Why Conservatives need to stop being the nasty party

For a long time in UK, Tories were seen as the nasty party. That was a major problem from 1997 to 2010 when party lost three elections and failed to get 1/3 of the vote each time. There was a strong view its nastiness was turning people away and party was becoming one that appealed to an older angry rural population, but not modern UK. Under David Cameron the party modernized to be a more forward looking party that appealed to younger Brits and those that wanted positive conservative solutions. And it paid off as party won 4 straight elections and in power for 12 years and counting.

I feel in Canada our Conservatives are increasingly becoming the mean party that appeals to people’s anger without actual solutions to deal with problems causing them. And just wants to whip up hatred towards so called Liberal elites, CBC, liberal media, and whatever group they feel is standing in their way. More importantly, I’ve noticed a lot of the rhetoric is trying to appeal to people’s selfishness not greater good. Things like drop all mandates because inconvenient for me with no regard to how it impacts others is quite concerning. I believe government under Trudeau has gotten too large and is involved in too many things that are better left to individuals and private sector. But the nastiness by the right of calling one an authoritarian for telling me I cannot do this or I have the right to do what I want and how dare you tell me I cannot is troubling. Canada is already a very free country and part of living in a society is being mindful of others. We may not agree on what is best solution to fix issues of the day, but we need to stop calling people authoritarians, dictators or other nonsense when we disagree. I am no fan of Trudeau, but he is not a dictator. And rather than stoking the flames, our leaders should like John McCain did when running in 2008 urge followers that he is a decent person who wants best for Canada, but we just happen to disagree on how best to achieve it. Not all the nasty stuff towards those who vote for parties on left. Right complains about Trudeau creating more divisions which is partly true, but right is also partially at fault too for those. Their nastiness is driving anyone who is not part of their base away.

I feel party is too much copying the tea party a decade ago and to lesser extent more recently Trump which is based on anger and irrational hatred of Liberals. You are not going to win by painting the 50% of Canadians who voted Liberal or NDP as authoritarians or commies. Nor do you win by telling anyone who normally votes Conservative and is Conservative on most issues but happens to lean left on some they are a liberal and need to leave the party. You win by expanding not shrinking tent. Fact is most sensible Canadians look at each issue individually and on some issues may lean left, others right. There is nothing wrong with being a liberal or having progressive views. I disagree with them on a lot of issues, but I believe a healthy society is one with a variety of viewpoints and where we debate vigorously the merits of each policy but respect other side even when we disagree. I worry the right flank of party is trying to pander to selfishness and hatred of other and that is not what I want for Canada. Some say if a true Conservative I should stand up for beliefs and stop trying to please Liberals. My response is I care about Canada and I believe we have a duty to listen to other side and propose our views. We may not get them to agree and that is okay, but trying to create wedges between them is not way to go. Conservatives need to remember that more Canadians lean left than lean right and by trying to attack left, you are attacking majority of Canadians and even for those of us on right; many of us have family and friends on left and we don’t see them as the bad people some in base paint them as. If we want to heal the divide, this will just make things worse not better. Yes left can be nasty at times, but two wrongs don’t make a right. And maybe one should understand why left is often nasty. I believe left wants a fairer and more socially just society and they rightfully get angry at people they see trying to block progress and I don’t blame them. Solution is not to argue against their goals, but rather there is a better way to achieve them. Fact is you can be a conservative and still favour a socially just society, tolerant, equality of opportunity, cleaner environment, less poverty. Those are not things left has lock on.

I don’t expect people on left to agree with me on many issues although ironically enough I’ve found when I sit down with people whether they are on right or on left, I find unless someone too locked into conspiracy theories, we actually agree on more than not and our politics tends to try to exaggerate differences and ignore what we have in common. If most people see party in a bad light, it will continue to lose. But even if like GOP in US, party can get enough to win, I don’t think its healthy for the country. Canada has second largest landmass in world with two languages and the reason we have managed to stay together for 155 years is because we have adopted a policy of listening to others and trying to find common ground. I fear if we move towards greater polarization, this won’t last in future. And for me I am a Canadian first, small c conservative second. So I wish party would knock this off. Yes vigorously disagree with other side but argue why you think your ideas work better and also listen to other side as no ideology or party has a monopoly on good or bad ideas.

I get with Trudeau being more left wing than past leaders, some are quite angry. But this will not be fixed by going to opposite end. Yes government has gotten too big, but we are not a dictatorship or on the road to becoming the next Venezuela. And problems he has created can be fixed without going off the deep end.

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