In the wake of Ontario Progressive Conservative Party Leader Patrick Brown’s resignation due to anonymous allegations of sexual misconduct, the term “identity politics” has taken on a new – and valid – meaning. In this case, the “identity” in question concerns that of the Progressive Conservative (PC) Party itself.
Falsely viewed by many as a party on the Right, it is no such thing. The confusion is somewhat understandable, given that the PC Party sits in ‘opposition’ to the ruling Liberal Party, a party most definitely on the Left, as is the New Democratic Party (NDP).
Unfortunately, opposition in the legislature does not mean opposition to the ideas, principles, philosophies, or political direction of the other parties. In every essential way, the philosophy and leadership of the Progressive Conservatives point to the Left.
There is, however, one significant difference between Ontario’s Progressive Conservatives and the other parties of the Left.
While the ‘recognized’ parties of the Left clearly and openly identify their parties as such, the PCs continuously and falsely associate their party with the Right. This, despite the fact that the party’s own name defines its brand of conservatism with the very Leftist term, “Progressive.”
Even among ‘conservatives’ themselves, there is little consensus about what ‘conservative values’ are – or which ‘conservative’ politician actually represents such values. Worse, Progressive Conservative supporters seem unable or unwilling to acknowledge that where it counts, their party is no different than the other parties on the Left. When it comes to ‘conservatism,’ the Progressive Conservative Party disintegrated a long time ago.
One thing is certain. Based on the party’s history, political direction, philosophy, leadership, and on-going track record, it’s a leap of sheer blind faith to continue believing that Ontario’s Progressive Conservatives will ever do anything that’s Just Right.