"It's actually not a label I love… I am more comfortable with a more populist tradition of conservatism. Toryism has the historical context of hierarchy and elitism and is a different kind of political philosophy. It's not my favourite term, but we're probably stuck with it." (Stephen Harper, Hamilton Spectator, January 24, 2004)For those of us who supported the original Tory party in Canada, we were horrified when the mentally challenged media immediately began calling Harper's party 'Tories', despite the fact that at the time of their merger ( hostile takeover), there were only 9 PC MPs and 66 Reform-Alliance. Why 'Tory' and not 'Reformer'?
There is now only one of the original party with the rest neoconservative or something new they've come up, 'Blue Tory', the antithesis of Progressive Conservatism.
I received an interesting email recently from someone else angry over the term being used by our current government, but for a different reason. He is a supporter of the conservatism represented by Pat Buchanan and Rush Limbaugh, and supports Stephen Harper because he is too. He hates having to wear a label that has nothing to do with who they are.
So the facade not only bothers those from the original party, like Flora MacDonald who called it "the destruction of a 150-year-old tradition that had done so much to develop this country", but also the newcomers who want to reshape Canada into more of a Republican image.
They would also like Harper to be honest and give them credit for helping to move Canada to the far right, instead of pretending to be governing from the centre, and trying to align himself and their movement with a party that has the philosophy of "hierarchy and elitism", they believe represents the original Tory tradition.
He has a point.
But for those having difficulty convincing family and friends that Stephen Harper is not a Tory, you have it right from the horse's ass ... errr ... mouth. Harper hates being called a 'Tory' just as much as we hate hearing others using the term to describe his government, and claims that his is a "different kind of political philosophy".