When a country moves far to the left, like Canada has under the Trudeau ‘Liberals,’ what does it actually mean to ‘move to the centre?’
If the centre is to the right of where the country is, doesn’t it mean that the country must move to the right?
However, if the ‘centre’ is where the country is at the present moment, then that would mean accepting a big-government, far-left agenda as the new and endless status quo.
This different idea of what the ‘centre’ means has been an underlying theme throughout the CPC leadership race.
A clear majority of CPC members – based on fundraising, polls, and membership sales – believe that getting back to any kind of real ‘centre’ requires rejecting the Trudeau agenda, and moving ‘to the right.’
Of course, considering how far-left Canada has gone, moving to the right merely means getting Canada back to the Classical Liberalism – low taxes, individual freedoms, limited government – that the country was originally built upon.
And yet, there appear to be a small group of people who feel that ‘the centre’ means just accepting where Canada is now under the Trudeau government, and refusing to fight to change it.
The Charest campaign has largely pushed that kind of thinking, and it seemed to be a part of the driving force behind the group originally called ‘Centre Ice Conservatives.’
While they had a few interesting discussions with some respected guests, much of the discussion around it gave the impression of a thinly-veiled attempt to play into the Charest campaign narrative regarding the Poilievre campaign.
We’ve watched as the establishment media, the Liberals, and the Charest campaign have attempted to cast Poilievre as a ‘far-right’ extremist.
As they attempted to push that narrative, they demonstrated that they would prefer to stick with the big-government Trudeau agenda, than see Canada be governed by someone who advocates for lower taxes, more restrained spending, and the defense of individual freedoms.
By that definition, even a move to the Canada of the mid 1990’s – 2015 would be ‘far right.’
Unsurprisingly, the ‘Centre Ice Conservatives’ thus didn’t resonate much with the CPC base. There was confusion around what the group was really about, and the presence of members of the Charest campaign at events raised even further doubts among many Conservatives.
And – perhaps realizing that – they’ve rebranded.
‘Conservatives’ is gone, and the group is now called ‘Centre Ice Canadians’.
This is what they said on Twitter:
“Centre Ice Canadians, a non-partisan organization of centrist Canadians, was officially launched today as the result of a name change and expanded scope of the four-month-old Centre Ice Conservatives organization.”
Centre Ice Canadians, a non-partisan organization of centrist Canadians, was officially launched today as the result of a name change and expanded scope of the four-month-old Centre Ice Conservatives organization. – https://t.co/xMQmA0RBAF #cdnpoli #canadians #canada pic.twitter.com/kwAAZChpYB
— Centre Ice Canadians (@CentreIceCanada) August 31, 2022
Following the name change, Rick Peterson, who is a co-founder of the group and a former CPC leadership candidate, has said the group is not anti-Poilievre.
“This is not an anti-Pierre Poilievre movement,” said Peterson.
Whether it plays out that way will largely depended on what happens after the CPC leadership race.
Will Charest and his team turn against the CPC, and then try to use the newly-rebranded ‘Centre Ice Canadians’ as a vehicle to launch a new party?
Or, will the Centre Ice Canadians actually become a group that offers real ideas?
If it is the former, then it will be clear that Charest isn’t willing to accept the results of the race, and the group will be simply an extension of the establishment media/Liberals.
If it is the latter, then it could be beneficial.
Much will be decided by whether those involved realize that any return to a Canadian sense of ‘centrism’ will require Canada to move to the right and cast off the authoritarian socialist agenda of the Trudeau government, rather than adhering to some vague notion of ‘centrism’ that does nothing but sustain the broken status quo.
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