The News Rundown
- History and Notable Leaders
- Origins of Canadian Conservatism go back to Pre-Confederation before 1867
- Rather than American liberalism, its roots were based on British Conservatism - Traditionalism and strong support for monarchy, as well as continuation of British governmental systems like the Westminster system of government
- Westminster System - Sovereign, Head of Government, executive made from legislature, elected lower house, with certain practices based on convention, practices and precedents of the British Parliamentary System.
- Early Colonial History - Conservatives or Tories based out of Upper and Lower Canada (today's Ontario, Quebec)
- United Empire Loyalists - American Loyalists who fled to the Canadas after the American Revolution - basis of conservatism in Canada
- Family Compact in UC, Chateau Clique in LC - governing elite (often Anglican religious elite) that gained influence after the War of 1812. Based on traditional monarchy + aristocracy and "gentlemanly capitalism"
- Rebellions of 1837 - want for political reform and responsible government (parliamentary democracy and accountability) Executive responsible to Parliament rather than Monarch
- Durham report - Lord Durham advocated for responsible government
- After UC and LC were united by British, the remains of the dissolved FC and CC became the basis for the original Conservative Parties in what became Ontario and Quebec - led by more moderate (for the time) conservatives led by John A MacDonald and George-Etienne Cartier in a coalition over the united province to end political instability
- This coalition sowed the seeds for Confederation
- Constitution Act 1867 - original document outlining what is now Canada's most important document
- Similar in principle to UK's Constitution, 4 provinces of Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Executive power remains with Monarch, legislated to GG,
- Creation of House of Commons, Senate, Division of Powers between Feds, Provs,
- Creation of Judiciary
- International railway linking provinces for defense, trade, and economy
- This led to PEI not joining until 1873 (no need for railway on island) and led to BC's joining in 1870.
- Conservatives led to creation of our country led by John A MacDonald
- John A's party dominated politics until his death in 1891, served 19 years as Canada's 2nd longest PM.
- Characterized by successful and strong national government, forging a strong Conservative movement, National Policy (tariffs on imported goods to protect local industry), and completing the CPR, which led to western Provinces joining, and blocking American Expansionist threats north.
- After Wilfrid Laurier's Liberals won elections from 1896-1911, conservatism declined slightly, but rose again sharply with Robert Borden in 1911, who was re-elected in 1917 under the Unionist coalition.
- Unionists - Pro-conscription party made up of Conservatives and mainly English speaking Liberals who wanted national conscription for WW1 to help Britain and France win the war.
- Election of 1917 - bitter campaign that divided English and French Campaign that led to Conservatives in general being completely shut out of Quebec until 1984 election.
- After the war this coalition, now led by Arthur Meighen could not govern with a stable majority. In the 1921 election the Conservatives were relegated to third place, at the expense of the new Progressive movement based mostly in the Prairie West by Farmers hurt by tariffs put in place during the war (Western alienation)
- After the Unionist Coalition failed to stay together, it was eventually rebranded as the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada following the election as leader of Progressive Party of Manitoba Premier John Bracken in December 1942. This party was only able to hold onto power for a brief time during William Lyon MacKenzie King's terms as PM, and was only able to win major political control after John Diefenbaker won in 1957.
- John Diefenbaker - appointed the first female minister in Canadian history to his Cabinet, as well as the first aboriginal member of the Senate.
- Characterized by Canadian Bill of Rights, granting the vote to First Nations and Inuit, and his eventual refusal to deploy American Bomarc Missiles (remember the Cold War) which led to his government's downfall.
- After Diefenbaker, Joe Clark would be the next Conservative PM - but Pierre Elliott Trudeau defeated his minority government.
- 1984 - Brian Mulroney's overwhelming election led to a stronger national Conservative movement, winning even Quebec and the Maritimes.
- Characterized by major economic reforms - NAFTA and GST, as well as fending off Quebec separatism brought about by Meech Lake, and Charlottetown Accords (move to decentralize the federal government's power to the provinces)
- Despite unpopular policies, Mulroney's reforms were not reversed by the subsequent Liberal government of Jean Chretien. Mulroney lost support from his own party based on his big government stances and his social policies, and strong nationalism - led to creation of Reform Party in West, and BQ in Quebec
- The election of 1993 led to a split of conservative parties - PC's won just 2 seats. Reform Party was created in 1987 as a result of Western Alienation from both Trudeau and Mulroney
- Reform Party - Populist western based party that with leadership of Preston Manning led to a populist and social conservative party that advocated for spending restraint and democratic reform in Senate. (Triple E Senate - equal, elected, and effective)
- Liberals won up until 2006. Stephen Harper led to the amalgamation of the Progressive Conservatives and the Canadian Alliance (focused Canada wide as a rebranding of Reform Party ideals) led to Conservative Party of Canada.
