February 22, 2016

3 ideas for Conservative Party leadership hopefuls (Defence/foreign policy edition)

Joshua LiebleinRebel Blogger

Once again, I stand corrected. Canada's Conservative establishment aren't just getting dominated by Kevin O'Leary - they're not even in the same galaxy as he is.

It's like watching a rocket race a bunch of dinosaurs.

Here's a thought for them:

O'Leary is not running as Stephen Harper. He is not running to be opposition leader like the rest of this field. He is going to say things that Canadians believe and agree with, not just Conservative boilerplate.

So it may come as a rude shock to them (and some of you) to hear him say that we should stick to peacekeeping, but the fact is that the CPC tried its best to sell the threat of ISIS to Canadians. They failed miserably. Not for lack of trying, but because, as I wrote a few months back, Canadians would just prefer to not give ISIS any trouble so (the thinking goes) they don't attack us.

Maybe that's not brave or heroic, but -- to use that wonderful Canadian phrase -- It Is What It Is.

The other candidates could try to fight this battle and keep losing, but O'Leary has moved on. He's accepted the judgement of the electorate, which is that trying to "Conservatize" this country through the use of branding, messaging, and talking points is just not going to happen, and that's a lot more than I can say for the architects of Campaign 2015.

But if the other candidates want to offer Canadians something worthwhile on defence/military/foreign policy issues, they could try one of these ideas:

Restore benefits to veterans
Do you know why the CPC rolled back benefits for veterans? Me neither. I'm sure they had wonderful talking points to justify it, but I can't for the life of me remember what they were.

I mean, since the Liberals are going to pull CF-18's out of the bombing mission against ISIS while simultaneously increasing the number of troops on the ground, the least we could do is make sure our soldiers are properly taken care of when the inevitable happens.

Put pressure on Saudi Arabia
It's all well and good for conservatives to promote Canadian oil over the stuff produced by human rights abusers, but then when we stay silent over the Liberal decision to press ahead with a $15 billion contract to sell military jeeps to the same people, it kind of feels like a kick right to the credibility.

Since nobody wants to damage their electoral prospects in Southern Ontario by cancelling the deal, how about we ask the question of what kind of political capital we're getting in return?

Why not call upon the Liberals to use some of that "soft power" they're always talking about? What's Bob Rae been up to lately? Maybe we could send him there? Maybe he won't come back?

Commit to an open procurement process for military equipment
Why is it that every time a government tries to buy military equipment for this country they end up making a ridiculous hash of it?

I get that removing the politics from decisions like this is impossible, and I get that lobbyists can be very persuasive, and I get that there are plenty of people in Ottawa who would prefer for us not to have a military at all.

So if we must have a political and media circus, let's at least try to make it a bit more intelligible by shining a bit more light on exactly how these decisions are made.

I do realize that these suggestions are more theatrics than actual policy proposals, but in order to beat someone like Kevin O'Leary, you have to fight him on his own turf.

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commented 2016-02-23 01:18:30 -0500
It’s the economy stupid. The conservatives have to focus on the economy for the next election and not get bogged down on social issues which is the Liberals main strenghth. By the time the next election rolls around the Liberals will have increased taxes and run up the deficit so much our economy will be in bad shape. If the Conservatives stick to economic issues I think they could be elected again as the voters should be fed up with Zoolander’s tax and spend agenda.
commented 2016-02-22 15:13:34 -0500
I think one can sell the anti-ISIS view, it just takes the right pitch. There’s a sales pitch in life for everything . . .
Peacekeeping is fine, but we have to adjust to the times. Peacekeeping during WWII would not have worked, and it’s not the best recipe for fighting today’s new Nazi’s either. Trudeau says we shouldn’t do what makes us feel good. I completely agree – I’m not worried about us, I’m worried about what it feels like to have your family members decapitated! Or forced from one’s home to a squalid camp with no hope for my children, or what it feels like when a family member doesn’t make it home . . . .
commented 2016-02-22 14:58:44 -0500
military “peacekeeping” is chickenshit liberal BS. THERE IS NO SUCH THING. There is either battle or no battle. Keeping the peace is the condition achieved by the willful informed actions of individual citizens committed to living peaceable lives AND, by the understanding of those same citizens, that peace is the PRODUCT of battle, therefore, when peace is threatened that threat must be met with force, or more precisely, THE MILITARY.
To put any military between two opposing forces to “keep the peace” is the height of stupidity. ask any unfortunate soldier that has been given that stupid task and it generally goes something like – we were the targets wearing blue hats
commented 2016-02-22 14:12:22 -0500
Send all the Muslims home, let them fight their own battles. With a little luck they will all kill each other off. If they start to develop weapons of mass destruction Nuke the bastards.

Watch Israel take out Iran, when the time is right.
commented 2016-02-22 14:10:35 -0500
Mr Leiblin, I would also like to remind you…and the Liberals for that matter…that Harper did not send our troops to Afghanistan….Jean Chretien did.
commented 2016-02-22 14:09:46 -0500
The prime directive for any right of center organic political organization is to literally crush kleptocratic socialism. fully permanently neuter it by enabling true free market capitalism and permanently downsizing government—this has to be viewed as an incremental generational project.

Political organizations in the party system have one directive – get elected -that’s the easy part – effecting positive, lasting change is the larger question, non-socialists need to answer.
commented 2016-02-22 14:04:55 -0500
Mr Leiblin, The Veteran’s Charter was the brain child of Liberal mandarins….it was rolled out just after Harper took power…not one member of the Harper government elected or appointed had any hand in crafting it…..it was discussed in parliament for less than half an hour and NOBODY dissented.

And let me assure you Mr. Leiblin that the notion that veterans were more angry with the Harper regeime than with any other is media bullshit…..security at Veteran’s Affairs offices is to deal with disgruntled clients….not ISIS….

I worked there for 25 years and I know of what I speak….I supported Harper mostly because he did not endorse the Jew in Germany style pogrom against white male staff that the Liberals have as their hallmark…
commented 2016-02-22 13:56:46 -0500
It the world more peaceful today than in the past? Peacekeeping failed as does our intervention in others civil wars. We need to focus on defending our borders, our sovereignty, such as it is. We need an army capable of inflicting some real damage to any interlopers in the north. We also need nuclear capabilities.
We also need to build nationalism in order to build out Nation. Dominant Domain should be used to build our infrastructure.
commented 2016-02-22 12:46:10 -0500
Peacekeeping is a ridiculous concept, it may have had some merit when Pearson came up with the idea but that was a long time ago. This, what we live in today is a different world and everything needs to be updated. Today if you want to insure peace, it’s simple “Kill The Enemy” and peace rises out of the ashes like the Phoenix. And that Kevin O’Leary is nothing more than a spoiled child that enjoys gorging himself on the attention he gets by attempting to be outrageous. He sees the stir he creates when he says things he knows the general populace want to hear, any other time all us poor people are nothing more than lowly cockroaches to this narcissistic boor.
commented 2016-02-22 12:19:02 -0500
You might be right on the peacekeeping thing. My granddad is rolling in his grave.