July 11, 2016

Jason Kenney is onto something: Good riddance to “Progressive” Conservatives

Brian LilleyArchive

Let me say from the start that I don’t believe in the old Progressive Conservative-Reform divide within the current Conservative Party of Canada. Are there divisions? Sure there are, just as there are divisions within the Liberal caucus, the NDP caucus and I am sure there are days when even Elizabeth May doesn’t agree with herself.

So in reading David McLaughlin’s “thoughtful” piece in the Globe and Mail on Jason Kenney’s departure for Alberta politics I have to say I was a little surprised.

One of McLaughlin’s big complaints about Kenney is that he only used the word “progressive” once during his entire speech announcing his candidacy and that was when he said the name of the party, the Progressive Conservative Party of Alberta. Well, heavens to Betsy, what is an old PCer to do?

There are many reasons that Jason Kenney should be wary of playing up the “progressive” side of the PC party name the least of which is, to quote Margaret Thatcher speaking of McLaughlin’s old boss Brian Mulroney, there is too much of the former and not enough of the latter.

The Progressive Conservative Party of Canada is no more and I couldn’t be happier. In reality having a Progressive Conservative Party is like having a Push Me Pull Me Party or an Up Is Down Party. Progressivism and conservatism are competing ideologies that do not belong together and the fact that they came together under one banner in Canada is nothing more than a historical anomaly.

Despite what many people claim in their party folk history the Progressive Conservative Party was not the result of a merger of two parties but rather the result of failure breeding more failure.

After failing to defeat the Liberals and William Lyon McKenzie King in the 1935 and 1940 elections the Conservative Party was desperate for someone to take over the reigns and looked to Manitoba Premier John Bracken. Bracken was an academic who had agreed to become party leader and premier in Manitoba after the United Farmers of Manitoba surprised everyone, including themselves, in winning the 1922 Manitoba election.

Conservatives at the time saw Bracken as a successful figure that could take on McKenzie King. A condition on him taking leadership was to call the party the Progressive Conservative Party.

Yet at their cores progressivism and conservatism are competing ideologies. When someone like McLaughlin laments Kenney not being progressive enough he wants Kenney to be less conservative.

Having spoken to people who were there, inside the caucus rooms of the old PC Party under Brian Mulroney, McLaughlin and his ilk may be pining for a time that never existed.

Senator Marjory LeBreton, a close confidant of Mulroney’s over years, not months, told me on radio a little while back that the PC caucus that came about after Mulroney’s last electoral win in 1988 was likely more conservative than the Conservative Party caucus under Stephen Harper after the 2011 majority win.

She called this ongoing claim of a PC-Reform divide baloney and I believe her. Except for people that call themselves conservative and yet act as if conservatives are the last people they want to be around.

Whether at the provincial level in Alberta where the conservative movement is literally split in two or at the federal level where it is unified, conservatives need to stop attacking each other – especially for being “too conservative.” It’s time for the conservative movement and it’s affiliated political parties to take a page from the Liberal playbook and end the public attacks on each other.

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commented 2016-07-30 13:31:40 -0400
In order for ANY conservative party to be successful in the next election they will need a united party but most importantly get rid of the red conservatives like Lukasick and the rest of the old guard. Also denounce this climate change garbage as well as promise to remove the carbon taxes,anti- coal regs and stand up for farmers by eliminating bill 6. Without it they will just open the door for the Marxist NDP to win another term.
commented 2016-07-21 01:31:43 -0400
Ron Voss, Communist party members call themselves “progressives”. It is a fact. I know because I have heard the expression used by Communist Party members. Stop deflecting.
commented 2016-07-13 01:20:44 -0400
Brian has it right as usual. Progressivism is a dying cult, and Conservatives would do well to walk away from it before the kool aid gets passed out. Brexit and Trump have already signaled the death of that meaningless ideology that changes with the wind. The globalists pushed too hard, too soon, and now all their hard work is caving in on them.
commented 2016-07-11 20:58:33 -0400
LOL, yes, squabble and fight for the 20% on the far right with the WR. Go ahead. You’re leaving the middle wide open for the NDP to claim.

