What’s a ‘c’onservative: Part 322

Lot’s of people like Premier Lord. My dad was over today and he thinks he’s great. Great vision. Getting results together and all that boiler plate.

But I still don’t know what a small c conservative is. My personal opinion is that there hasn’t been a small ‘c’ conservative Premier in New Brunswick for a long time – at least in the Tory party. A lot of folks grumbled that Frank McKenna was such a creature.

Richard Hatfield – the playboy pacificist was certainly not a small ‘c’ conservative. I’ll blog sometime about the manufacturing projects such as Litton Industries that Ol’ Richard passed up on because he was a pacifist. And smoking weed? Probably not overly ‘conservative’.

Bernard Lord? Again, with the rhetoric of cutting taxes and red tape, on the surface it might seem so but anyone with any kind of analytical ability can clearly see there’s nothing conservative about Bernard Lord.

First, he’s a self described ‘social progressive’ – so that rules out social conservativism.

And on the fiscal side? Well, as we know from previous blogs here that within 4-5 years we will have the lovely distinction of needing the most Equalization per capita of any province in Canada.

We also know from the budget data that he loves to spend. From the 1999-2000 budget to the 2006-2007 budget, total government spending is up by over 35%. A quick look at Al Hogan’s hated Nova Scotia finds their government spending only up 29% over the same timeframe.

We also know that he has expanded the public service over twice as fast as the private sector created jobs.

Health care and social assistance, educational services and public services jobs have increased by over 10% from 2000 to 2005 while all other private sector employment increased by only 4.4%.

Now, he does claim to have dramatically slashed the welfare rolls since 1999. I am not, frankly, quite sure what that means.

So much for the ‘fiscal’ side.

So what’s left? He’s not socially conservative and he’s not fiscally conservative.

The reason I say all this is that I have been navigating around the blogosphere lately and keep finding all these NB blogs defending small ‘c’ conservativism in this province and touting Premier Lord. Therefore, I can only assume they think he’s a small ‘c’ conservative.

It might be interesting for them to actually check the record.

And if they are indeed small ‘c’ conservatives (and I know a bunch), they must literally cringe when the see Lord in the Globe and Mail demanding more Equalization. They must cringe.

In fact, this is the new litmus test for small ‘c’ conservatives. If you don’t cringe when Lord begs for more Equalization, you have failed. After all, both Jim Flarety and Stephen Harper have been highly critical of the program in the past.

So stand up and be counted all you morally righteous small ‘c’ conservatives. Take the litmus test.

I dare one of you to respond saying that becoming the province most dependent on Equalization is a small ‘c’ conservative value.

C’mon, please. Sorry Centrist? Someone? Please.

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0 Responses to What’s a ‘c’onservative: Part 322

  1. Anonymous says:

    There is a simple reply to that, it’s called semantics. In political jargon political terms mean whatever the individual using the term whats it to mean. Thats why there is so little actual political discussion on the web, everybody uses different definitions for different terms.

    I quickly learned this a long time ago. One good example was from the states, where the Massachusetts governor was called “a libertarian with a religious belief in free markets”. That was, of course, until the fish stocks in the grand banks collapsed and the he set out cap in hand to the feds calling it a ‘natural disaster’. It wasn’t because of subsidized fishing or because of unregulated markets (gee, that would never lead to overfishing), it was because of “a new species of predatory fish”, which nobody had identified, but don’t worry, they would find it.

    After that example it all became very clear. Up to this century you could find similar stories about ‘rugged albertan ranchers’ who shared a similar ‘american’ reliance on free markets and distaste of government regulations. That was until ‘mad cow’. Then, suddenly here were alll these rugged individualists demanding moola. They got more cash than New Brunswick did in equalization in one year.

    It reminded me of a ‘Bloom Country’ cartoon of years ago:

    To be a ‘real farmer’, say the following two sentences without laughing:

    1. Keep them flat footed goombahs from Washington out of my hair…
    2. Hurry up with my federal bailout cheque

    Of course the character couldn’t do it.

    So in the real world, words mean whatever people want them to mean. A small ‘c’ conservative can mean a liberal or even an NDPer if you want, just change the definition.

    Lord is about as much a ‘social progressive’ as Attila the Hun-he lowered welfare rolls as well. To lower welfare rolls all you have to do is cut people off. If you truly don’t know “what this means” then just go check out your local soup kitchen and food bank and ask somebody begging on the street.

    In fact it really has become VERY easy. If you have no address you can’t collect welfare. And of course if you can’t collect welfare you can’t afford an address. You can get ’emergency funding’, but as I said above, words can mean anything, so those people aren’t really on the ‘welfare rolls’.

    Of course when you want old people to think you’re ‘people friendly’ then you call yourself a ‘progressive’. In the political world, words can mean whatever you want them to mean.