November 04, 2015

Ex-Harper Chief of Staff Ian Brodie on ditching social conservatives: "We grew by adding to the party, not subtracting"

Brian LilleyArchive

A column last week by a so-called Conservative suggested that if the Conservatives want to win again, they'll need to ditch the social conservatives.

Soon, the party will start the process of selecting a new leader so I thought this would be a good time to speak with Ian Brodie, Canadian political scientist and former Chief of Staff in Stephen Harper's Prime Minister's Office until 2008 and a man at the centre of the early years of the Harper government.

Ian was there with Harper from the beginning until after uniting the right and shortly after winning government in 2006, so I sat down with Ian to discuss his rebuttal to the column.


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commented 2015-11-05 16:49:52 -0500
Hous you are a friggin idiot. The Senate has been padding their expenses for generations and we never tried to pin that on the government in power at the time. Harper has nothing to do with their activities.
commented 2015-11-05 16:48:50 -0500
Sam Young, the problem is liberals also govern us based on our habits, identity, or social concerns of the past. The idea that immigrants should flood our gates is always justified on the far past, on the fact that millions of Europeans came to our shores 100 years ago. Or in Ontario you can’t get a liver transplant if you are on your deathbed, but touched alcohol in the last 6 months. And it is the liberal establishment and teachers who are forcing us not to tolerate the sexual choices of others but to celebrate them. All the censorship over the last few decades has come from the left, and the human rights tribunals they have built.
commented 2015-11-05 01:32:05 -0500
I can not speak for the progressives, and I do not endorse a lot of things they do. I also do not want Islam, or for that matter, any religion forced down my throat.

Drop the judeo christian values.
commented 2015-11-04 20:14:10 -0500
Sam Young then why should they pay for it, and sorry but why should progressives force their garbage on us? If you think society is better then you are pretty lost. And why do so many of these progressives like it when it is Muslims forcing that on us.
commented 2015-11-04 19:57:58 -0500
Harper has already brought the Conservatives as close to the centre of the political spectrum as any party can be, while Justin has brought the Liberals way too far to the left.
Harper has always been keenly focused on the economy, balancing the budget, and keeping taxes low, only bothering with social issues that directly harmed others, or were a threat to our country. Too many people just assumed that he’s a religious fascist just because he was the leader of the Conservative party. He has never shoved the beliefs of any religion in the faces of the public, while Justin and other like-minded socialists pretty much force Islam on us.
Regardless of the social views of any given political party, people need to learn to set aside their stronger emotions and evaluate each leader in a more logical perspective. Being passionate about your own personal beliefs isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it’s best to have a clear head when it comes to voting for who will lead our country since your choice will affect nearly everyone, not just yourself. I will always vote for the most centrist politician, the one who is the most responsible when it comes to handling our tax dollars and also won’t meddle in our personal lives, basically someone who is fair and keeps his/her government out of our faces. Since it looks like Justin is here to stay as Liberal leader, and I would never vote NDP or Green, I can only hope the next leader of the Conservative party is as calm and brilliant as Harper. I also hope the best for Harper and his family as they open up a new chapter in their lives, and get a well deserved break from the craziness of Canadian politics.
commented 2015-11-04 18:25:12 -0500
@hous Please be serious. No matter how you try to demonize the guy the fact he was in power for close to 10 years, Not bad for the “most hated man in Canadian history”. Could the economy have been better? Sure you can argue it could always be better however it wasn’t left in the shambles the Ontario liberals have steered it’s province. As far as the Duffy rrial goes you will find it has lost it’s significance in the media now that is no longer seen as a tool to try and tarnish Harper’s election chances. I have also spoken to some liberals who seem blissfully ignorant that there were liberal senators who also are under investigation. Whether or not you agree with his security position no one doubts he gcared about keeping Canada safe whether people feel he went too far or not. Most hated. lol Maybe by the unions who didn’t get their Christmas list delivered on time.
commented 2015-11-04 18:03:58 -0500
@paul wood “Stephen Harper was a great prime minister” – you can’t seriously believe this crap you’re spewing? Harper will go down in history as the most hated man in Canadian history. Watch now when Duffy, Wallin & Brazzeau testify in their trials. You’ll see that he was guilty as sin in covering up the senate scandal. Only a matter of time before all the “secrets” he hid in his office come to light – unless they shredded everything in the last 2 weeks. Too funny – “great prime minister” – most horrible person in Canada. My Canada doesn’t include people like Stephen Harper! He should be deported!
commented 2015-11-04 17:57:16 -0500
The problem with social cons is that they are still stuck in the values of two or three generations ago. There is no need for the old school to enforce their beliefs that include religion, family dynamics, sexuality, gender roles, drugs and alcohol, war, or censorship.
commented 2015-11-04 17:11:26 -0500
Stephen Harper was a great Prime MInister. History will show it. He kept us safe. He gave us a wonderful international reputation. He kept a clean government (the Senate thing doesn’t touch the abuse of the billions wasted by wynne). He kept are economy in excellent condition. We should be much more grateful. I thank him, pray for him and his family and wish him all the best! Great job, Stephen! We’re proud of you! Job well done!
commented 2015-11-04 16:53:02 -0500
“Let them eat cake” is not a winning election platform. Elections are won on issues of the day…not on ideology. My support swung to the conservatives when they kept their promise to stop feeding the feminist trolls.

