Friday, April 29, 2005

Can You Hear Me Now?

Warwick asks what (besides blogging) can we do to get the conservative message out. I don't have an answer, but I share the concern.

The difference between conservatives and (L)iberals is that (L)iberals are all the same, and conservatives are all conservative in different ways. Although liberal and conservative ideas converge in many areas (Red Tories/Fiscal Conservatives) in the expression of these shared opinions conservatives are labeled 'heartless' and liberals as 'prudent'.

A conservative who is anti-abortion or anti-same-sex marriage is a (religious) right-wing extremist prepared to deny rights to people who don't agree with his narrow view of the world. A liberal with the same views is a person of conscience.

It is frustrating beyond expression.

I am political, but not Political. I think blogging is an outlet for some conservatives because many of us would not express our views in public. That's the case with me. In my job, within my church, at school -- My world tilts decidedly left and I prefer to listen, rather than engage.

I am afraid to come out publicly against same-sex marriage, for access to privatized health care, against national daycare, for taxation reform to benefit one income families, against the Liberals and for the CPC.

There are things you can't talk about in mainstream Canada (I'm being incredibly Toronto-centric here, as I have no idea what the climate is like elsewhere.) But I have been comforted to note that some of the Blogging Tories are from this bright red city.

The truth is that (L)iberals in Canada are highly mobilized. As Warwick says, they ARE the media.
If you go to the Liberal website they list a whole page of call-in shows, letter to the editor email addresses, etc. where their supporters are encouraged to go and pump the party (or more accurately, vilify Harper).

If there is nothing we can do, then maybe there are things the CPC could do that would get their message out. Electronically, they leave something to be desired. They have a sign-up for a newsletter, but I've never received one. They have a contact email, but they don't get back to you. They need to think about these kinds of things if they want to get the word out.

The Toronto Sun has two good columns today, one by Peter Worthington about Paul Martin's failures in recent days. The second is Michael Taube, who writes praising Stephen Harper, and gives him free advice along the lines that hammering the Liberals on corruption isn't scoring points. He's absolutely right. People just shrug when they hear about governmental corruption -- it's what they expect.

Harper has to make this election about the disquieting decisions and reversals Martin has made recently -- all done to thwart democracy and to obstruct the working of Parliament. This desperate cling to power is absolute proof that Martin should not be governing -- and Harper has to find a way to get this message out.

Rex Murphy was great last night too. It's not on their website yet, but look for it over the next few days. He actually said Martin should resign.

Maybe some people are listening.



left town for good said...

I'm wondering if you had to hide somewhere to read that Toronto Sun.

I ride the subways. I see plenty of people reading it right out in the open. I don't buy the paper myself, but it's on all the tables in the coffee shop where I stop for breakfast and I get part way through it every morning. And, correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm pretty sure it's publicly against same-sex marriage, for access to privatized health care, against national daycare, for taxation reform to benefit one income families, against the Liberals and for the CPC.

So, what are you hiding for?

Shane said...

Honestly, you live in a wide open balanced society in Toronto.

You want to fear for your life as a conservative? Try coming to Vencouver! To date I have not seen a single rally against same-sex marriage out here (though there is FINALLY going to be one May 15th at 3pm at the Vancouver Art Gallery) while there have been many all across the country for months now.

I sent out an email to friends and come of my closer co-workers, who know my politics but I liked to think they were my friends. The email basically reported on how a group of doctors made a presentation to parliament about how pysically harmful the gay lifestyle is. That is it. Not "gays are evil", not "I hate gays", nothing like that. Simply information. And I had about half my recipients sent replies back that told me to "keep my politics to myself" and "I was personally offended by your email". How can someone, NOT even gay, be offended at being told that certain behaviours can permanently damage your body?

Since then I have kept my politics to myself at work, out of sensitivity to my co-workers. It is very sad, because they routinely spout off about ridiculously liberal views, but because they all are in agreement, that is ok. But if I speak up, I am "hurting them personally".

VW said...


There ARE conservatives in B.C. Think about going east from Vancouver, around Coquitlam/Mission/Abbotsford; that's where they are. Think about the Fraser Valley and the Interior where the primary industries are farming, forestry, and fishing: that's where they are.

The trouble is that conservatives are very much a "silent majority" in Canada. That's gradually changing as a result of the legitimization of conservatives down in the States, but until the liberal media stranglehold in Toronto is broken, it's going to be a fact of life we have to learn to deal with.

Canadi-anna said...

Peter, I know the Sun is everywhere, but I don't even tell people I read it. I used to, but I would get the 'look'. The Sun is a tabloid and not taken seriously by most people. It doesn't matter that they have some of the best writers and some of the most diverse opinions within their Comments sections -- perception is everything.

