tackle.

This was the reason for last year's embarrassing right-to-work debacle, in which the PC Party nearly ate itself for fear that we were handing the unions a loaded gun. As if our very existence wasn't a trigger for the WFC. It's also why the PC Party of Ontario expends so much energy on the Red Tory vs. Blue Tory battles, because if we can't stop those unions, at least we can make life difficult for each other. It's why the PC's spend so much time "sticking to the message" on policies that are vote losers and on idiotic "laser-like focuses", because when you are "laser-like focused" on something you can't see the train barreling towards you until it's two feet away.

And if that wasn't bad enough- if you comforted yourself with the knowledge of "well, at least the federal party has it together"- we now see this exact same behaviour coming out of the PMO in the form of ridiculous ads against Justin Trudeau that are about as damaging as a kiss on the forehead. But it's not just stupid ads about marijuana- it's how right-wing folks unironically refer to Junior as the Shiny Pony, how Sun News uses the same Secret Muslim messaging about Trudeau that worked so brilliantly against Obama, and how we've all convinced ourselves that Canadians are too smart to vote for Mr. In Over His Head next October. We all see the gathering together of Liberal elites and their union running dogs in preparation for next year, and we've decided that we're going to pass the time laughing at Justin and pretending that he is far too silly to be taken seriously so that we can act all shocked if he does reduce the CPC to atoms the same way we all acted surprised that the PC's flamed out in June.

Conservatives have become conflict avoiders, worn down by years of being accused of having hidden agendas and feeling increasingly like the battle for the culture is being lost. And as they continue to conflict avoid, the social justice warriors will continue to acquire more and more power while blaming invisible conspiracies for all the ways in which our society continues to slip backwards. Then the debt bomb will explode, and the difference between us here in nice safe Canada and the rest of the world will disappear, and we will be finally forced to confront these problems that we have avoided for so long, and there will be an enormous amount of chaos, and then the cycle will start all over again.


  1. Exactly. I wondered during the Ontario election where were any citizens groups for less tax, etc. putting ads in the papers and on t.v. Nada. Zilch. We need grass roots groups representing ordinary citizens but we are all either taxed to death, too busy, too cowed or too disillusioned to organize for the long term such groups.

    I also agree that the young turks in the federal conservative party are creating a Justin Teflon Trudeau because soon if not now no ads will work against him since they have cried wolf too often. Right now the Liberals are preparing the ground for their campaign by painting the Conservatives as divisive and mean (Trudeau's forthcoming autobiography is called Common Ground). Right now we need to counter this by showing how the Liberals have always pitted the East vs. the West and tried to stir up linguistic tensions in Eastern Ontario by promoting official bilingual signage (Michael Ignatieff's speaking to a francophone association in Embrun, Ontario in 2009 - "being bilingual is the essence of being Canadian") although we get along just fine right now here without Office de la Langue Française type regulations. Recently Trudeau banned pro-life Liberal party members from running for nominations. He also has a history of insulting conservatives.
    Conservatives need to think outside of the box. I happen to think it is essential to get a new leader, preferably a woman and one from the provinces. People want change and if the conservatives don't give it, they will be out. Never mind that Chretien was leader for centuries, Harper we will be told over and over by the media has been there too long.

  2. Problem for the Conservatives is that, yes, unions are a force that must be countered, but what are the Conservatives offering as an alternative to destruction of the middle-class wrought by globalization? As more and more companies outsource, and more import temporary foreign workers- we are sliding towards a standard world price for labor. And that price for labor is going to be very very low. It may be great for those who have the smarts and versatility to take advantage of the advantages of the global market, but most will be left behind.

    1. Don't worry. TFWs will eventually want the same entitlements as everyone else.