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Conservative leopards can’t change their spots

Posted on April 20, 2023 by Vauxhall Advance

Dear Editor:

Re: March 21/2023 letter from Mr. Ray Sheen—More Statesmanship Needed From Poilievre

     Mr. Sheen dislikes Mr. Poilievre’s approach of constant attack. Conservatives’ problems, however, are deeper and broader than Mr. Poilievre’s style. In the Conservative Party his role has always been that of attack dog. His approach has always been abrasive, antagonistic and aggressive, and all only to score what are perceived as political points. No one in the Harper government, nor anyone in the seven years since has ever counselled him to be the “statesman” Mr. Sheen wishes he was, or if anyone has, their counselling has failed. Can a leopard change its spots? What do you have if it does? Putting a hockey goon in a 99 uniform will not give the team Wayne Gretzky. Mr. Sheen wants him to have “…respect and decency towards his adversaries…”, and laudably so, but change will not happen. The next paragraph tells you why.

     Alberta M.P. Michelle Rempel Garner, one of the most highly respected Conservative politicians in Canada, was asked last spring to run for the leadership of Alberta’s UCP.. She refused, and explained her refusal, last June, by describing both the federal Conservatives and the UCP as follows:

“In both parties there have been squabbles that have erupted in the pages of the national media: public meltdowns, nearly missed physical fights,coups, smear jobs, leaked recordings and confidential e-mails, lack of consensus on critical issues, caucus turfings, people harassed to the point where they resign roles, and hours-long meetings where members have been subjected to hours of public castigation.” 

This is a description of fact from a high-ranking Conservative. It is not merely my opinion. Conservative moderates are overpowered by those on the far right, who carry on as above, and who are motivated by resentment, fear, suspicion, mistrust, disaffection, petty provincialism, and, even, hatred. No one with such motivation can either choose a generally appealing leader, nor can they effect good governance, because they crave a return to the past and are thus incapable of building a future. Mr. Poilievre’s style appeals to them because of the short-term attention it receives, but it is a smoke-screen, with little substance behind it.

Gregory R. Côté, Irvine

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