The Teachers' Pension Fund actually owns part of it, but I make sure if my kids have to take a news clipping into school it's from the Star or the Post because the teachers are very subtly liberal when talking to the students, and I don't their perceptions of my politics affecting my kids at school.

I work in the Anglican Church -- which is having major problems right now over the same-sex issue. Everyone just talks as though you agree -- with those sort of universal intimidating statements like "... obviously . . ." as though all issues really only have one 'correct' side.

I suppose you're right. It's stupid. I'm always telling my kids that they should stand up for their convictions, and then I can't do it myself -- but I'll tell you what -- next election I'll put on a lawn sign. A big one!

And, good luck to you guys in B.C.


left town for good said...

I have long held the theory -- which I've kept to myself until now -- that all of those Sun readers are the key for the Conservative party in the GTA. I'm pretty sure that for many of them, their politics begins and ends in the workplace or the coffee shop. If your party could ever take them the next step -- to the polls on election day -- you wouldn't have had to have waited for the Liberal meltdown to challenge in Toronto. Please don't tell anyone about this. Just in case I'm right.

Canadi-anna said...

A lot of people who might lean conservative just think 'why bother' when it comes to election time.

These people are not particularly political and they are more disenchanted with the fact that lies, corruption and broken promises keep winning, than they are with the disgraceful state of affairs of the Liberal party.
When you are more angry at other voters than the Party guilty of wrong-doing -- you whine and complain, but you don't bother to vote.
I think that's what happened last year.

Don't worry, Peter. I won't tell anyone you were nice to one of us, but thank you.

gravity's rainbow said...

Q. who votes for prohibition in a dry town? (there have been many in Ontario over the years)
A. The bootleggers
yes it is a fact that oraganized crime thrives off the conservative vote.
The more we try to stop drugs, prostitution, gambling and the like the more organized crime will support it.
Law and restrition make it possible for organized criminals to make money. This conservative perspective led to fascism in Italy.

Better to have an educated mind than to rely on what is considered conservative or liberal.
Hamilton, On.

Canadi-anna said...

Conservative 'values' are not the issue. The stifling of debate is the issue.

As I said in my blog -- all Liberals are the same, but conservatives are all conservative in different ways.

Paul Martin and Stephen Harper could share and speak about a hot button issue, and both give the SAME opinion, but Martin would be perceived one way because he is a Liberal, and Harper would be perceived negatively because he is not. It happens every day.
People just ignore what they don't like about the Liberals.

I agree that prohibition is a wrong-headed solution to certain societal problems, and I'm not advocating it.

You're confusing the problem.
My problem is not that my party doesn't get in. My problem is not that the party that does get is will not implement an agenda with which I agree.
My problem is that I believe the Liberals and their pals are the only criminals benefiting from their being elected and to most Canadians that doesn't matter because the liberal media keeps playing the (L)iberal mantra 'Stephen Harper is scary.'

King said...

I agree totally with your arguments. We're part of a liberal orthodox society and our media have used the most perjorative terms so that even people who largely agree with our ideas are turned off because of language. Language is a tool and we have to start showing that what we're saying is not extreme, just different. It always amazes me that people who are so shrill about diversity yet are so perjorative to those who disagree with them.
R. King

Canadi-anna said...

You're exactly right, Ryan.
The choice of words and the choice of headlines in Canadian media is highly manipulative.
Last night I was listening to the news on CTV and the reader said (and I paraphrase):

Paul Martin says he's keeping his promises to Canada.

Jack Layton says he will only support the budget but not necessarily the government.


Stephen Harper is presenting himself as the one to preserve national unity.

The use of the words 'presenting himself' rather than simply 'says' with Harper, implies that what Harper said had an element of untruth.

Maybe I'm just being picky, but words are powerful weapons, even if they are subtle. It is often the subtext that wields influence.


Derek Richards said...

When Gomery finishes hearing testimony in Mid-May or thereabout.
The Conservatives need to tell the country that Gomery has heard the whole story of Adscam, the truth is now public and the public can decide the fate of this government.

Derek Richards said...

I just posted an Environics poll that says The GTA has the Liberals up only 6% over Conservatives.

Oh ya, thanks for the link Canadi-anna and your kind words.

Canadi-anna said...

Derek, isn't it funny that we'd say 'only' 6%?
I'm still surprised that the Liberals even register in the polls. I always think I'm a bit of an Eeyore when it comes to politics, but I guess I must be a Pollyanna if it can still shock me that the Grits are ahead.