By trying to go along with the basic worldview of the Trudeau government, while adding a few ‘tweaks,’ the CPC pushes itself further and further into irrelevance.
As we’ve been noting for some time now, the Conservative Party of Canada (CPC) appears to be embroiled in a quiet civil war.
Now, things appear to be getting a bit louder.
As people across the country risk losing their jobs due to vaccine mandates, and as Justin Trudeau sells out the West and risks impoverishing Canadians due to his radical climate policies, the Conservative Party has been relatively silent.
The Opposition to Trudeau’s dangerous agenda, and to vaccine mandates and draconian policies has instead been led by organizations like the National Citizens Coalition, and Independent Media.
Thus, those who believe in the values of limited government, and individual liberty are increasingly questioning whether the Conservative Party is the right place for them.
Surrendering to the Statist worldview
For quite some time, all the momentum has been with the statists – those who seek more and more government power and want to reduce freedom.
Even in the CPC, the party generally offers little, or at best, tepid opposition to Trudeau’s general agenda.
A key reason for the CPC being so weak is that the party has – at least at the highest levels – surrendered to the statist, Liberal/NDP worldview.
It is tough for them to argue with Trudeau’s radical climate policies when they too have embraced a carbon tax and are going along with the narrative of impending ‘crisis.’
When it comes to defending individual liberty, there is no point in trying to have it both ways, since you are either for expanded state power, or will stand up for individual rights, even when it may be unpopular.
But, on vaccine mandates, and on the overall ‘crisis’ messaging, the CPC has largely gone along with the statist approach, with a few caveats that differentiated them from the other parties more in tone than in substance.
And when it comes to the economy – with notable exceptions like Pierre Poilievre – the CPC has also adopted the Liberal/NDP approach of massive increases to government spending. Rather than seeking to limit the size and scope of government, the CPC under Erin O’Toole has advocated for a large, activist government, merely under different management.
It generally seems as if – on nearly every issue – the CPC is waiting for their latest round of focus group data to come in before stating what they believe.
Rather than adhering to any core principles, and rather than seeking to try and persuade the public, the party seems to largely wish to give in to the narrative pushed by the Liberals and NDP.
But now, it seems that may be starting to change.
In recent days, events have occurred that show there are limits even in Canada on what statists can get away with.
In Quebec, the provincial government has backed down on their plan to force vaccine mandates on healthcare workers. Ontario has also decided not to impose those mandates in the health sector.
Those provinces were certainly watching what happened in BC, where vaccine mandates cost the province 4,000 healthcare workers, causing test and surgeries to be cancelled/delayed as the system was severely weakened.
This shows there is power in pushing back, and that even the most statist governments have to respond when enough people stand up for their rights.
And now, it appears a growing number of MPs in the CPC are tired of standing by as government power expands.
The Civil Liberties Caucus
According to the Hill Times, 15-30 CPC MPs/Senators are forming the Civil Liberties Caucus:
“The idea to start this caucus came at a social gathering of Parliamentarians early last month in Ottawa, after the first post-election caucus meeting, Ms. Gladu (Sarnia-Lambton, Ont.) told The Hill Times. At the time, a number of caucus members expressed concerns about some of their constituents losing their jobs in a variety of professions for refusing to get vaccinated. With House committees seeming unlikely to meet until February, the three-term MP said there’s no parliamentary forum in the interim where MPs can have a serious discussion on this issue. Ms. Gladu said this is the reason “like-minded” MPs and Senators decided to start this caucus.”
Of course, this shouldn’t be necessary, as the CPC should already be doing that.
But with such timid and tepid leadership, some MPs are being forced to take things into their own hands.
A good sign
The creation of the Civil Liberties Caucus is a good sign. It means there will be a dedicated group of elected MPs who will be focused on defending the civil liberties of Canadians against government overreach.
This comes as the National Citizens Coalition (where I am a Fellow) has launched a campaign to push for ‘Conservatives to actually be Conservatives,’ rather than ‘Liberal-lite’:
It’s a message that needs to be heard:
“Our nation is now more divided than ever, and out-of-control inflation is taking hold, making life unaffordable for families.
We’re struggling with high grocery bills, heating our homes, filling the gas tank…
Now is the time to fight for conservative values.
Like more freedom and less government.
Not Trudeau-lite conservatism.
But ensuring conservatives actually be conservatives.
Taking principled stands, and being true to what we believe. Because that’s how conservatives help a nation. And win elections.”
Clearly, those in the Civil Liberties Caucus have had enough of the CPC trying to emulate Trudeau’s policies.
Canada is already full of statist, big government, ‘woke authoritarian’ parties, and we don’t need another.
Those MPs are also likely looking pragmatically at the situation, realizing the CPC will lose more and more support to the PPC if they continue to abandon their base.
Sometimes, a battle is necessary.
There are some who will see the Civil Liberties caucus as counterproductive, and who think any civil war within the CPC is a bad thing.
However, in an era when we need to stand up for our rights and liberties, those who are fighting to ensure the CPC is a pro-freedom party are doing a real service to Canada, and should be praised for doing so.
That’s why the Civil Liberties caucus is a good thing for Canada, as it represents the growth and strengthening of the pushback against those who want to turn the CPC into a statist clone of the Liberals.