“A setback has often cleared the way for greater prosperity. Many things have fallen only to rise to more exalted heights.”
– Seneca, Letters from a Stoic
This week, the Conservative movement in Canada faced a great test. A test of unity. A string of tweets from a former leadership candidate struck a storm in the political world.
I will not comment on the individual or the contents of the tweets, however, I will comment on Conservative unity. As a big tent party we usually agree on most things, however, at times, Conservatives from coast to coast to coast disagree on certain aspects of policy.
The result of this test is evidence that we do not see the Conservative movement of today. We see a Conservative movement of more than 14 years ago. We see one side questioning the beliefs, loyalties, and commitments of the other, while the other questions their moderation and discipline.
It seems like the Conservative movement has suffered from political amnesia. Just recently in 2015, the Leftist NDP won a majority government defeating a 40-year Conservative government. They lost due to a majority of Conservative votes being divided between the Wild Rose and the Progressive Conservatives. However, hope came across the horizon in the form of a campaign named Unite Alberta. This campaign was led by former Harper Cabinet Minister Jason Kenney. Kenney proceeded to unite the two parties in a referendum with a 95% approval from both sides and then went on to win the United Conservative Leadership in the latter half of 2019. The party currently polls as the most popular party in Alberta.
If we jump back 14 years ago on the federal stage the same thing happened. A divided movement came together in the hopes of bringing a United Conservative message to the people of Canada after over a decade of Liberal rule. The leaders of Canada’s right of center parties, Stephen Harper (Reform) and Peter MacKay (Progressive Conservative) came together to create the Conservative Party of Canada. Harper then led the party to victory and held government for nearly a decade.
As of now, the left is cheering with our division. They want to see a divided conservative movement, name calling, and instability.
Now the question becomes do we stand united or do we stand divided to fall?
While there continues to be some infighting within the party, we must take into context what this adversity means to us as a movement. If we, as a united movement, decide to stand together like Jason Kenney did in Alberta and Stephen Harper did before him, we will not only overcome this, but we will come out stronger than ever before.
As the election is a year away, we have a lot of work to do. Next week we will come together to set the direction of the party come 2019. We must stay united, check one another and move on. We must fight against the temptations of a division as it will only lead to opposing victories.
“United we stand divided we fall.” – Proverb