PE Ledger

The only way to win the ideological battle between Conservative factions is to vote

Erin O'Toole

Internal party divisions have risen to the fore as a result of the COVID issue.

The schism within Alberta’s United Conservative Party (UCP) is a logical result of Jason Kenney’s 2017 merger of the Progressive Conservative (PC) and Wildrose Parties (WP).

The huge ideological differences that existed between members of those 2 parties were never addressed, and now, under the stress of the covid, those disagreements are resurfacing, posing a threat to the UCP’s stability. Albertans wield disproportionate power within the Conservative Party of Canada, and this dynamic is affecting the federal party as well.

I’ll refer to the two factions inside the UCP as conservatives and republicans for the purpose of clarity. Although there is some resemblance to the former PC and WP wings, it is not exact, and because neither of those parties exists longer, it is neither useful nor relevant to the federal battle to refer to them by their names in the current scenario.

Republicans vs. Conservatives

The UCP’s conservatives are ideologically connected with classic Canadian conservatism, believing that government has a role to play in society. I refer to the UCP’s second ideological branch as republicans, not because they advocate for the abolition of the monarchy, but because their philosophy is based on the language of the Republican Party in the United States.

 Erin O’Toole 

Conservatives can validly be categorised as being on the right side of the overused left-right continuum. The republicans’ philosophy, on the other hand, is all over the place. It’s a poisonous concoction of libertarianism and anarchism brewed in a vat of terror (fear of change, fear of the other, fear of being controlled).

The ideology is toxic to the political system because, if not openly encouraging disobedience to the law, the republicans are at the very least tolerant of their adherents disregarding the law for no reason other than their own personal convenience. The two camps have different political languages.

Conservatives believe in a government that is modest yet effective. The republicans believe that nothing the government does can’t be done better by private enterprise. In opposition to no government, there is little government.

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