Derek Sloan was recently ousted from the Conservative caucus for being too Conservative. Erin O’Toole has defended this egregious act, and in doing so, has revealed himself a fool with no historical understanding to his very party’s namesake. As such, he is committing political suicide for himself and his Party.
The Conservative Party used to be called the Progressive Conservative Party. With time, the Progressive creep edged it incrementally into an uncomfortable left of center geography. This ideological drift culminated, in 1995, to a backlash bastard child named the Reformed Party. This new conservative child placed immense policy and electoral pressure on the overly progressive emphasizing PC Party. This is similar to the Tea Party movement in the USA and their push to re-`conserve’ the Republican Party.
Political parties, by nature of their varied and heterogeneous electorates, need to be large umbrella organizations. These necessities have culminated in an uneasy amalgamation of fiscal and social conservative voters occupying the same tent. This is because social conservatives are fiscal conservatives, so non-social fiscal conservatives have moderated their social policies to accommodate their socially-minded brethren, and essentially, persuaded them to vote with them. This synergistic tactic, where they find commonality to maximize electoral success has been fruitful and has allowed them to win elections and gain political sway. Both entities within this agreement were required to offer a degree of compromise on lesser social policies for the greater fiscal objective.The consequence of this was that non-social fiscal conservatives (from their perspective) had to hold their noses, slightly, to accommodate the voice of pro-life advocates (for example). While social conservatives, likewise, had to accept the reality that their moral directives would never be the thrust of policy, but they were assured that, in the very least, social bread crumbs would be thrown their way to purchase their voting allegiance.
The PC party had forgotten this partnership, and this (in part) birthed the Reform Party. The unfortunate happenstance of dueling right of center parties is vote splitting. Because of the schism, the PC party and the Reformed Party were guaranteed to never have electoral success. And this proved correct, when the Liberal Party profited from the vote splitting and trounced them on Election Day.
The aftermath of this electoral defeat was self-reflection and a renewed interest in a more pragmatic, as opposed to ideological, strategic plan. The consequence was a merger between the Progressive Conservative Party and the Reformed Party. The PC party dumped their overtly progressive moniker (and heightened left leaning ideological slant) and consumed the Reformed Party forming a new entity; a large conservatively minded ideological umbrella, called the Conservative Party.
This occurred in 2003: 18 years ago. Now fast forward to 2021: today.
Derek Sloan is metaphorically representative of the Reformed Party. Erin O’Toole is representative of the Progressive Conservative Party. And there is now a concerted effort within the Conservative Party to oust these Reformed minded conservatives and to expel them. Erin O’Toole is breaking the tentative agreement that allowed these dissimilar factions to co-exist. He is strategically breaking the social/fiscal conservative alliance and is actively expelling the social conservatives from his party. Interestingly enough, he does not seem to understand that he isn’t simply expelling members of parliament from his party, he is actually expelling the socially-minded people those MP’s represent: and that is a sizable voting bloc.
In essence, Erin O’Toole is attempting to recreate the Progressive Conservative Party. How long will it take for the reincarnation of the Reformed Party to organize? Is the newly formed Maverick Party a comfortable home for these expelled and distraught social conservatives? Or is there a new party on the event horizon? Erin O’Toole needs an historical refresher as to why the Conservative Party holds that namesake. You heard it here first: He’s about to pull a Danielle Smith.
Either way, if Trudeau wasn’t lost in a cannabinoid cloud, he’d be laughing himself silly. Or sillier.