- Scheer was first elected in 2004 in the riding of Regina Qu’Appelle. Through the Harper minorities he was one of three deputy speakers. In 2011 he became speaker during the Harper majority from 2011–2015. He went on to become leader of the party in 2017.
- Not to be confused with actor Candice Bergen, barring similar resemblance, Bergen was first elected in 2008 for the riding of Portage-Lisgar in Manitoba. In 2013 she was appointed Minister of State for Social Development. In Scheer’s opposition she serves as Opposition House Leader. Her job is to guide the opposition agenda through Question Period and look for weaknesses in the Liberal’s presentation of legislation in the House. Bergen marks the beginning of what we’re going to see, lots of former junior ministers or MPs taking on roles of prominence in the shadow cabinet.
- Lisa Raitt was first elected for the riding of Halton in 2008 and subsequently re-elected. She is currently the deputy leader of the party and has held cabinet positions of natural resources, labour, and minister of transport.
- Rayes is the party’s Quebec lieutenant responsible for political operations in Quebec. He is currently representing the riding of Richmond - Arthabaska and also served as the mayor of Victoriaville Quebec. Rayes will be responsible for much of the strategy in Quebec going into the 2019 race and we’ve already seen some indications of what that will look like.
- Prior to entering the political arena Martel was a local hockey coach. He represents the riding of Chicoutimi - Le Fjord. He won a by-election this past summer winning over 50% of the vote. He replaces Denis Lemieux who was the former Liberal MP for the riding. That riding had previously not gone Conservative of any variety since 1984 when Andre Harvey won the seat. Harvey held the seat from 1984–2004 after crossing the floor the the Liberals. Martel’s win and margin was a surprise to many and is indication that the trends of old should not be guaranteed to persist into 2019. Martel serves in the Shadow cabinet as associate minister of Defence.
- Leona Alleslev crossed the floor two weeks ago but is already playing a major role in the party. As we detailed she’s a former Royal Canadian Air Force Captain and represents a sub-urban Toronto riding. She has been named shadow minister for border security.
- Blaney is one of the more experienced individuals on the Conservative front bench as he’s the former Minister of Public Safety. Blaney also ran in the 2017 leadership race but was ultimately unsuccessful.
- Clement is a party veteran and has held his seat of Parry Sound - Muskoka since the 2006 election. He’s also held many cabinet posts such as Health, Industry, President of the Treasury Board, and Minister of Development for Northern Ontario. When the Conservatives come back into power expect Tony Clement to play a prominent role as one of the elder party statesmen.
- Cathy McLeod comes from the riding of Kamloops - Thompson - Cariboo and has been named the opposition critic for Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs, Indigenous Services, and the Canadian Northern Economic Development agency. McLeod was first elected in 2008 and held the position of Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Revenue and Parliamentary Secretary for the Minister of Labour and for Western Economic Diversification. Parliamentary secretary
- Nicholson served as Minister of Defence in the Harper government. He also held positions of Government House Leader and minister of Justice in 2007. Nicholson also sat in the House of Commons from 1984 to 1993 as a Progressive Conservative. Along with Tony Clement Nicholson is one of the few veterans of the Conservative Party remaining today.
- Poilievre was first elected in 2004 for the riding of Nepean-Carleton. In the Harper government he held the portfolios of Minister of State for Democratic Reform and Minister of Employment and Social Development. He also served as parliamentary secretary to many ministers in the Harper cabinet. Today he sits as opposition finance critic and is known for asking hard questions to the governing Liberals both in the House and Committee; so much so that he once asked a question 7 different ways before receiving an answer. He is currently thought to be frontrunner to be finance minister in the next Conservative government.
- First elected in 2011 to Calgary Centre-North and in 2015 to Calgary Nose Hill, Michelle Rempel is one of the members of the party who is known for her passion both in person, in the House, and on social media. She’s held positions such as the Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Environment. She currently is opposition critic for Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship.
- Shannon Stubbs was elected in the 2015 for the riding of Lakeland in rural Alberta. She currently serves as opposition critic for Natural Resources. She has gained prominence for criticizing the Alberta NDP’s carbon tax as well as the Trudeau government’s plan to close a veterans affairs office in Vegreville, Alberta.
