Author Topic: Conservatism needs work 2.0  (Read 3479 times)

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Offline Remius

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Conservatism needs work 2.0
« on: June 28, 2018, 08:32:13 »
So I figure that this take on Stephen Harper working to redefine conservatism would be a good re-start to this thread.

 https://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/article-stephen-harper-finally-reveals-his-hidden-agenda/

He's been busy on the speaking circuit and certainly offers and interesting counter to populism and protectionism while still maintaining his conservative approach.

I look forward to seeing what his book has to offer.
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Offline pbi

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Re: Conservatism needs work 2.0
« Reply #1 on: July 06, 2018, 11:09:06 »
...I look forward to seeing what his book has to offer...

And so do I. I voted for the Tories almost all my adult life until the last election. I voted for the Tories provincially (with some reservation, and more than a little desperation) in the recent Ontario election.

IMHO somewhere along the way, principled and reasonable conservatism in the West lost its way and drifted towards a swamp populated by monsters like racism, isolationism, homophobia, misogyny, religious fundamentalism, nativism, anti-intellectualism, anti-science and a stupid sort of black and white interpretation of complicated issues. In other words, an appeal to the lowest and nastiest common denominator.

Notice, though, that I said  "drifted towards", not "drifted into".  Moderate and intelligent conservatism is not lost, and there are plenty of decent people in its ranks. I did not love Harper, but in retrospect he was not the worst PM we ever had, not by a long shot. John Tory, the Mayor of Toronto, is a moderate conservative in great contrast to the bombastic populist who preceded Tory, but who would also have styled himself as a "conservative". Also in retrospect (and contrary to my thoughts at the time) Kelly Leitch had some merit to what she proposed. She was also an educated professional with a solid grounding in science.

Conservatism can easily come back into power in this country with a healthy majority, if it avoids the swamp, and the huge temptation to play to the lowest common denominator.
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Offline Brad Sallows

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Re: Conservatism needs work 2.0
« Reply #2 on: July 06, 2018, 18:34:28 »
Long read from Deirdre McCloskey, relevant to the direction conservativism should take.  It consists of several chapters of a forthcoming book.

Manifesto for a Humane True
Libertarianism
(PDF)


"I make here the case for a new and humane version of what is often called
“libertarianism.”"
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Re: Conservatism needs work 2.0
« Reply #3 on: July 06, 2018, 21:08:34 »
Like you I voted Conservative in the last Ontario election with more than a little trepidation.

I consider it the litmus test. There's enough depth in the current Ontario cabinet to provide some levelling and stability. I'm waiting with bated breath to see how it works out.

 :pop:
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Offline pbi

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Re: Conservatism needs work 2.0
« Reply #4 on: July 08, 2018, 07:56:20 »
Like you I voted Conservative in the last Ontario election with more than a little trepidation.

I consider it the litmus test. There's enough depth in the current Ontario cabinet to provide some levelling and stability. I'm waiting with bated breath to see how it works out.

 :pop:

I grew up in Blue Ontario, with Bill Davis and the gang. It seemed to work well enough, and it could again. We'll see, I guess. I was not a fan of Harris, although some of his reforms like municipal amalgamations and downloading of services like EMS to counties and regions seem to have worked: the Liberals didn't touch them.

For me,the choice was a bit forced. At first, I didn't really know what to do.  I was not at all impressed by the Tories' self-immolation as a result of the Brown mess, and I was not encouraged by ranting extreme social conservatives like Granic-Allen. (I've read the Ontario sex ed curriculum and I really don't know what the hell she and the rest of her gang were on about. It's pretty vanilla, really)

I would never vote NDP: I see that as the high road to a real socialist hell, especially at a time when Ontario needs a business-oriented government more than ever. The Liberals were well past their best before date, and clearly suffering from what I call "second term-itis", which IMHO is a disease endemic to the Canadian political system.

That left the Tories. I was impressed by the disappearance of Granic-Allen (I think Ford realized she was a liability), and I truly believed that the Tories were the best party in tough economic times. I was reinforced in that belief by Ford's early statement as Premier-elect that he would stand by the Trudeau Govt against US protectionism.

