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Marjory LeBreton: Conservative Existential Identity Crisis

This is the third leadership race in six years, and the messages commonly sent to Canadians are not specifically heard by conservatives. .. You need to understand this correctly. Time

Conservative leadership candidates take part in a debate in Ottawa on May 5.
Conservative leader candidates will be available on May 5th. Participate in the debate in Ottawa.Photo: Adrian Wyld / The Canadian Press

The Canadian Conservative Party is on the verge of an identity crisis.

I am conservative in all of my adult life and have witnessed the evolution and repetition of the party for over 60 years. All the while — from the time I was a secretary at party headquarters and John Diefenbaker's office, after years as a warhorse in a battle where everything seemed to be significant at the time, in the Canadian Senate. A common bond that has always united conservatives when we worked for the best interests of the party and the country, up to my gratitude service.

Indeed, the conservative challenge has always been more difficult given the diverse interests of the country and the particular composition of our party on behalf of the region. This was part of our strength, but it was also the cause of our difficulty in expanding the proceedings in the elections. As proof of that, I point out the simple fact that our party has been in power only three times since I first joined the party's staff in the final years of the Diefenbaker administration in the 1960s. Lived in the Clark government. From 1984 to 1993, with the government led by the visionary and brave Brian Mulroney. And from 2006 to 2015 under the very intelligent and disciplined Stephen Harper. Calculated to be 19 years in total over the last 60 years.

Now I enthusiastically believe that the Conservatives have reached an existential choice. The current leadership race is the third in six years, and messages commonly sent to Canadians cannot be heard, especially by conservatives. This time we need to get it right. Otherwise, I'm worried that the wonderful accommodation that Stephen Harper and Peter McKay arrived in the fall of 2003 could be destroyed and probably irreparable.

Obviously, this trend cannot continue if you are serious about getting Canadian support in future elections. Apart from the ambiguity of the treatment of the last leader, Erin O'Toole, and what it says on a human scale, it was clear that he had lost support for the caucuses. The party moved quickly and began the process of choosing the next leader. Personally, I resisted the request for early voting and praised the Leadership Election Organizing Committee, which chose a longer campaign instead. The wise decision to vote on September 10 gives potential leaders the time they need to participate in races, organize campaigns, sell memberships, and introduce memberships.

In an essay written for the centrist political groupCenterIce Conservativeswho participated in February, I have serious and respect for potential leaders. I urged you to act. Discuss with a focus on the problems and solutions that people really care about, and by their actions, who we are, what we represent, and how the country, if given the opportunity, Indicates whether to govern. I wrote that if they did, all of us would be winners. I warn of the dangers of divisive and excessive rhetoric, and as it is now, fueling the flames of vitriol, dissatisfaction, and anger has not solved anything, and some of the very great things our country is facing. I felt that it was even more difficult to solve a serious problem. Eventually, anger subsides and people look for a solution. Sadly, for some people, when an angry page is turned, the next page is blank. It's not there.

After writing an overly optimistic (probably naive) essay, I observed the subsequent scene — and yes — it's a scene — increasing vigilance. increase. Six individuals have met the candidate's requirements and have been approved by the party to run for leadership. It should have been relatively easy for each and every one of us to give a positive message about why we felt it was the best choice. There is no such luck.

Apparently, sharp divisions, conflicting perspectives, and injured ego were expected. But how do some potential leaders take their competitors seriously when they call their competitors corrupt, liar, or laughable "liberal" tags and resort to untrue, bullying, and commonly criticized behaviour? Will it be possible? What happened to the widely-recognized truth that conservatives cannot succeed without appealing to voters who voted for other parties when they heard such nonsense?

The two party-sponsored debates in May created some positive moments, but the overall view is that members have the ideas and leadership skills of each candidate. The opportunity to evaluate was inadequate. Therefore, now that the membership list is in place, it is imperative that the party sponsor a third debate. This is being taken seriously, but there are rumors that some campaigns are resisting.  Shame all of us if the party succumbs to the threat of one or more candidates. The third debate provides members with a final chance to truly test the candidate in full public.

I have not participated in a leadership candidate campaign. Instead, I decided to join the centre-right to add my voice to the majority of centre-rights in the centre-right. In February, I resigned from the Carleton riding board at the so-called Freedom Convoy. Illegal blockades are cross-border, pipelines, railroads, cities and their citizens. Respect for law is at the core of my conservative beliefs, and in fact law and order are the foundation of conservatism. When I resigned, I referred to an article in Policy Magazine by veteran strategists Jeff Nokay and Yaroslav Balan. "A successful leader, no matter who he or she is, is not the head waiter of the faction, but the coordinator and steward, who is responsible for advancing all energy towards a common goal." "

Some people have suggested that people who share my opinion resist change. This is ridiculous. Throughout my years at the party, we have evolved and changed as needed by modern political parties. I'm all looking for change. In fact, this is a problem for Conservative members. Are we changing with the times? Do we represent positive change? Are you aware of and supporting Canada's demographic changes? Would a significant number of Canadians see themselves at our party, change their minds, and consider voting for Conservative candidates the next time they head to polls?

We are certainly in existential moments and repeat. This time we have to get it right. I have long been about their voting by choosing leaders who can use the power of secret ballots to appeal to all Conservative voting members nationwide and lead us to victory in the next incompetent and directionless election. It is highly recommended to think seriously and the ethically challenged Liberal Party government. The beliefs, hopes, views and issues of our party will never be dealt with unless we are elected. The future of our party, but more importantly, the future of our country is at stake.

This essaywas originally published in Policy Magazineand has been republished here with permission.

Marjory LeBreton is a longtime conservative who has worked for the party since the days of Diefenbaker. She was appointed to the Senate by Prime Minister Brian Mulroney in 1993, and was appointed to the Senate's government leader by Prime Minister Stephen Harper in 2006, and she was in office until 2013. She retired from the Senate in 2015.

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