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Conservatism, Centrism, and Progressive Politics.

Something that’s been bothering me about political narratives lately. Put aside CPC MPs cavorting with European MP, Christine Anderson, who is considered extremely right wing, authoritarian, racist, and nasty, it’s this strange idea that somehow the Liberals are a progressive party.

When I hear someone say that Prime Minister Trudeau is the world’s most successful progressive leader? He’s no progressive, he’s decidedly centrist. He tries to make everyone happy, despite likely understanding that it will never work with his political opponents, or their more ardent supporters.

Admitting reality does not make one progressive – The Federal PC party was open to reality too, and they weren’t particularly progressive despite the name. The biggest difference I can see between the PC and CPC is the PCs only wanted to handle things differently, not debate or deny what is real.

The Progressive Conservatives didn’t deny problems existed, they just had different approaches and ideas to deal with the reality of things. They privatized a lot and made life more expensive for people by cutting services to people in need, privatizing essential services such as power generation and delivery, telecommunications, rail, airlines, and so forth. The thing that killed them in the end was they sold too much, damaged revenue, and needed to bring in the GST to restore some of that lost revenue. I say killed them, because in 2003, they ceased to exist. They “merged” with Reform, but aside from a short stint as Deputy Prime Minister for Peter MacKay, the party faded into nothing.

The CPC? The CPC just pretends anything they don’t like isn’t real, or someone else’s fault.

You may remember Prime Minister Mulroney working with US President Ronald Reagan to deal with acid rain. A Progressive Conservative Prime Minister and a Republican President, worked together and solved an actual climate issue.

Today’s Republicans and CPC would just swear that rain had always melted the paint off of vehicles and housing, burned your skin, killed vegetation, made people and wildlife sick, and if you didn’t know that already? It would be your fault for not paying attention.

That’s the crux of it. For the CPC, reality is something to be ignored or even invented to ensure it suits their narrative.

No, I’d say that Prime Minister Trudeau is the world’s most progressive successful leader, not the world’s most successful progressive leader, that’s a problem, because what that means is the most successful progressive leader in the world is a centrist who leans left and right depending on the issue.

Neither Conservatives, nor Progressives have a viable political party in Canada, the best we can do right now is an admittedly charismatic centrist, flanked by hard right Reformers (the CPC, which was Reform, or the Canadian Alliance for a short time prior to them “merging” with the PC Party), and an honesty challenged NDP with very confusing leanings.

Admitting Climate Change is real isn’t progressive, it’s just factual.

Admitting the Covid pandemic is still doing horrific damage to Canada and the world isn’t fear mongering, it’s the truth – and Liberals are saying almost nothing about it.

Yes, they did give the provinces countless billions to deal with it, but they didn’t say a much of anything when the provinces planned highways with it or threw it all into general revenue to show budget surpluses while health care crashed and burned. A progressive party would be SCREAMING from the rooftops about this.

Our Prime Minister did much more than the official opposition would have, and I’ll thank him for that, but to call him a progressive is just a giant pile of malarkey. We have a hardline right-wing fool in Pierre Poilievre, a waffling centrist in Prime Minister Trudeau, and Jagmeet Singh, a lawyer who (apparently) doesn’t understand Provincial vs Federal jurisdiction, sitting on the sidelines slinging mud, and making promises to take down the government from time to time.

Historically, and now, the Liberals most progressive policy actions have been the result of winning a Minority Parliament, with the NDP holding the balance of power. Tommy Douglas is why we have universal health care, he was NDP, not Liberal.

Sadly, I don’t believe for a second Jagmeet Singh is the heir apparent to Tommy Douglas. He plays anger politics; he spreads lies about jurisdiction. Jagmeet is a political gamer, not a progressive, even if some of his intentions are progressive.

What I believe is essential to a good, progressive government?

– Admitting reality.
– Knowing that a well educated, healthy population is the key to a strong, resilient economy
– Making sure people have access to housing they can afford and everything they need
– Making sure that nobody falls through the cracks
– Making sure that when people need help, it’s there
– Making sure that you can get the things you want, even if you need to save money over time.
– Eliminating poverty. Supporting veterans.
– Keeping education public, affordable (or free), fact based, and nonpartisan.
– Keeping a free, Canadian owned media, with strong rules and regulations against partisanship, false information, misleading narratives.
– Knowing that people living in the streets is a failure of our system, not our citizens.

While we are slowly making improvements, it’s SLOW.

Also, essential health care needs to available to anyone who needs it, without costs or barriers to access.

Mental Heath and Addiction services are essential health care.
Dental care is essential health care.
Vision care is essential health care.
Prescription Medications are essential health care.
Child Care and Senior Care are both essential health care.
Housing is essential to living in this country, it gets cold.

Until everyone has access to all of those, and by everyone, I mean every single person? We’re failing.

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