This is from Westernstandardblog.
Coyne is a self described socialist? He is better most times as a columnist than as a self-describer obviously. Insofar as Harper has advanced leftist policies it has been for strategic reasons. After all Harper had to have parliament prorogued when a united opposition was about to defeat a very right wing economic bill. Harper then had to come back with a budget that was acceptable to the Liberals. Governments right and left are forced by the economic situation to run deficits and provide stimulus packages. They are all meant to help save capitalism from depression. It is difficult to see anything left in all this unless you are a true blue died in the wool free market theologian.
Monday, April 13, 2009
Andrew Coyne: Harper conservatives are left-wing
At the now infamous Manning Centre convention, Maclean's editor Andrew Coyne -- who is a Facebook fan of the Cato Institute, F.A. Hayek, Michael Ignatieff, Bob Rae, and Ken Dryden, as well as a self-described 'socialist' with (what I think is) a great taste in music -- accused the Harper conservatives of shifting Canadian politics to the left in a speech to convention delegates. Here is an excerpt from his speech:
On policy after policy, the Conservatives have abandoned their convictions, they have discarded their principles, they have at times broken their promises, and even in one infamous case, violated their own law. So it’s an odd definition of compromise that suggests not just half a loaf is better than no loaf, but that no loaf is acceptable. [...]
My complaint is not just that the Conservatives have abandoned conservatism themselves — which is annoying to me mostly because I believe there should be a conservative alternative, even if I don’t necessarily subscribe to it. But they’ve closed off the possibility of anyone else applying it either. They haven’t moved the middle to them, they haven’t even moved to the middle. All they’ve done is shift the spectrum further and further to the left.
The right wing of Canadian politics is now defined by $35-billion deficits, unilateral withdrawals from Afghanistan, the nationhood resolution for Quebec — go down the list. And so whole sections of public policy — privatization, tax cuts, you name it — have been ruled off-limits, because they’re now seen as just unimaginably extreme: Even the Tories wouldn’t do it.
We now see Conservative ministers going out and positively boasting that their approach to, let’s say, global warming, is more interventionist and more regulatory than the Liberals’. The Tories would say that the Liberals want to give people a licence to pollute, whereas we would forbid it. Conservatives now go about the country boasting about the pork that they’re bringing to the ridings.