I hope you’re right, two fire and brimstone cons against each other will split their own vote and alienate everyone else into re-electing the NDP. Sounds like a good plan to me. GO KENNEY
commented 2016-07-11 20:51:40 -0400
If I were Kenney… I would only effect policy with proven science fact… If it is newly proven then put trial projects in place to determine the effectiveness of the proposal. I dont know why everyone has this issue with fear driving what they think and how they act. Take a break have a KitKat! or is it don’t rock the boat… or maybe dont give candy to crying children because they will just ask for more… or not waste time and money on nonsense like #climatechange and #crybullies ! Seems like everyone puts a # sign infront of everything nowadays… super gay!
commented 2016-07-11 20:13:05 -0400
Who cares about the name. Look at the NDP. New!! Yes, only about 60 years old. Democratic , Alberta will tell you its more like Communism . Party, hopefully not after the next election.
commented 2016-07-11 18:24:51 -0400
KEN HANSON, “Kenney is an anti coal climate change loser like all the rest. My vote stays with the wildrose.” Sorry KEN HANSON, the same applies to the Wildrose Party which a few years ago with Danielle Smith at the helm embraced the notion of man-made global warming!.
At a Generation Screwed meeting held in Calgary in November 2015, I challenged Wildrose MLA Derek Fildebrandt, who was a speaker at this event, about this. He mumbled something like ’that’s what the scientists are telling us’.
commented 2016-07-11 18:14:11 -0400
WAYNE ALLEN, “Progressives were the name that Communist Party members call themselves.” This from the Communist Party of Canada’s web site explaining what they are About: “The Communist Party of Canada was founded in 1921. … women, students, social and environmental activists, seniors, farmers, and many others engaged in progressive struggle across Canada.”
commented 2016-07-11 17:09:08 -0400
It doesn’t even make sense. You can’t be progressive AND conservative. It screams warning signs.
commented 2016-07-11 16:15:28 -0400
This is exactly what needs to happen. The PC and Wildrose parties need to unite into one broader party like the federal Conservative party did. If Kenney can engineer this by dropping the “Progressive” label, then good. The cost of continuing the civil war among conservatives in Alberta is another four years of the NDP.
commented 2016-07-11 16:08:18 -0400
Kenney is an anti coal climate change loser like all the rest. My vote stays with the wildrose.
commented 2016-07-11 15:22:09 -0400
I still think a new name would be better, like the Alberta Party, just one example, and the Wildrose needs to be on board for a total amalgamation of all the right conservative people uniting all together. IT IS IMPERATIVE WE COME ALL TOGETHER AS ONE HUGE, STRONG, FREE AND READY TO KICK THAT UGLY REGRESSIVE, DESTRUCTIVE MARXIST WITCH AND HER EQUALLY CONDESCENDING CABINET OUT OF THIS PROVINCE FOREVER, FOREVER. I really hope none of these bastards are allowed to live in their ridings. Get rid of this filthy garbage called ndpees.
commented 2016-07-11 14:57:37 -0400
Purging the word or name “progressive” would be a great start back from the abyss these politicians have driven us into. Personally I am not the least bit interested in voting for a party that calls itself “progressive”. Progressive at what I mght ask? Rushing as quickly to the left to spend money after they are elected?
PROGRESSIVE has always been a euphemism for socialist/Marxist philosophy .
Call it the Conservative Party of ALberta and have policies that can attract new members . I’ve always thought that conservatism was great fiscally but had to be for more libertarian when it came to social issues.
I just pray I don’t hear the old refrain" We’re for smaller government ". We have to come up with a more expanded platform than that to attract votes.
commented 2016-07-11 13:39:43 -0400
Looking at the History
Lougheed progressive CONSERVATIVE
Getty PROGRESSIVE conservative
Klein Conservative
Stelmach PROGRESSIVE conservative
Redford Progressive
Prentice What do you want?
Notley Marxist
Looking for fiscal conservative with classical liberal (liberatarian) leanings but don’t need two conservative parties in opposition. So where do you stand Mr Kenney?
commented 2016-07-11 13:32:55 -0400
Progressives were the name that Communist Party members call themselves. It is terrifying to hear Justin Trudeau and the other liberals continually refer to themselves as progressives. The name “progressive” has got to go from the name of any democratic party.
commented 2016-07-11 13:11:28 -0400
STEVE HICKEN commented 1 hour ago
I like the name Conservative Party of Canada.Has a modern ring to it.
commented 2016-07-11 13:07:01 -0400
Brian Lilley, I disagree with the Progressive / Reform divide I our CPC Party ❤️

