Even in Canada, conservatism is a ticking time bomb - 2017-03-01
Conservatism is at a crossroads: in the United States under Donald Trump, in post-Brexit Britain, with the rise of the National Front in France and Geert Wilders in Holland, and with the reformation of traditional conservative parties in the rest of Europe and even Latin America.
In Canada, the old Red Tory tradition was assumed to be the junior partner in a hybrid party formed under Stephen Harper (through the merger of the Progressive Conservative and Canadian Alliance parties) that was right-wing, but moderate out of democratic necessity. That idea is rapidly evaporating.
Last weekend's Manning Centre Conference in Ottawa exposed just how raw, rough and reactionary the new conservative crusade, and by extension the Conservative Party of Canada, has become. As objectionable as some of former prime minister Harper's policies were, they pale in comparison to the new populism on display in the party today.
Instead of discussion, there were polemics. At times during the weekend, the sewers seemed to be breathing.