In light of the conservative base's sense of betrayal over the new more or less Liberal budget, Stephen Taylor has replied thusly:
A political party’s first and last job is to get elected. If you thought that the Conservative Party should have held its ground, flipped off the opposition, delivered $30 billion in tax cuts and went out in a blaze of glory then you have the benefit of layering fantasy on a wholly incongruent political landscape where the pragmatists thrive. A political party, in practice, is not much more than a marketing machine to sell ideas to an electorate looking to buy them. However, elections span a meager 36 days and unless a voter is conditioned to think conservatively, they won’t vote Conservative. If a Conservative party does form government — especially a minority government — the long term goal is the same: keep the upper hand, survive when strategically beneficial, and win elections.
Mr. Taylor, a political party's first and last job is to do what is right. What benefit is there in the Conservative Party forming government if their primary concern will always be retaining power at the expense of representing the values that they were elected to defend? The good politician takes chances and defends his principles to the bitter end. The good politician never surrenders his values to the mewing of his critics nor does he sacrifice the liberty of his constituents to keep himself politically viable.
A politician's ability to be 'pragmatic' may win a few converts come election time but it will likely cost him the votes of many former faithfuls who decide to stay home rather than vote for a man who will refuse to represent his views when his back is against the wall. Pragmatism does not win elections, Mr. Taylor, principles do.
We must remember that the goal of politics is not, in fact, to permit competing political parties to jockey for power while trampling over the rights of Canadian citizens who, in turn, prefer to dismiss it all as inevitable given the nature of the system. The goal of politics must be to preserve and protect the rights of Canadian citizens. This budget fails to do that. Hell, it isn't even a step in the right direction.
And that is no fantasy, sir, that is principle.
Mr. Taylor continues:
We can lament the budget delivered by our Conservative Party and complain that it goes against our instincts as conservatives. But yesterday, the Conservative government did it’s [sic] job, it presented a survivable budget in the current political climate. However, the conservative movement failed because it was unsuccessful in creating the conditions of ideological survivability for what should have been a sincerely conservative budget.
I see that we're exempting Stephen Harper and his government from the 'conservative movement' now. As appropriate as that may be after this budget, I will admit that it seems like an odd thing to do. We as citizens are responsible for creating a political climate that is conducive to conservatism but the leader of the Conservative Party of Canada is not? We must follow our principles and act according to our standard of the good but the Prime Minister of our country ought to be lauded for represented Liberal principles rather than Conservative ones?
In every walk of life, Mr. Taylor, it is my sincere conviction that one can compromise on price but never on principle. Harper has repeatedly demonstrated that he lives by the very opposite maxim. I will never support a man's actions simply because they are strategically effective.
Searching For Liberty - "... And I always thought the idea of politics was to have an honest plan, and let the voters decide if they approve."
Small Dead Animals - These poll results show where Canadian conservatives stand on the matter.
Catprint In The Mash - Faithful Iggy
Gerry Nicholls - "Coalition Dead But Victorious"