It was the ending of the marijuana prohibition that got the previously demotivated voters out and treating public servants as whipping boys has never been a good idea.
commented 2015-11-04 15:23:33 -0500
The media party did run a hate campaign towards harper and the unions were in it for their own self interest to campaign against Harper. Unless there is a strategy to deal with these issues we we’ll go through it again and again.
commented 2015-11-04 15:11:25 -0500
You are right, Vladislav, any “conservative” that appears on the CBC is not really a conservative, but only in the category they apply to themselves. A true “blue” conservative would not be invited to appear on the CBC.
commented 2015-11-04 15:08:50 -0500
Jason Bertucci said, “Ditching socons would result in losing 10 to 15% of his 30% base.”

Most of what you said I agreed with except that the socons voted against Harper. Harper received 230,000 less votes than he did for his majority, which is only 3.94% less. So even if we consider that they were all disenfranchised socons, that still is no where near the 10 to 15%.
commented 2015-11-04 14:36:25 -0500
the libs won because of 2 reasons.
1- the potheads voted
2- they ran a very successful “campaign of hate”
commented 2015-11-04 14:36:02 -0500
A “so-called Conservative suggested that if the Conservatives want to win again, they’ll need to ditch the social conservatives”. I am sorry. I am not interested in a half-baked conservative, that is, conservative on fiscal matters and ‘progressive’ or politically-correct on social matters, which, by the way, for the latter also carry financial implications, such as fighting the supposed man-made global warming. In the end the Conservatives received no benefit from conforming to and compromising on these and other matters. I would rather go down swinging and conforming to our principles, which includes speaking the truth and speaking it boldly, than going down with a whimper. Interesting, that religion was not entirely thrown out by Trudeau with his edict that no one against abortion could run for the Liberals, just some religions, seemingly comfortable with those aligned with the religion of secular humanism. And, I understand, that about 10 Muslims were elected as Liberals.
commented 2015-11-04 14:28:02 -0500
What a bullshit by that woman Tasha. She is NOT conservative, the more I read her stuff over the last year or so, the more I am convinced that she is just another turncoat Andrew Coyne without a dick (sorry could not resist). She is a frequent guest on the CBC and as such, there is no way she is conservative.
commented 2015-11-04 14:23:54 -0500
Such a false argument, since Harper DID already ditch the social conservatives when he had Gordon O’Connor dress down the backbenchers who wanted to introduce a bill recognizing the horror of abortion. He did whatever he could next to telling socons “he hates them” to distance himself from their issues, and he still lost. Ditching socons would result in losing 10 to 15% of his 30% base. They would either abstain from voting, vote Liberal party, or a fringe party like the Christian Heritage. We saw in the US what happens when a party (GOP) tosses over their base. Romney and McCain both likely lost on conservatives staying home. The people that are behind this idea are either misguided squishes like David Frum (a backer of GWB and hater of US conservatives) or agents in the conservative moment who are driven by a real hate on for socons and a desire to exorcise from the party.
commented 2015-11-04 14:12:40 -0500
The media party ran utter hatred throughout the campaign.

Harper called the long campaign to end unions using worker contributions to run their own hate ads.

This election demonstrated one thing clearly. Canada is still controlled out of Montreal via the Demarais/Dussault families, but Quebec lawyers aren’t running for the liberal job anymore – just a quebec numskull homosexual camp counselor who says stupid shit.

Liberal mideast policy – sending winter coats to Afghans – that’s priceless – Trudeau, you’re a really really stupid person.
commented 2015-11-04 13:52:19 -0500
I agree start on the right then slowly move to the center, but don’t forget to stay true to the right side of center.