This question is crucial to anyone who wishes his politics to have intellectual and moral content. Current political discourse is hopelessly incoherent: Conservatives are no longer conservative, and Liberals are not necessarily liberal. Canadian electoral participation rates are plummeting because our options consist not of living political philosophies but merely of competing political machines cynically striving to out-fundraise and out-spin the others.
Fundamentally, a party has the right to speak to Canadians authoritatively as a "conservative" party only when it establishes itself on the bedrock of what conservatism has always meant to Canadians: love of tradition, respect for the honour and sovereignty of the Crown, acknowledgment of our organic connection to Europe, and a desire to protect the uniqueness and indivisibility of British North America as a political and moral entity. This is Canadian conservatism. There is no other. That which fails to espouse those four principles may be part of legitimate political discourse in this country, but, in the guise of "conservatism", it is mere imposture. No amount of recycled Clear Grit and Social Credit populism or culturally illiterate Calgary School cant will ever change that.
Axiomatically, a conservative holds to the values of his nation's founders. For example, the views of American communists may deserve tolerance, even respect, but they are radically (and quite apart from their objective merit) "un-American". No sane person would describe as "conservative" notions which transgress those that served as the philosophical premises of his nation.
Similarly, no one is obliged to consider as "conservative" notions that are alien to the mission of our Founding Fathers. This truth must be our lodestar, as our media, political and corporate élites will not soon tire of perverting conservatism into its opposite. For two decades they have striven to "re-brand" conservatism, as if it were a kind of bargain-basement toothpaste. Consequently, it has been cheapened into just another mass-produced and shrink-wrapped trinket--perfectly designed to complement the callowness of our generation’s post-NAFTA, Wal-mart-centric soul.
The task of a real conservative is to keep alive the idea that conservatism can and must have a spirit, a mind, a memory, and deep roots in our living tradition, and, by so doing, reveal the current “Conservative” Party of Canada as the soulless, corrupt, hack-led apparatus it is. Canadians respond passionately to sincerity and commitment and are desperate to elect people with core values. God willing, they will someday get that chance.
For "Red Tory" (aka Martin Rayner): Il miglior fabbro...