LETTERS: Gap in political principles

Re: Sun News pundits Ezra Levant and Brian Lilley bring their Free Speech Tour to Penticton’s Royal Canadian Legion.

Re: Sun News pundits Ezra Levant and Brian Lilley bring their Free Speech Tour to Penticton’s Royal Canadian Legion on Dec. 12 (Western News, Dec.3).

On Lilley’s Nov. 20 show, he suggested Hugh Segal, Joe Clark and Preston Manning were “fake Conservatives.” He said Manning now argues for carbon pricing, and if a veteran conservative like Manning “no longer stands by (conservative) principles, then let’s just admit that they’ve left the tribe and let them go.” In an interview published Nov. 14 in The Globe & Mail, Manning said: “The words ‘conservative’ and ‘conservation’ come from the same root. Living within your means — something that fiscal conservatives believe in — is actually an ecological concept. You can’t take more out of a natural system than goes back into it. Conservatives could make the harnessing of market mechanisms to environmental conservation their signature contribution.” The reality is that Stephen Harper has driven the Conservative Party so far to the right in the last eight years that to Lilley and Levant, even Segal, Clark and Manning seem liberal by comparison. The majority of the Sun News gang are essentially neo-conservatives with a strong libertarian bent.

On Dec.18, 2013, then Conservative senator Hugh Segal (who resigned his seat last June) said on CBC’s The Current: “Neo-conservatism, I think is really the aggrandizement of selfishness. It’s about me, only me, and after that, me. It’s about investing only in things that produce a huge profit for yourself, and it’s not about society as a whole, and it tends to be very insensitive to those people who, for one reason or another, have fallen beneath the poverty line, and its’ engaged in presumptions that those people are all poor because they are lazy. Neoconservatives believe that fundamentally. The truth of the matter is that the vast majority of Canadians beneath the poverty line in this country actually work. Some of them hold down two jobs, and don’t actually get sufficient income in order to meet their basic obligations. So it’s a very different view, and I am a traditional Conservative, and I don’t apologize for that.”

For more info, search for Sun TV smears Preston Manning for believing in climate change on vancouverobserver.com, and read the bestseller Party of One (2014) by investigative journalist and iPolitics.ca contributor Michael Harris.

In Party of One Harris closely examines the majority government of a prime minister essentially unchecked by the Opposition. He looks at Harper’s policies, instincts, and the often breathtaking gap between his stated political principles and his practices. A chapter of Harris’s book (which discusses Canada’s veterans) can be read online.

David Buckna