When the Reform Party (which had morphed into the Canadian Alliance) and the Progressive Conservative Party finally merged in 2003, not all the Progressive Conservatives came along. There was a small rump of PC’s left over - still too seething with resentment over Preston Manning coming along and spoiling their party - to bury the hatchet. They formed the Progressive Canadian Party.
In the last federal election, the Progressive Canadian Party fielded eight candidates. The most successful of these won 2.3% of the vote. (Five of the candidates each received less than 1%.) Yup, a political powerhouse to be reckoned with. But if you are bitter enough, lack of success will not deter you. For instance, over the weekend I received the following e-mail from the leader of the PC Party:
“Open Letter to Canadian Conservatives
The election result on October 19, 2015 is reason for Canadian Conservatives to think deeply.
What is clear is that the party formed by the "merger" of the Canadian Alliance and the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada was rejected by Canadians who recognized the result of the merger was not the renewed Progressive Conservative party Tory voters had thought they were voting for in elections since 2003.
New Conservative Party policy, politics, outlook and direction and political culture was imported from the Canadian Alliance and its predecessor the Reform Party. Progressive Conservative policy, politics, outlook and direction and political culture was pushed aside and ignored.
Some former Canadian Alliance members are publicly revisiting Preston Manning's infamous "The West wants in" diatribe by claiming "The West wants out." They echo Stephen Harper's firewall federalism, showing their contempt for democracy and insulting all Canadians in all parts of Canada, North, South, East, and West. The party Stephen Harper shaped is not about Tory and Canadian conservative principle.
Integrity, parliament, and Canada matter: that is the message of the 2015 election. The party led by Stephen Harper, and previously by Stockwell Day and Preston Manning under other names, fails on all three counts. They framed the ballot question in the 2015 election and Canadians voted to replace the party, leader, and government in power since January 23, 2006.
Progressive Conservatives remaining in the new Conservative Party are justified in feeling betrayed by the policy and leadership of the merged party. It is time to reshape the Conservative Party of Canada to create a renewed Progressive Conservative Party of Canada or bring the CPC to an end..
Those of us who share the "progressive Conservative" vision of the Tory party Sir John A. Macdonald first spoke of in 1854 have reason to take heart in the decision of Canadians on October 19, 2015.
The national vision of the party of Confederation, of nation-building, and of Sir John A.'s National Dream of One Dominion from Sea to Sea is endorsed by Canadians who put the divisive politics of the last ten years to rest.
Canadians have moved on. It is time for what was purposely called briefly the "Conservative Party" to do so as well.
It is time for progressive - conservatives to restore vision in a party based on the principles which first built a strong, united Canada.
The Progressive Canadian party exists to provide a principled Tory home for Progressive Conservatives who have decided enough is enough should the Manning Centre Conference leave the directions of the Conservative Party of Canada unchanged.
We invite you to join us and we offer you leadership by example of what Sir John A. Macdonald's "progressive Conservative" party should look like to Canadians today. The PC Party on the ballot is a way forward to a renewed Tory government in a strong united Canada as Progressive Canadians and Progressive Conservatives.
The Hon. Sinclair Stevens, Leader,
The Progressive Canadian Party (PC Party)”
How fitting that this party is currently being led by a Brian Mulroney-era cabinet minister whose career in the Mulroney government ended because of conflict-of-interest allegations. I am old enough to remember that disgraceful scandal play out on television.
Stevens talks as if Stephen Harper is some kind of failed leader. And yet, Harper was in office almost a year longer than Brian Mulroney. In addition, when Harper lost, he left his party in much better shape than Mulroney left his. When Harper resigned, his Conservative Party still retained 99 seats and was the undisputed official opposition. When the Mulroney/Campbell PC’s were crushed in 1993, they had only 2 seats left, and wouldn’t have even qualified to remain an official party except that the ever-crafty Jean Chrétien realized that it was useful for him to keep this rump of a party on life support.
And let’s not forget all the many anti-conservative betrayals that Prime Minister’s Mulroney and Campbell perpetrated on this country. They enacted draconian gun control laws; instituted a widely despised a value added tax; ran up huge deficits year after year; and to top it all off, attempted twice to change Canada’s Constitution. With the latter attempt, the Charlottetown Accord, Mulroney tried buy off every special interest group in sight. As a result, this amendment would have constitutionally enshrined multiculturalism, left-wing labour laws, socialized medicine, and an apartheid regime for our natives.
It is a natural human tendency to feel sorry for the downtrodden and the dispossessed, and to try to help them on their feet. Normally, such impulses are entirely virtuous and benign. However, in this case, given their treacherous past, any mercy would be misapplied. I think it’s better to put the boots to these people while they are on the ground so they never rise up again. Good riddance you losers!