As the new leader of Ontario’s Progressive Conservative (PC) Party, Doug Ford is symbolic of conservatism’s progressive disintegration.
It’s one thing to woo the vote of differing and competing groups during an election, but it’s quite another to invite them into your own party in a manner which allows others to determine your party’s direction. Such has been the ‘big tent’ strategy of the PCs in the past, and it is the primary cause of all of the internal corruption and conflict that has become a public spectacle over recent months.
For decades, the PC Party has been a conflicted association of ‘fiscal conservatives,’ ‘social conservatives,’ ‘libertarians,’ ‘red Tories,’ ‘blue Tories,’ ‘Christian conservatives,’ plus the usual association of ‘hammer-head’ voters and those who simply seek power for its own sake.
To this Doug Ford has already announced intentions to expand his ‘big tent’ party to include even more disparate groups, including the NDP, Liberals, and Greens, in whose interests he has promised to speak. Progressive, yes. Conservative, no.