Friday, February 04, 2005

Torie Infighting

A split appears to be brewing between Conservatives and the Canadian Republican Party. Real Conservatives are sick and tired of religious fanatics taking over their party, and they are getting ready for a fight at next month's policy convention.

Moderate Conservatives complain that they are being frozen out of the party by Stephen Harper. They point to Harper's control over delegate selection, suggesting that Harper is only allowing hard-line Republican North delegates. Socially liberal Conservatives are upset about the wingnut Conservative ideology on same sex marriage and abortion.

It appears as though real Conservatives have a lot to complain about. Delegate selection meetings have recently been dominated by anti-abortion activists who only recently joined the party. A recent delegate selection meeting in Moncton was cancelled because the party didn't have a membership list. It was reconvened later with a list produced by Harper's cronies rather than local executives.

Real Conservatives have been fighting back against their Republican friends and have put forth several measures to be debated at the convention. One, if accepted, would ensure abortion rights. Another would spell out the scenarios in which the party would use the notwithstanding clause -- an effort to block Harper from promoting the use of the clause to block gay marriage.

This fight has been in the making ever since the Republican's takeover of the Conservative party. Members of the party are increasingly concerned that Stephen Harper's right wing social agenda will ruin the party's chances in Central and Eastern Canada. But Stephen Harper is more concerned with promoting his radical agenda than with what's best for the party, the country, or even himself.


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