Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Still On the Side of Right

Last night when I wrote lamenting the state of the Conservative Party, maybe I jumped the gun.

Politics in many ways is not exactly like real life. Sometimes in politics, conceding some ground, even when it means some principle must be bent, is legitimate in facilitating your objectives. I suppose that's why so many people cross the line, because the line can become fuzzy after a while. It's when it gets twisted into pretzels that a government no longer deserves to hold power.

The Conservative party represents mostly what I believe -- and in the areas where it doesn't, the earnestness of the people who are drawn to this party makes up for differences in ideology. Even now, with a 'united right' anyone who takes on the role of candidate for the Conservative party is leaving themselves open to insults and ridicule, so when one runs for the Conservatives, I have to believe they are sincere.

The standing 'O' in the house for Belinda underlines the smugness of the Liberals. The hugs, the handshakes, the solidarity of women-who-are-victims-of-nasty-name-calling are enough to make a big girl cry -- but it's all show, like everything with that regime.

There are no issues in this parliament. It's all illusion. Like when they appear to give answers in Question Period. Their mouths flap, noise comes out, but linguistic flatulence fills the air and they tell us we're hearing an aria.

And as for Harper, I think he handled himself well yesterday. Had he shrugged, people would have said he was indifferent; he showed he was frustrated, and they think he's nasty. So what.

I saw a couple of bloggers today go on a rant about Harper -- too right-wing! too religious! too cold! too scary! unable to appeal to moderate, urban, women voters. Those bloggers were white men in their 50s, judging by their photos.

I'm a youngish woman, on the bubble between boomers and generation x. I belong to the Anglican church (another house divided, but which is quite liberal in its outlook) and I came to the church in adulthood. My congregation is neither evangelical, nor conservative. I live in Toronto, and have done all my life. I have some higher education. I'm separated, have kids and I work two jobs outside the home to make ends meet. I don't need old white men telling me what should appeal to me.

Harper appeals to me. He's a thinking woman's kind of guy. You know he's safe. He'd probably never raise his voice let alone hit someone, he doesn't cheat on his wife, I'd bet he helps tuck in the kids at night -- and makes every effort to do the right thing so he'll be a good example for them. And he's smart, and he's funny, and private. These qualities are the kind of qualities adult women look for in a man. It's teens and twenties who look for the charm and 'charisma'. Maturity looks for decency and Harper is the personification.

Margaret Wente said today that Harper's failing was that he didn't use Belinda's talents to their potential. He 'stuck her' in a portfolio where 'the big issue was mad-cow disease'. Stronach didn't think that was good enough? Our farmers aren't important enough? Could she not see that by giving her an assignment where her work would be primarily with western Canada, Harper was softening the west to Ontario, and introducing Belinda to the real world. This portfolio was urgent to those living in farm country. To dismiss it as not good enough, is an example of why Belinda didn't fit into the Conservative Party. I regret to say that I do not believe that Belinda Stronach is truly sensitive to the needs of each part of the country and just how big and complex Canada really is.

Perception is everything in politics. Yesterday, it appeared all was lost. Then today, I read Preston Manning in the Globe & Mail (subscription only). Read it if you can. Politics belongs to us. People vilify the 'reformers' but let's remember what started the movement -- the belief that governance belongs to the people. It was never about 'social conservatism' as liberals try to make out. It just so happened that these were the people who felt marginalized in the mainstream political system.

As an aside -- the 'outrage' of the Liberal women at the 'sexist' language being bandied about with regard to Belinda -- words like 'whore' and 'prostitute' are not gender specific terms. To run around acting all offended now, is to claim those offensive terms as words which define only women. Now that is sexist.

How about the Grewal tape? I'm off to read all of your takes on it.



bob said...

Cheers to you, too.
Stop by Thurs. I intend to amplify the point you have made here (a point also made, in more bluntly humourous form, by Right Girl tonight).
Intended title: Liberalism = Arrested Development.
Sorry to hype myself on your blog, but you merit kudos and a shout-out (I don't wear a hat despite a rapidly receding hairline).
Pax and keep on.

Canadi-anna said...

I visit you daily, Bob. I like to see your take on things.

gullchasedship said...

Great post, Anna!

Anonymous said...

Hey Mom. "Whore" and "prostitute" may not be gender-specific terms but they sure aren't used to describe men in a derogatory sense. If it had been a guy who had crossed the floor, we would have got a whole lot of "bastard" and "SOB," but no "whore."


Canadi-anna said...

Elizabeth dear, if you read further in the postings you will find that 'whore' and 'prostitute' were used in the political arena long before women were even allowed to enter politics.
These words have been used in recent history to describe many a male politician. The only reason anyone took offense this time was because Belinda women. If people are going to get on their high horse about the use of that sort of language, they have to be equal opportunity defenders of propriety -- not just when it is politically expedient for them to do so.
Men who cross the floor in return for special consideration have been called both 'whore' and 'prostitute' - check out my reply to a commenter 5/21.
The shame in all of this is that women seem to want these words identified as 'womens' words' rather than allowing them to be what they are.
Luv, Mom