What a timely editorial that ran in the Feb. 16 Saanich News, ‘Tory’s mixed messaging shows party in disarray.’ The British tradition of respect for rule of law found in Canada’s Tories seems to be increasingly replaced with the dominant U.S. Republican view that elected governments can be influenced by insurrection, bogus lists of electoral college votes, and intimidation of those moderate Republicans left in the party.
Constant support for the trucker convoys by Donald Trump and several Republican senators as well as recently revealed multi-millions in American funding for the truck convoy bring back memories of the Manifest Destiny aspirations of some Americans over a century ago to destabilize and take over our nation. With the growth of the extremist People’s Party led by a man who almost became federal Conservative leader, and the rise of several western separatist conservative parties in the Prairies the future of the Conservative party leadership, could clearly “go a long way to establishing the tone of Canadian politics for years to come.”
At this moment the leading candidate in the federal Conservative leadership race is a man, Pierre Poilievre, who has expressed his “admiration” of the truck convoys, whose members intimidated and clamoured daily in central Ottawa and adjacent neighbourhoods. Similar convoys blocked critical international border crossings costing the Canadian economy billions of dollars in trade – and in one blockade provided a sanctuary for a nest of armed men who have now been charged with conspiracy to murder RCMP officers.
The interim federal Conservative leader, Candice Bergen – previously photographed in her Donald Trump cap – was, like a number of Conservative MPs, in group photos with the Ottawa occupiers, and she constantly urges the prime minister to meet with the leaders of the truck convoy whose public manifesto called for our democratic federal government to be replaced by a council of the unelected Senate, the unelected Governor-General, and an unelected committee of truckers.
However, many Prairie people do not support right-wing extremism, and provincial election polls in both Alberta and Manitoba reveal the opposition NDP significantly ahead of the fumbling provincial conservative government regimes. With the addition of two provincial governments committed to a democratic, unified Canada the tide of conservative extremism may well recede.