The conservative movement in Canada is too small, and that’s a problem.
To make Canada into the kind of country that we want, the movement needs to be larger than a political party, and I’ll tell you why.
But first we need to establish the difference between the purpose of a movement, and the goals of the movement. The goals are easy. That’s where most people stop.
Our goals are that we want a Canada where everyone is free to seek their fortunes and speak their minds. We believe that the government should treat its citizens with respect. That means having a government that respects the Constitution. Respecting the Constitution means obeying the division of powers outlined in sections 91 & 92. That’s important, because our Constitution outlines that healthcare is a provincial matter.
We want Canadians to be treated fairly by the government. That means the government should not tax “bad” behaviour and reward “good” behaviour. Politicians aren’t the model of morality, and they certainly shouldn’t be legislating it. Don’t charge a sugar tax. Don’t charge a beer tax. Don’t give tax breaks for children’s art or fitness programs. Tax us all at the same low rate. When you cut the tax credits, you cut the cost of auditing taxes. Revenue Canada costs taxpayers over $4-billion a year. Wouldn’t it be nice to cut that in half?
We want a government that understands the importance of personal responsibility. Not a government that tries to do all things for all people, with the population sliced into different demographics that all get a trinket promised come election time.
When refugees come to Canada under private sponsorship, 29% end up using food banks, according to a federal government report. That might seem high, but 65% of government-sponsored refugees end up relying on the food bank. Within five years, 41% of government-sponsored refugees rely on welfare. But only 28% of privately-sponsored refugees did. As Maxime Bernier put it, “When the government is responsible, nobody is responsible.”
We can’t just expect a political party to represent these views. We have work to do before that can happen. But the public misunderstands politicians, and that causes cynicism.
Politicians need to chase voters, not persuade voters. Politicians go to the public and say, “Please vote for me. I’ll do what you want.” If the public is calling for more federal healthcare spending, then more federal healthcare spending is what will be offered.
The goal of a politician might be power. But the purpose of a politician is to represent the views of those who voted them into office.
The goals of this movement are stated above. But the purpose of the movement is entirely different. The purpose is to change public opinion, and get our politicians elected.
We need to create cultural change. If we do our job properly, we nudge a large enough segment of the voting population into agreeing with our goals. They end up saying things like, “the federal government should stop meddling in provincial affairs. Enough of this squabbling over tax transfers. Stop the shell game. Get the federal government out of healthcare!”
Sure enough, if that’s what the public is saying, you’ll see Conservatives making those promises. If we do a really good job, the Liberals will start making those promises. Heck, even the NDP could probably be made to see the wisdom in letting the provinces grow their tax bases to fund their own healthcare spending.
That’s why the movement is important.
And that’s why you should get involved.