So, now that the country has gone and elected its first hipster Prime Minister, it’s worth pointing out that we were sort of prescient before… there’s no base for Conservative parties in Canada. As Mark Steyn has said and written, Western culture is predominantly liberal, and increasingly so as we move along, so where does a Conservative party fit?
Conservative parties will never again be a natural governing party in the West. But they will get back into power someday, because eventually hopey-changey-feely good stuff gets you nowhere except into pile of shit, and conservatives get the call to come shovel the mess. And there are certainly lessons to be learned from the Harper years in power, primary among them being this; incremental policy movement to the right doesn’t work. Harper adopted the strategy because he wanted to alleviate fears that his government held a “secret agenda” and he recognized correctly that Canadians are a timid lot who don’t like a lot of change even if it’s for the better. And so he lost his chance to really make a truly small ‘c’ conservative stamp on the country and yet was still reviled as the next worst thing to Hitler/Stalin/Kim Jong Un et al despite basically governing as a blue Liberal for most of his tenure.
No, alas Conservatives don’t get to stay in power. So, in the future, when the public decides it needs help, get in, fix messes, turn over tables, smash people in the faces, press the reset button and then accept that your job is done and the people will go back to the good time guys. Just… maybe not right away. They did give Mike Harris a second majority.
The first truth of Buddhism is “Life is difficult”. The irony is once you accept that truth, life actually feels easier. Perhaps the first truth of Conservatism is “Conservative governments are temporary.” Once that’s accepted, what you do as a conservative once you get into power becomes a lot clearer and simpler.