Jim Furlong: A Road to Victory

In politics I have an open mind. Well sort of. I usually vote Liberal but that’s media people of my age. A general liberal arts education kind of points you in that direction; at least it did.

I am amazed these days at how it is that many of the younger media tended to head to the New Democrats for the same reason; a liberal arts education, a dose of Jack Layton, and a few days at cafes downtown and voila; there they are in the mummers parade. In my younger days there was just the Liberals and the Progressive Conservatives. Now, I have voted PC federally.

A different tone

Several times I gave John Crosbie a vote, but that was back in the days when there was a different tone to the PCs. They were a party of fiscally conservative ladies and gentlemen who were very different philosophically from the Liberals, but were a pretty decent lot.

I look back to the day of cabinet ministers like Crosbie or Davie Fulton or Doug Harkness or Ellen Fairclough They were men and women of substance. That was then though, and this is now. That was a Progressive Conservative Party very different from today’s Conservative Party.

The Conservative Party of Canada is going to choose a new leader on the 27th of June. I have some advice for them if they are interested in my vote.

First, they must look and find the Progressive that used to be part of this party. They need to move in from the right  towards the centre. They need to stop the crap about not going to Gay Pride parades. I don’t think they know how much that hurt them in the last election because it is so out of step with the times.

It has little to do with gay or straight. It has to do with inclusion, decency, and common sense. The CPC also cannot even entertain any thoughts of anything that looks like “pro life” as it is called.

That battle is old, and it is over. A party with a hint of being tolerant of a new conversation on that subject is doomed. It is just as well to be pro capital punishment or open a debate on bringing back the cat of nine tails.

Issue of this generation

The other issue on which the Conservatives are missing the boat is climate change. It is the issue of this generation. It is a matter of where the world is now in terms of issues.

Now the real challenge of course for the Conservatives next time ‘round is they obviously must attract people to their party while at the same time trying to hang on to those who already supported the party in the last election.

The party didn’t do well in the Atlantic provinces, Quebec or Ontario. Well you look at the math and it is obvious. You can’t win the country if your support is only west of Ontario. I’ll be watching them on the 27th of June to see what they do.

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