Friday 20 May 2016

Open Letter to Canadians on the future of Canadian conservatism.

Progressive Canadian Party:
The future of Canadian conservatism.

For Immediate Release May 20, 2016

Newmarket, Ont. -
The Vancouver Convention of the Conservative Party, beginning May 26, will be a telling moment in the survival of what Preston Manning calls the "conservative movement" and most observers will recognize as the Canadian arm of American neoconservatism.  It will be the first meeting of the movement in Vancouver since the Reform convention in 1997 and the corporate party's first convention since the 2015 defeat.  It is meaningful for former Progressive Conservatives and Progressive Canadians, and indeed for Canadian politics.

The election result on October 19, 2015 is reason for members of the new Conservative Party of Canada to think deeply on the future of their party and on whether it really has a place in Canadian political life.

What is clear is that the party formed by the "merger"of the Canadian Alliance and the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada has been rejected by Canadians who now recognize the result of the merger was not the renewed Progressive Conservative party Tory voters have thought they were voting for in elections since 2003.

New Conservative Party policy, politics, outlook and direction and political culture have been imported from the Canadian Alliance and its predecessor the Reform Party.  Progressive Conservative policy, politics, outlook and direction and political culture have been pushed aside and ignored.

Some former Canadian Alliance members publicly revisited Preston Manning's infamous "The West wants in" diatribe by claiming "The West wants out."  They echo Stephen Harper's firewall federalism, showing their contempt for democracy and insulting all Canadians in all parts of Canada, North, South, East, and West. The party Stephen Harper founded is not about Tory and Canadian conservative principle.

Integrity, parliament, and Canada matter: that is the message of the 2015 election. The party once led by Stephen Harper, and previously by Stockwell Day and Preston Manning under other names, fails on all three counts. They framed the ballot question in the 2015 election. Canadians voted to replace the party, leader, and government in power since January 23, 2006.

Progressive Conservatives remaining in the new Conservative Party are justified in feeling betrayed by the policy and leadership of the decade old party.  It is time to either bring that party to an end or to create a renewed Progressive Conservative Party of Canada from the ashes of crushing defeat and rejection by Canadian voters.

Canadians will watch the Vancouver convention with interest.  Will we see a renewed Tory party or will the party created in 2003 fail to understand the message sent by Canadians on election day 2015?   "Will Conservatives go back to the future, or look forward to the past," as writer Michael Harris has asked?

Those of us who share the "progressive Conservative" vision of the Tory party Sir John A. Macdonald first spoke of in 1854 have reason to take heart in the decision of Canadians on October 19, 2015. The national vision of the party of Confederation, of nation-building, and of Sir John A.'s National Dream of One Dominion from Sea to Sea is endorsed by Canadians who see the divisive politics of the last ten years put to rest.

Canadians have moved on. It is time for what was purposely called briefly the "Conservative Party" to do so as well.

It is time for Progressive Conservatives to come together to restore the vision to the party which first built a strong, united Canada to take heart in the decision of Canadians. It is time to consider a Progressive Conservative alternative.  To present to Canadians the Progressive Canadian Party

This continuing "PC Party" exists to provide a principled home for progressive-conservatives who have decided enough is enough, that a Tory party must again become the party offering to Canadians nation-building and national unity.

We invite you to join us and we offer you leadership by example of what Sir John A. Macdonald's "progressive Conservative" party should look like to Canadians today.

For more information contact:
The Hon. Sinclair Stevens,
Leader, PC Party

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