What’s a ‘c’onservative: Part 322

Lot’s of people like Premier Lord. My dad was over today and he thinks he’s great. Great vision. Getting results together and all that boiler plate.

But I still don’t know what a small c conservative is. My personal opinion is that there hasn’t been a small ‘c’ conservative Premier in New Brunswick for a long time – at least in the Tory party. A lot of folks grumbled that Frank McKenna was such a creature.

Richard Hatfield – the playboy pacificist was certainly not a small ‘c’ conservative. I’ll blog sometime about the manufacturing projects such as Litton Industries that Ol’ Richard passed up on because he was a pacifist. And smoking weed? Probably not overly ‘conservative’.

Bernard Lord? Again, with the rhetoric of cutting taxes and red tape, on the surface it might seem so but anyone with any kind of analytical ability can clearly see there’s nothing conservative about Bernard Lord.

First, he’s a self described ‘social progressive’ – so that rules out social conservativism.

And on the fiscal side? Well, as we know from previous blogs here that within 4-5 years we will have the lovely distinction of needing the most Equalization per capita of any province in Canada.

We also know from the budget data that he loves to spend. From the 1999-2000 budget to the 2006-2007 budget, total government spending is up by over 35%. A quick look at Al Hogan’s hated Nova Scotia finds their government spending only up 29% over the same timeframe.

We also know that he has expanded the public service over twice as fast as the private sector created jobs.

Health care and social assistance, educational services and public services jobs have increased by over 10% from 2000 to 2005 while all other private sector employment increased by only 4.4%.

Now, he does claim to have dramatically slashed the welfare rolls since 1999. I am not, frankly, quite sure what that means.

So much for the ‘fiscal’ side.

So what’s left? He’s not socially conservative and he’s not fiscally conservative.

The reason I say all this is that I have been navigating around the blogosphere lately and keep finding all these NB blogs defending small ‘c’ conservativism in this province and touting Premier Lord. Therefore, I can only assume they think he’s a small ‘c’ conservative.

It might be interesting for them to actually check the record.

And if they are indeed small ‘c’ conservatives (and I know a bunch), they must literally cringe when the see Lord in the Globe and Mail demanding more Equalization. They must cringe.

In fact, this is the new litmus test for small ‘c’ conservatives. If you don’t cringe when Lord begs for more Equalization, you have failed. After all, both Jim Flarety and Stephen Harper have been highly critical of the program in the past.

So stand up and be counted all you morally righteous small ‘c’ conservatives. Take the litmus test.

I dare one of you to respond saying that becoming the province most dependent on Equalization is a small ‘c’ conservative value.

C’mon, please. Sorry Centrist? Someone? Please.