Resident offers suggestions to the Tories

It is becoming more and more obvious that there are factions within the Conservative movements.

There is the angry more narcissistic faction that tends to appeal to the negative emotions like anger, fear and greed and to some extent hatred. This faction is keenly personified by Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

Another faction could be categorized as Conservatives with a Conscience that tends to appeal to positive emotions like peace, love, bravery and to some extent philanthropy. This faction may be given a voice by former businessman/banker and now Premier Jim Prentice of Alberta.

With the emphasis on the negative, the Conservatives have lost B.C., Ontario, Quebec, and New Brunswick. They could, according to recent polls, also lose Newfoundland/Labrador, Alberta and Ottawa in the next two years. They have strained relations with the U.S. and have lost respect on the world stage.

Parliament has lost validity, and governments have become extremely secretive and out of touch with Canadians.

Meanwhile Progressive Conservatives in Alberta are beginning to listen and trying to make amends under Premier Jim Prentice with the halting of the Michener Centre closure and stopping the expensive redesign of the Alberta license plates which had the word ‘Wildrose’ on it, which is the name of their strongest political opposition.

They are attempting to turn things around.

Believe it or not, only a minority of Conservatives is vehemently against abortion and for capital punishment, but they are the most vocal in the conservative tent.

Most Conservatives actually care about veterans, want to eradicate poverty, respect women’s right to choose, prefer more decorum in the House of Commons, prefer more emphasis on prevention than punishment and prefer peace-keeping over war-making, while caring about jobs.

The Progressive Conservative Party of Canada, a once strong big-tent party became fragmented when negativity was the prominent mood with the formation of the Reform Party and the Bloc Quebecois and distanced itself from the goal and word ‘Progressive’ and became just ‘Conservative’.

Like the Blue Beret of peacekeeping, many conservatives would like to bring back and enshrine the word Progressive back into the tent both in title and in practice, but they cannot under the current leadership.

This faction of caring, currently muted federal conservatives could fall under the category of Conservatives with a Conscience.

Just because they care about people, expect a level playing field, and do not appreciate statements that are at variance with the facts does not make them socialists.

They care about their neighbours, donate to charities other than just political parties, volunteer and some actually practice, “Do onto others as you would have them do onto you.”

There are even environmentalists in the conservative tent, and there are actually conservatives who believe in climate change.

Is it time to re-create the Conservative Party of Canada into a more progressive and conscientious party or will history repeat itself and new parties emerge from the fragments of the conservative party?

Under the current leadership there is very little likelihood of change or growth as the party would be unable to endure a leadership race before the next federal election as the factions would destroy the party from within and provide ammunition to the opposition parties during the next election.

What needs to happen is the Conservatives with a Conscience need to step up to the plate and make a stand.

Remain fiscally astute but broaden your horizons to include others, respect opposing views, protect the environment and help those who cannot help themselves through no fault of their own while letting those with the ability to do, thrive. Be open, truthful and above all be fair.

Thank you.

Garfield Marks

Red Deer