The feminist 'Conservative' Party of Canada? No thanks.
After the federal election loss last October, the leader of the Conservative Party of Canada, Stephen Harper, stepped down. Following years of ranting against those feasting uselessly at the public trough, he now sits as a back-bench member of parliament on the public dole, not even saying a word and apparently just hiding in his office most of the time.
Just ignore the obvious hypocrisy. Perhaps it is well past due for Mr. Harper to go work in the private sector of the supposedly fabulous economy he left the rest of us?
Into Mr. Harper's shoes came the interim leader of the party, Rona Ambrose. As interim leader, she is forbidden by the party's constitution from seeking the permanent leadership position that will be voted on next year. A "draft Rona" movement has been started in attempt to change the party rule preventing her candidacy.
This leads to the rather sparse polling data on whom conservatives in Canada want to see as their next federal leader. In general, Peter MacKay and Kevin O'Leary top the polls in the range of 20% or so – give or take several percentage points either way – and there is even some minor nostalgia for Mr. Harper leading the pack at 28% in one recent poll.
But a new poll out yesterday shows that if Ms. Ambrose were allowed to run, she would lead the race at 26% – ahead of Messrs. O'Leary and MacKay, but hardly a ringing endorsement when you have been interim leader for six months and three quarters of the base doesn't want to see you handed the permanent position if the needed rule change went through.
The party has been drifting apart internally for some time, and Ms. Ambrose's interim leadership only adds to the wedge. She is a self-professed libertarian, although apparently a "libertarian who supports a strong role for government" (whatever that means), and while the two groups have some overlap, libertarians are not conservatives or vice versa, and conservatarians are so amorphous as to be incomprehensible to pin down on any ideological platforms – otherwise known as near-zero policy predictivity, which translates into little voter appeal, since the public doesn't know how you are likely to approach each decision if elected.
Ms. Ambrose also has an undergraduate degree in "women's and gender studies" from the University of Victoria. This is unfortunate. I had the misfortune of also attending this university, but in a science department, and it is a radical hotbed of nuttery, especially in those identity politics departments such as women's and gender studies. While one often makes a forgivable mistake on which degree one pursues when first arriving at college, there is no excuse for the one one leaves with. Why not get an intellectually rigorous and useful degree instead? How can anyone intelligent possibly sit through four years of the nonsense that goes on in "women's and gender studies"?
Canadian conservatism simply does not need this divisive viewpoint leading the party. Before all the misandrists in and around the new party leadership scream misogyny, this has nothing to do with gender, but everything to do with getting the party and the country focused exclusively on gender-neutral goals such as prosperity. And if you can't see a gender-blind path forward that views "women's and gender studies" as part of the problem, not the solution, then you are part of the problem, not the solution.
Ms. Ambrose has engaged directly in this gender-baiting game, such as when – during a discussion over the Liberal Party's national child care plan, she told Liberal M.P. Ken Dryden that "[w]orking women want to make their own choices. We don't need old white guys telling us what to do." Inexcusable racist and sexist nonsense, that comment was. Would young white guys have been different? How about visible minority men? Never mind that child care is far more complex than just an issue for women in the 21st century; some might have crazy views that both men and women should have a say on child care.
There were more constructive and intelligent ways of critiquing the deeply flawed Liberal plan without spouting what was spouted.
Sadly, such comments are neither unique to Ms. Ambrose nor a thing of the past. Michelle Rempel, the Conservative Party's official opposition critic for immigration, refugees, and citizenship under Ms. Ambrose, and that of #SecureBedroomSelfie infamy, recently penned an op-ed in a national newspaper accusing John McCallum, the immigration, refugees, and citizenship minister in the Liberal Party – of sexism for his comment to her in the House of Commons that "[w]e're into sunny ways. I would suggest to my colleague to look a little more cheerful."
I'm no fan of McCallum, whose misguided refugee and immigration policies are turning Canada into Syria North, but it is pure gibberish to call that sexism.
And liberals aren't the only ones bearing the brunt of the "you're a sexist pig" shout-down strategy by those in and around the party's leadership whenever they hear some criticism. For those watching carefully online over the past couple years, this tactic has been used against fellow conservatives as well. Tsk, tsk...perhaps that was sexist, too.
Times are difficult in Canada. The economy is sputtering – nay, it is now apparently going backwards. Average families are suffering greatly. Good, talented people are trying to get a foothold in society, and failing. Justin Trudeau is attempting to import the Middle East into the country to ensure a permanent electoral majority, while our citizens are getting their heads hacked off overseas by the same Islamists.
The Conservative Party of Canada is at a crossroads. True conservatives are ready to split for good, and some notable ones already have – often going over temporarily (at least) to the Liberal Party, of all places, or sitting in the no man's land between, which shows just how toxic the Conservative Party's new identity politics games(wo)manship and other problems have become.
No libertarians. No feminists. Just gender-blind conservatives, please, woman or man. Ignore that recommendation, and you will be staring at Liberal Party majority governments for as far as the eye can see.