Sunday, May 29, 2016

Conservatives are not the party of social justice progress

In my opinion, the Conservative Party of Canada, like all other similar conservative parties in the western world including the Republican Party in the U.S., fight primarily for the maintenance of establishment power.

Conservatives, by and large, always favour policies that will strengthen the powerful at the expense of those without power.  If you're rich and inherited tonnes of money or your daddy's business and have always had easy access to the power brokers in your community, the Conservative Party is your party.

If you don't fit that description, you probably shouldn't be voting Conservative as you're actually voting for a party that will never look out for your interests.   Why do conservatives still garner much support from middle class or working class people?  Bigotry, primarily.  Conservatives have loved to stoke hatred of "others" and we saw many examples of this in the 2015 federal election where Stephen Harper tried to stoke fears of Muslims to win votes.  Donald Trump south of the border - a billionaire lout - has done the same thing on a grander scale, actually convincing dummy poor people that he's on their side.

When it comes to social justice and correcting historical discrimination, conservatives have always stood in the way when it counted most.  If vulnerable people had long been denied their rights, it was conservatives who supported that discrimination and usually fought tooth-and-nail to keep it in place.

Think of the fight to end slavery.  Conservatives wanted slavery to continue because it profited their primary constituency.  Women's equality.  Conservatives also fought against it.

Every single social justice cause in history has been hampered by conservatives working hard to maintain the injustice.  Why?  Because conservatives believe in maintaining things just like they've always been.  If this group of people have all the power, they probably deserve it or worked hard for it, they foolishly assume.   In truth, most people with power achieved that power through unjust systems or pure luck.  Today, there remains huge swaths of people who will never achieve real power in our society no matter how hard they work at it.   But such facts are not the concern of most conservatives.

Yesterday, the Conservative Party of Canada finally voted to end its official opposition to marriage equality in Canada.  This is a good thing.   It's also 11 years too late and almost of no consequence to LGBT Canadians.   For me, it symbolizes perfectly why the Conservatives are not and can never be the party for people who truly care about social justice and true equality.   Conservatives are followers, not leaders, on issues of social justice. 

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