Monday, January 03, 2005

We will stand by your side, filled with hope and filled with pride

Like a number of others, I've joined the Blogging Tories (formerly "Blogs for the CPC," in an awkward parallel to "Blogs for Bush"), mainly under the notion that it can't possibly hurt. I should note that I'm not currently a member of the Conservative Party. This isn't a blank check of support for the CPC - I have been getting somewhat fed up with their inability to capitalize better on Liberal gaffes lately, and given the small share of power that minority government has brought them, the caucus does seem to be letting their priorities slip. That said, there's such a thing as pragmatism. I don't support - and in fact find somewhat repellent - some of the most socially conservative Tory policies. But I can appreciate that there are those who feel differently, and a big-tent party requires that kind of compromise; given that this big tent is the only one with even the remotest chance of unseating the current dominant one, I can make allowances. I did last year. Likewise, the election of 2000 fell about two months short of my being old enough to vote. Unable to participate directly, I did so indirectly - donating to (and acquiring a party membership in) the Canadian Alliance. I wasn't entirely comfortable with their platform then either, but when there's (realistically) two sides, picking one is no vice. Better to compromise on the minor things than to stay neutral (or worse, support a fringe party), affecting aloof superiority by calling a pox on both houses. Pick a side, any side, at any point in electoral history; they'll both have their good and bad points, but one is always slightly less bad, be it Whig or Federalist or GOP. Whatever issues I may have with the more intrusively statist party policies or embarassing candidates (I'm looking at you, Cheryl Gallant; it's a good thing I no longer live in Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke, or I'd have had a tough decision last year), the party as a whole deserves support if only for being the opposition, at this point. The odds seem pretty good a federal election will be called this year. If the Blogging Tories can help to shape the campaign debate even one-tenth as much as Blogs for Bush did, I'll be feeling much more upbeat about the outcome.


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