They may still have some extreme social conservatism baggage (like the CPC did when they first got in), but I believe that they will have their hands full on the fiscal/economic front for the next couple of years anyway. Ontario is a manufacturing, farming and trading province, with a very heavy cross-border freight volume. US protectionism could be lethal to Ontario, and to any government that looks like it can't handle the fight.

So, I'm willing to give Premier Ford a chance. I'll watch very closely, but I'll try to be fair. In the end, I am in complete agreement with George Washington's skepticism about the party system:
Quote
"However [political parties] may now and then answer popular ends, they are likely in the course of time and things, to become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government, destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion."
.

The Nation that makes a great distinction between its scholars and its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards and its fighting done by fools. ...

The true measure of a man is what he would do if he knew he never would be found out...

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Re: Conservatism needs work 2.0
« Reply #5 on: July 08, 2018, 10:24:54 »
I was not a fan of Harris, although some of his reforms like municipal amalgamations and downloading of services like EMS to counties and regions seem to have worked: the Liberals didn't touch them.

The amalgamation of Toronto made it the fourth largest municipality in North America, behind Mexico City, Los Angeles, and New York.

Only the six fire departments were affected. Metro Police ( 1957 ) and Paramedics ( 1967 ) were already amalgamated.

I was not at all impressed by the Tories' self-immolation as a result of the Brown mess, and I was not encouraged by ranting extreme social conservatives like Granic-Allen. (I've read the Ontario sex ed curriculum and I really don't know what the hell she and the rest of her gang were on about. It's pretty vanilla, really)

I read this from 2015,

"Ontario’s new sex education curriculum will bring it “up to speed” with most other provinces across the country, experts in the fields of sexual health and education said this week."
https://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2015/02/26/how-ontarios-new-sex-education-program-compares-to-other-provinces.html

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Re: Conservatism needs work 2.0
« Reply #6 on: July 08, 2018, 20:37:53 »
. . . I was not encouraged by ranting extreme social conservatives like Granic-Allen. (I've read the Ontario sex ed curriculum and I really don't know what the hell she and the rest of her gang were on about. It's pretty vanilla, really)
. . .

Same here. This is one of those issues that I'll be watching. The most recent statement by the new Minister of Education indicates that they will scrap it and roll back to the 1998 curriculum while they study the issue and consult with a larger group of parents.

I don't see how they can avoid the rollback since that was a big campaign promise. What I want to see is the degree of consultation and how much they'll be influenced by the conservative and religious groups who opposed it rather than by the majority of the public who have no problem with the new curriculum. That's a long term issue to watch for.

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Offline beirnini

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Re: Conservatism needs work 2.0
« Reply #7 on: July 09, 2018, 04:04:48 »
So I figure that this take on Stephen Harper working to redefine conservatism would be a good re-start to this thread.

 https://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/article-stephen-harper-finally-reveals-his-hidden-agenda/

He's been busy on the speaking circuit and certainly offers and interesting counter to populism and protectionism while still maintaining his conservative approach.

I look forward to seeing what his book has to offer.

Whatever his contributions to conservative politics can someone explain how Stephen Harper himself retains any respect among enlisted members? The guy white-washed the murder of one of our own, PPCLI Major Paeta Hess-von Kruedener at the hands of the IDF (read the first link for the gory details):
Quote
the Canadian official inquiry into the Canadian soldier’s killing was mysteriously removed from their government’s websites for “security reasons”. Just what these security reasons were, the Canadian authorities did not explain.
This is in addition to his total lack of leadership vis-a-vis the Yanks and the war in Iraq. I really don't get how his name alone doesn't conjure some kind of reflexive disgust, apprehension and distrust (similar to Bob Rae does with "Rae Days") among members of the CAF.

Offline Remius

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Re: Conservatism needs work 2.0
« Reply #8 on: July 09, 2018, 10:15:17 »
Whatever his contributions to conservative politics can someone explain how Stephen Harper himself retains any respect among enlisted members? The guy white-washed the murder of one of our own, PPCLI Major Paeta Hess-von Kruedener at the hands of the IDF (read the first link for the gory details):This is in addition to his total lack of leadership vis-a-vis the Yanks and the war in Iraq. I really don't get how his name alone doesn't conjure some kind of reflexive disgust, apprehension and distrust (similar to Bob Rae does with "Rae Days") among members of the CAF.