- Alice Wong was first elected in 2008 from the riding of Richmond in the lower mainland. She held the portfolio of Minister of State for Seniors. She was the only Conservative MP to be re-elected in 2015 from the areas surrounding Vancouver. She was also the first Chinese Canadian woman to serve in a government cabinet.
- The Conservative Party of Canada was the rebirth of national conservatism in Canada.
- The Reform and later Canadian Alliance lead by Preston Manning and Stephen Harper respectively filled a void when the Progressive Conservatives under Brian Mulroney became bloated and almost indistinguishable from the Liberals.
- The 2003 merger the Progressive Conservatives and Canadian Alliance brought these two groups together.
- Policy wise both parties decided it was best that the new party focus on the ideas that unite rather than the few differences they may have.
- Many in the Reform Party and Canadian Alliance were of the view that the government should’ve done all it could to prevent gay marriage being legalized in 2005. The new Conservative party didn’t go down this road.
- Matter of conscience, including gay marriage were left to individual MPs to decide. After forming government in 2006 the minority Harper government tabled a Bill that would have spawned a re-examination of the legality of gay marriage. This was defeated as MPs from all parties decided not to pursue this route.
- The Conservative Party of Canada has been focused on “making life easier for all Canadians”. The party does not specifically target one income group or one nationality. Economic policy of the Harper government focused on decreasing red tape for business, lowering taxes for all Canadians, and offering tax credits to families.
- Barring the 2008 financial crisis the Conservative Party of Canada ran the country as though it was a business requiring it to slowly turn around its deficits and lower the national debt.
- Many were expecting the minority Conservative government of 2008 to cut taxes and not run a stimulus program but it has since been quoted that the decision to run the stimulus program came straight from Stephen Harper himself.
- In the 2015 campaign the Conservatives wanted to maintain their family tax credits, not install a carbon tax, and bring in income splitting for families (a practice where a spouse can transfer some income to the other for tax purposes to pay less tax overall).
- Going into 2019 it’s safe to say that we will see much of the same including tax cuts for all Canadians, cancellation of the carbon tax, and increased fiscal prudence.
- On the National Defence file the Conservative government stood up when others would not. One of the biggest examples of the Conservative’s foreign policy was at a G20 meeting in Australia after Russia invaded Crimea. Stephen Harper went up to Vladimir Putin at the meeting shook his hand and told him to “get out of Ukraine.”
- The Conservatives under then Immigration Minister Jason Kenney put a focus on persecuted Christian and Yazidi refugees from the Middle East whereas Justin Trudeau’s government prioritized Syrian Refugees.
- The Conservatives were also a reliable defence partner with the United States and Barack Obama including the mission in Afghanistan and later the bombing campaign against ISIL in Syria.
- Conservative foreign policy also abandoned Canada’s thought of role as “honest broker” and shifted more towards promoting Canadian values in the Middle East, Africa, and Eastern Europe. We see this with the former government’s close friendship to Ukraine and Israel.
- This also extends to home as well. When the former government was in power, the Prime Minister took yearly visits to the Arctic and had in his cabinet a central goal to enforce Canadian sovereignty in the north. Sharing a northern border with Russia requires one to be proactive and to ensure that sovereignty is respected.
- Jason Kenney is seen as the architect of the Conservative’s immigration plan and getting new Canadians to vote for the Conservative party. This immigration plan focused on bringing in highly skilled workers from all over the world to meet our population’s need rather than bringing entire families over if just one family member is working in Canada.
- At home the 2011 election campaign was focused around, “the true north, strong and free… [and that] Canada must great, it must be great for all Canadians, a country of hope, [and] an example to the world.”
- Compared to Trudeau: Globalism. Compared to NDP: ???
- Examining the current shadow cabinet, the Quebec strategy, and the results in Quebec, one would foolish to think that the 2019 race would not focus around making life more affordable for Canadians, securing our borders, and Canadian nationalism. The party has placed trial ads online using the theme of “together”. Applying these nationally in a campaign would be a way of promoting Canadian nationalism without using the word, since the media and many on the left hate that word.
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Episode Title: The History of the Conservative Party
Teaser: A very special episode where we delve into the history of conservatism in Canada, a look at where past and modern conservative parties have taken policies, as well as the leadership team and current policies of the Conservative Party of Canada.
Recorded Date: September 26, 2018
Release Date: October 7, 2018
Edit Notes: House leader
Podcast Summary Notes
- History and Notable Leaders
- Current Leadership Team
- Support us on Patreon
- Current Policies of Conservative Party of Canada