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"Each individual should allow reason to guide his conduct, or like an animal, he will need to be led by a leash."
Diogenes of Sinope

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Thousand Flowers tapestry (15th Century) - Beaune, France (detail)

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Open letter to the Republican Party

The Sensuous Curmudgeon has some advice for Republicans south of the border. There's a lesson here for Canadian Conservatives who want the CPC to be a party of social conservatives:
As our party is going though a much-needed period of introspection, please consider that there was a time when this party stood for the Constitution, the rule of law, national defense, free enterprise, limited government, low taxes, balanced budgets, and individual rights. We still honor those principles; but those who now govern have no concern for or even understanding of such matters.

While the other party has been winning elections and undermining everything we have traditionally valued, what issues dominate our political discourse? Our party has been talking about sex and religion.


Any of these sex or religion topics would be a fine subject for a sermon; but experience teaches us that they are not issues that will propel a party to national leadership. Regional, yes; national, no. A successful political party should understand this, but it seems that we don’t. That is why, at the moment, we are not a successful political party.

If a politician’s principal issues are sex and religion, and he wants to campaign with a bible in one hand and his carnal concerns in the other, that’s his choice; but he should know that this approach — although thrilling to a vocal faction of the party — isn’t attractive to a broad majority of the population. If you feel that you must campaign on those issues, please do it as a member of the other party. In most parts of the country you’re going to lose either way, but you’ll still feel good, and at least you won’t be hurting us.

(HT: Little Green Footballs)


Anonymous said...

Oh yes, those terrible old soc-cons who should simply ignore their moral compasses and vote lower taxes, lower taxes and umm well...uh...lower um, taxes.

"While the other party has been winning elections and undermining everything"

Is this guy on 'ludes or what?
The Republicans hold the white House for 20 out of the last 28 years and he thinks the party is unsuccessful?

Yes, by all means let's drive the soc-cons out of the party because they disagree on marriage issue with those poor oppressed, ever suffering gays (and in canukistan THAT is NOT ALLOWED!)

Anonymous said...

"There's a lesson here for Canadian Conservatives who want the CPC to be a party of social conservatives"

Could you please name some of these so-cons "who-want-the-CPC-to-be-a-party-of-social-conservatives"?

No? ..... Didn't think so. There are so-cons who want their views to be heard and recognized as having value by the party --- SO!? THEY ARE PARTY MEMBERS WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH THAT?

I'm a vocal social conservative and I'll tell you what I want. I want my views fairly represented. Social conservatives have been more than loyal and supportive to the CPC and what have they recieved in return for their loyalty?

Being margianlized, ridiculed, and having their concerns continuously pushed to the back burner or ignored completely. The cowardly CPC does this to avoid having the dreaded word BIGOT thrown at them by an ever shrill gay lobby (who will do it anyway).

Enough is enough. The CPC is turning their back on a signifigant number of their members in a perennial futile attempt to satisfy a small group of "eternally oppressed" gay activists.

Alright if that is the playing field so-cons must play on then so be it. Myself, I was extremely reluctant to vote at all in the last election. I have even less reason in the next one.

I understand it is unlikely that so-cons have the numbers to ensure a CPC government. --- BUT(!) We do have the numbers to DENY them one.

If you can create a government WITHOUT so-con help, HEY! Good work, power to you. If the Liberals form the ext government I don't care I'll still be ruled by people who don't care about my concerns. What's the diff?

Eric said...

To both Anonymous commenters:
There is nothing wrong with so-cons making their view heard. All I'm saying by posting this letter is that if the CPC wants to be a party of social conservatives (and if a majority of the members want that, so be it), then Conservatives will have to accept that they will NEVER AGAIN form a government in Canada and will be doomed to perpetual opposition status under endless Liberal rule. Is this really what so-cons want?

Why not focus on policy objectives that both so-cons and libertarians share - small less intrusive government, individual rights and responsibility, the rule of law, property rights, free-market economies, a foreign policy that protects my rights and property and supports the spread of democracy. Leave religion and morality out of it unless it harms others - those decisions are best left up to individual families and private churches.

While we're on the subject, I'm not a an "eternally oppressed gay activist" - I'm just a private individual who wants to be left alone and doesn't want my federal government telling me what kind of relationships it sanctions and what behaviour behind closed doors it deems morally acceptable. What gives so-cons the right to tell me how to live my life if I'm not harming anyone? What gives religious fundamentalists the right to tell me that a CIVIL, NON-RELIGIOUS institution like civil marriage should be withheld from me?

If you want to voluntarily belong to a church that doesn't believe in same-sex religious marriage ceremonies, I'm fine with that - I'm not forced to belong to your church, after all and your beliefs do not harm me. However, I have no choice about which federal laws I have to obey, and if a federal law says I can't establish a civil legal partnership with rights and privileges that are available to straight couples, then I DO have a problem with that.

Despite the increasingly desperate arguments from so-cons that gay marriage is destroying the fabric of Canadian society, I fail to see how same-sex marriage harms so-cons who believe only in marriage between a man and a woman. As the joke goes: "If you don't believe in gay marriage, don't marry a gay person."

Anonymous said...

Eric, your response was well put and polite. I am the anon poster.

The plain fact is I (perhaps we) don't TRUST the CPC anymore.

You and your CPC supporters show absolutely NO consideration for values that so-cons hold as extremely important.

You said ".... endless Liberal rule. Is this really what so-cons want"?

No it's not what I want. But neither do I want to give my time, effort, money and votes to a party that is happy to accept them then turns around and ridicules my morals.

When I re-read your posting you are asking me to grit my teeth, go against my gut feelings and once again support the party and (by extension) support gay marriage even though there are vocal members of the CPC who loathe me.

So I am supposed to extend my hand to you but you are not required to do anything in return. Yup, you're a CPC member allright.

No I think my mind has been pretty much made up. For what it's worth the CPC candidate in my riding will STILL WIN even if many so-cons stay home. But at least I'll have the satisfaction of knowing that I will not contribute to his victory.

Eric said...

I appreciate your frustration - it's exactly the way I feel about the CPC when so-cons in the party demand that the party and the government take a stand on moral and religious issues that I consider to be private matters and no business of the state.

So you don't feel like the party is showing consideration for values that you hold to be extremely important? Now you know how I felt all those years when I held my nose and voted for the Reform Party in spite of the fact that they definitely did NOT speak for me on social & moral issues (and were occasionally outright hostile about it). Now you know how I feel everytime the socons in the party drag out the debate on gay marriage for one more flogging of that dead horse.

The so-con and libertarian wings of the CPC will never agree on social issues like gay marriage. Here's an idea - let's get the party's collective nose out of people's private lives altogether and put together a platform that we can both agree on - (see my comment above) - then we'll have a shot at a majority government.