Maybe start a thread on that subject?  This is an issue not really related to the topic.  It might merit its own discussion.
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Offline SeaKingTacco

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Re: Conservatism needs work 2.0
« Reply #9 on: July 09, 2018, 11:03:05 »
I'm nearly certain one already exists on this subject.

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Offline recceguy

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Re: Conservatism needs work 2.0
« Reply #11 on: July 10, 2018, 03:03:01 »
Maybe start a thread on that subject?  This is an issue not really related to the topic.  It might merit its own discussion.

Go for it. There's lots of US vs Humanity, US vs the Metaphysical Universe, etc. Maybe Canada vs  Israel which will birth the child thread Canada vs IDF where the discussion can take place?

Just start it in the right spot.😉
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Offline pbi

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Re: Conservatism needs work 2.0
« Reply #12 on: July 10, 2018, 07:58:08 »
Brad Sallows:Thanks for introducing me to McCloskey. I'm reading it on vacation. So far I agree with almost everything she says. She lays into both the Left and the Right, which is roughly how I see things. Unfortunately she probably wouldn't be allowed to speak at many Canadian universities.
The Nation that makes a great distinction between its scholars and its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards and its fighting done by fools. ...

The true measure of a man is what he would do if he knew he never would be found out...

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Re: Conservatism needs work 2.0
« Reply #13 on: July 11, 2018, 19:42:17 »
I was not encouraged by ranting extreme social conservatives like Granic-Allen. (I've read the Ontario sex ed curriculum and I really don't know what the hell she and the rest of her gang were on about. It's pretty vanilla, really)

Not vanilla enough, apparently,
https://www.blogto.com/city/2018/07/ontario-sex-ed-curriculum/

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Re: Conservatism needs work 2.0
« Reply #14 on: July 11, 2018, 23:07:54 »
Odd...as a parent I've never concerned myself with whether the school is or isn't teaching my kid about sexual and social issues at specific grades.  I always thought that was my job.
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Re: Conservatism needs work 2.0
« Reply #15 on: July 11, 2018, 23:23:12 »
Odd...as a parent I've never concerned myself with whether the school is or isn't teaching my kid about sexual and social issues at specific grades.  I always thought that was my job.

In Ontario, it's a major concern  - for some.
https://www.google.com/search?biw=1280&bih=603&tbm=isch&sa=1&ei=hslGW_6sOcjCjwT7-6q4CQ&q=sex+education+protest&oq=sex+education+protest&gs_l=img.12...0.0.0.1576.0.0.0.0.0.0.0.0..0.0....0...1c..64.img..0.0.0....0.hfA5AKlsobE
« Last Edit: July 11, 2018, 23:29:55 by mariomike »

Offline whiskey601

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Re: Conservatism needs work 2.0
« Reply #16 on: July 11, 2018, 23:28:34 »
Parents  can’t be trusted with something like that. That’s the message I’m hearing from teachers unions, university and college unions, opposition parties, academics, activist groups etc.
Also, many educators are currently rewriting lesson plans to match learning outcomes that do not include the recently retired indigenous curricular, with a stunning requirement to focus on applied learning relative to the program of instruction which must deliver employable skills tuned to the current and forecasted labour market. Crazy, radical stuff.

Offline recceguy

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Re: Conservatism needs work 2.0
« Reply #17 on: July 12, 2018, 10:08:02 »
I'd rather see them teach cursive writing and proper math.
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Offline Remius

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Re: Conservatism needs work 2.0
« Reply #18 on: July 12, 2018, 12:11:26 »
Private school.  Plenty of basics like cursive writing there.  Sad that our system has to be so crappy.
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Offline RocketRichard

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Re: Conservatism needs work 2.0
« Reply #19 on: July 12, 2018, 16:23:33 »
I'd rather see them teach cursive writing and proper math.
Curious. What is your standard for proper math?  Are you referring to Ontario, other provinces or Canada as a whole? Have you looked at curricula for the provinces or taught in a classroom recently?


