“And if anyone objects to this union, speak now or forever…”

“And if anyone objects to this union, speak now or forever…”

So it seems our country’s two conservative political parties are looking to tie the knot, a sort of same-sex marriage I suppose one can say. There will even be a name change to go with it. The long cycle of flirting followed by the courtship, has got them to where they are now, both ready to take the plunge. But they first have to get the blessing of their proverbial parents, the membership.

This brings up the question, will it receive the blessing or will the groom get tossed out into the street on his backside?

The groom in this case is clearly Stephen Harper. This is quite evident from his almost stalker-like pursuit of the bride, Peter MacKay and the PC party, over the last couple of months. And while some family members on both sides are sending in their RSVPs for a spot at the wedding, others are sharpening their knives and cleaning their unregistered firearms, ready to make sure this holy (or unholy – you pick) matrimony doesn’t make it to the alter.

In my mind, the bride’s family should be chilling the champagne and it’s the groom’s family that should be looking for a good oak tree for a lynching. Yet it seems the other way around! This just makes me scratch my head in awe; after all, it’s the Alliance that has given almost all the concessions to the PC party. The new party, based on its vague, loose, and top down statement of principles assures that 90% of the PC party’s members won’t know the difference between the new and the old. The only thing that might tip them off is the presence of more family members, and the more than normal sightings of cowboy hats at family get-togethers.

Not sure that it was the Alliance that sacrificed everything for this marriage, you say? Well first of all, I don’t recall, nor can I find any mention of, a time that Peter MacKay “actively sought out” Mr. Harper to propose a merger and to beg him to accept. “But wait” you say, the PCs are ready to change their party name. Yes right, now it will be called the PC party of Canada, that’s PC with a silent P. I mean up to now when someone said ‘the conservative party’ did you really think ¡¥Oh they must be talking about the Canadian Alliance?’ Heck Tories drop the term progressive from their name themselves when talking on the news etc. So no, I don’t really see this as a big concession on the Tories part. Let’s examine some principles set out for their parties by the two love birds MacKay and Harper:

:: “We will create a national force that reaches out to all Canadians, not just like-minded conservatives.”

“Not just like minded Conservatives!!!!” Does this comment mean that they should consort with communists if it suits their purposes? Not that I have anything against Communists, while their dream has yet to be proven, some would argue so has democracy’s. The question here is, will this kind of thinking be a big trait of the new party? Consort and sell out to whomever helps advance their march to 24 Sussex Drive? Actually this is already an unspoken PC party principle (reference Mulroney) so nothing new for them here. I remember the Reform days when the motto was “we will not sell out to big business and vocal minority groups to come to power.” It’s amazing how over a decade in opposition will change one’s perspective.

:: A balance between fiscal accountability, progressive social policy and individual rights and responsibilities;

Progressive social policy!? I am not sure just what this vague statement entails but you social conservatives in the Alliance better get clarification on this before you vote for this merger. Sounds more like they conveniently missed a word there and it should have read, ¡¥Progressive CONSERVATIVE social policy.’

:: Build a national coalition of people who share these beliefs and who reflect the regional, cultural and socio-economic diversity of Canada and, Develop this coalition, embracing our differences and respecting our traditions, yet honoring a concept of Canada as the greater sum of strong parts

That’s darn right, the East wants in on the Alliance’s success, and we Tories are tired of your Western influence. Join us and we will see to it that this gets neutralized ASAP.

:: “The Leadership will be conducted on a One-Member, One-Vote Point System: It is very similar to one-member, one-vote, but allows for each riding to be weighted equally, thus giving each riding access and importance in the process.”

“It is very similar to one-member, one-vote, but¡K”, yeah but, it isn’t in any way. A one member one vote system is in no way like a “disregard the number of members in a riding” percent based vote weighting system.

:: “Each riding is worth 100 points (i.e., 100%). Leadership candidates are assigned a point total based on their percentage of the vote in each riding. For example, if Candidate A received 50% of the vote, he or she gets 50 points. If Candidate B received 20% of the vote, he or she gets 20 points.”

This assures that 1000 people in a riding of 4000 in Alberta get the same weight to their vote as 10 people from a riding in Weed Hedge Newfoundland with a membership of 40. Ah fair enough!

:: “To win, a candidate must obtain a majority of points from across the country. Preferential ballot (single transferable vote) will be used.”

Ah yes! “Preferential ballot,” this ensures that at least 25% of the people in both parties will not understand how the vote tally works.

You PCers should note, there is no mention of parliamentary reform so there’s a good chance you will still be able to appoint your friends to the senate. Oh and don’t worry, only one sentence made an indirect reference to grassroots rule in the party but they made sure not to use to word “Grassroots,” so you will still have no real say in policy development within the new party. Plus Mike Harris is toying with running for leadership. If this happens and he wins you will even have an eastern Tory leader like you do now. Since all party funds will be merged, the Alliance’s surplus will help to cut down your seemingly unmanageable debt, and assure that the new party starts off in the red, just like you “red” Tories like it. Plus based on recent polls 47% of Canadians would vote for your new party (1). If this is true it means you can finally start repaying those old promises and favors that have been stacking up in your basement.

Considering all the things that will remain unchanged or in the favor of the PC family with this merger, they are the ones who should be ready to celebrate. For they, with smaller numbers, weaker influence, and less cash are about to take over a larger, more powerful, and richer party. Don’t they see the coup they are about to pull off? I mean the Alliance members don’t; for I can assure you, after giving away everything some of them spent over a decade working for, they will, on December 12th, eagerly join the same party they left years ago.

(1) http://www.ipsos-reid.com/media/dsp_displaypr_cdn.cfm?id_to_view=1928

An “Agreement in Principle” between the PC and Ca party can be found on the PC party web site under the quick links section. http://www.pcparty.ca/

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