Our Party is DEEPLY REFORM-ROOTED and open to FREEDOM / LIBERTY / FREEMARKET people who want a Canada where EVERYONE gets ahead and becomes Wealthy and Prosperous and means Everyone Adjusting their lives to the Private Sector, getting behind and falling in line with US where they belong ❤️

There will NEVER be any room for the very Sick, Selfish, Greedy, Elitist people ❤️
commented 2016-07-11 12:07:14 -0400
Classical liberalism is a political ideology and a branch of liberalism which advocates civil liberties and political freedom with representative democracy under the rule of law and emphasizes economic freedom. Classical liberalism developed in the 19th century in Europe and the United States.
Today’s Conservatives !

Today’s “Liberal Party of Canada” is the party of Marxist Corruption and Socialism, fathered by the ole Marxist himself Pierre Trudough !

The insane left has destroyed the EU, much of the USA and is in the process of flushing Canada down the socialist rat hole !
commented 2016-07-11 12:05:12 -0400
I like the name Conservative Party of Canada.Has a modern ring to it.
commented 2016-07-11 11:30:11 -0400
The biggest problem is that the terms ‘liberal’ and ‘progressive’ have been abrogated by the left and subjected to their whims. The LPC is not liberal and its progressivism is regressive. The Harper government was liberal and progressive by, for example, opening the financial books to union members and mandating a secret ballot; along with opening the financial books to the average Indian on reserves, This is liberal democracy and progressivism in the proper sense. Note worthy that the Liberal Party of Corruption (LPC) in a regressive move rescinded these acts.

Note also that the party of MacDonald was called the Liberal Conservatives, liberal referring to a respect of liberal democracy.

Going back historically, it is the conservatives under any appellation that have proven to be the liberal democrats. Whereas the Party of Liberal Corruption and the progressively Non-Democratic Party prove anything else.
commented 2016-07-11 11:28:19 -0400
The conservative part of the PC party of Alberta passed away with Ralph Kline. If Jason and fumigate the P out of the PC to make it a big C conservative party more the better.
commented 2016-07-11 11:27:36 -0400
Brian, as you point out, ‘Progressive Conservative’ is an oxymoron. Something like talking about a ‘Freedom-loving Socialist’.
When the ‘progressives’ and the progressive media trumpet that Kenney is a bad choice for conservatives, that tells you something.
commented 2016-07-11 11:11:56 -0400
The conservative movement in Alberta is split into more than two groups. There is also a registered separatist movement and a small group of libertarians that have mostly conservative values. Also, the Wildrose Party is the biggest and is gaining in popularity and fund raising since the election in May 2015.

Kenney is off to a good start and the dippers are worried as Nenshi has already put his foot in mouth by saying Kenney was out of touch with Albertans when in fact it is Nenshi who is the space cadet.
commented 2016-07-11 11:05:32 -0400
One of McLaughlin’s big complaints about Kenney is that he only used the word “progressive” once during his entire speech …

Progressive is synonymous for liberal – most Canadians who are brainwashed by the $1.5 BILLION DOLLAR PER YEAR GOVERNMENT PAID media party might debate this – can’t help stupid.

Progressive should also be removed from Ontario’s Conservative Party – the liberal overlap has run its course – say good bye.
commented 2016-07-11 11:02:10 -0400
I agree BRIAN
JASON KENNEY has got to announce right off the bat that it’s the Conservative party of Alberta