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Offline Remius

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Re: Conservatism needs work 2.0
« Reply #20 on: July 12, 2018, 16:32:38 »
Curious. What is your standard for proper math?  Are you referring to Ontario, other provinces or Canada as a whole? Have you looked at curricula for the provinces or taught in a classroom recently?


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I think Ontario uses discovery math or something like that...
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Re: Conservatism needs work 2.0
« Reply #21 on: July 12, 2018, 17:02:54 »
I think Ontario uses discovery math or something like that...
They do. Japan and Korea wipe the floor with us in mathematics. Let's take their program instead of inventing something else.

Offline pbi

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Re: Conservatism needs work 2.0
« Reply #22 on: July 12, 2018, 19:34:27 »
Parents  can’t be trusted with something like that. That’s the message I’m hearing from teachers unions, university and college unions, opposition parties, academics, activist groups etc.
Also, many educators are currently rewriting lesson plans to match learning outcomes that do not include the recently retired indigenous curricular, with a stunning requirement to focus on applied learning relative to the program of instruction which must deliver employable skills tuned to the current and forecasted labour market. Crazy, radical stuff.

I voted for the Tories, but this issue has always bothered me.  I continue to doubt that most (or any) of the people opposing the sex ed curriculum of the last Govt actually even read it. And of those who actually read it, how many approached it objectively, as opposed to starting with preconceptions? Could the curriculum have been adjusted? Probably, although IMHO there was no need. But adjustment would have been much better than reversion to 1998.

Clearly, the Liberals pooched the parental consultation, quite badly. One parent per school is obviously inadequate silliness.Broader consultation was a much better idea.  But that in itself doesn't invalidate the curriculum.

In my opinion the Tories are pandering to certain relatively narrow factions, just as I referred to in my earlier post. In some cases, these factions hold views I doubt represent anything like a majority of Ontarians, regardless of how people voted.

But what about leavng it to parents? That hasn't been done since I was in  public school in the 1960s, but what about it? Can all parents really  be trusted to teach their kids that young girls have the right to resist sexual demands from adult men? That a man doesn't have the right to rape his wife, or daughters? That gay or trans people are real ( not "unscientific theories" as per Granic-Allen et al), and have the same rights as everybody else? That we should call feet, eyes, arms, legs, penis and vagina by their proper names?

Maybe, or maybe not. How well do all parents do with geography, math, history or civics? How we think about sexual relations is how we think about people. And that, I think, is why this is so contentious. To me, the public education system has always, always passed  on and reinforced societal values: not just teaching the "Three R's"  but shaping citizens. At least, it always did when I was in it. Tokerance and protecting tge vulnerable are some of those values, or at least I thought they were, no matter if you are Tory, Liberal, or whatever.

Finally, I think we should be careful how far we stoop to get votes, lest we wake up one morning and find out that we regret the result of pandering to people who don't  hold mainstream values.

Maybe Kelly Leitch had a point with her "Canadian values" test.


« Last Edit: July 12, 2018, 19:38:22 by pbi »
The Nation that makes a great distinction between its scholars and its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards and its fighting done by fools. ...

The true measure of a man is what he would do if he knew he never would be found out...

Offline RocketRichard

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Re: Conservatism needs work 2.0
« Reply #23 on: July 12, 2018, 20:24:55 »
They do. Japan and Korea wipe the floor with us in mathematics. Let's take their program instead of inventing something else.
‘Of the 72 countries and economies participating in the assessment, only three —Singapore, Japan, and Estonia—outperformed Canada.’ Source: https://www.cmec.ca/251/Programme_for_International_Student_Assessment_(PISA).html

PISA 2015 key findings for Canada http://www.oecd.org/canada/pisa-2015-canada.htm

Can we do better?  Absolutely. We are doing pretty damn good though.


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Re: Conservatism needs work 2.0
« Reply #24 on: July 12, 2018, 20:41:59 »
That's Canada-wide average. How do we compare as a province? Is Ontario dragging that average down?