Thursday, September 13, 2012

Political Parties

I was browsing around the http://www.1calgarycentre.com/ website, when the thought came to me that I really should look at all the political parties we have here in Canada.

There is a full list you can find here http://www.elections.ca/content.aspx?section=pol&dir=par&document=index&lang=e but what do these parties stand for?

I think grouping them is actually somewhat simple.

First off, there are the socially conservative parties, or rather, party. The Christian Heritage Party.
Next, the Communist parties, both of them.
Next, the personal fronts. The Western Block Party is a personal front for Doug Christie.
Next are the self-admitted activist parties, which are only a party because of the tax credits. (AAEVPC)
Last, are the ethnic-based political parties, in this case, the First Peoples National Party.

This leaves us with a few other parties to play with. The Bloc Quebecois (BQ) the Canadian Action Party (CAP) the Conservative Party of Canada (CPC) the Green Party (GP) the Liberals (Lib) the Libertarians (Lbt) the Marijuana Party (Pot) the New Democratic Party (NDP) the Pirate Party (Pir) the Progressive Canadian Party (PC) the Rhinoceros Party (Rhi) and the United Party (UP). Also, the eligible party, the Online Party (OP)

Only one of these parties is firmly on the right, the CPC, so I will discount them. The Rhino party, while generally progressive, is a silly party. The Pot Party is a single-issue party, and thus, I will exclude as well. Lastly, the CAP is based on the old social credit idea, so I will also exclude them.

There are two centre-right parties. The PC and UP.
There is one main party with left-wing economic proposals. The NDP,
There are two parties with centrist economic proposals. The GP and Lib.
And there are three parties that are socially progressive, the OP, Lbt, and Pir

Of these however, there are three parties that are to the right of centre on fiscal issues; PC, UP, and Lbt, and three that are firmly on the left when it comes to world affairs, NDP, GP, Pir

Why am I brining all of this up? And why did I start with this 1calgarycentre website? A website that's oddly blue for a party that supposes to gather up non-conservative voters?

Simple. On their website they list 3 large "progressive" parties. The NDP, the GP, and the Lib.
As a Liberal I protest our inclusion. I don't consider the Liberals as much "progressive" as much "centrist" and "moderate". While the Liberals would fit in as "progressive" I feel the other two labels are closer to the mark.

What IS odd about this website is their inclusion of a 4th party, the Progressive Canadians. Lets remember that this party was founded to be a successor to the PC Party that dissolved in 2003. It's leader is a former Tory cabinet minister. In fact, this website even lists Joe Clark as a "Progressive". I'm willing to bet if you asked him yourself he'd define more as a "Conservative" and that's how his voters felt. Red Tories are still Tories. A left-wing right-winger is a right-winger who happens to be left-wing. Just as a progressive conservative is a conservative who happens to be progressive. He is still a conservative first.

The inclusion of the PC, but not the UP, which split off from the PC about a year ago, is suspicious, especially as the UP has a more left-wing platform. Worse when you consider that the Pirates are not to be found, despite clearly fitting in as more progressive. Then there is the fact that the OP is missing. The website's twitter account even says they are not an ABC party, they want to unite progressives.

So, how far do you have to stretch the definition of "Progressive" to include the new PC Party? Frankly, pretty far, especially given the other parties that exist. If someone told me the PC Party was "Progressive" and included on a list of "Progressive Parties" I'd say that other parties on that list must include the AAEVP, The BQ, the CAP, The Communists, the FPNP, the Greens, the Liberals, the Online Party, the Libertarians, the Pot Party, the Marxists, the NDP, the Pirate Party, the Rhino Party, and the United Party. But to include it and the "3 big" progressive parties is fishy.

Fishy given the attention given to Joe Clark, a PCer who won the riding in the past.
Fishy given the fact that the website is blue, a PC colour.
And fishy given that the graphics show 4 'boxes' representing the parties, not 3 or 5

Perhaps this is all just a mis-understanding or mis-reading on my part.

1calgarycentre adding links to the other progressive parties, specifically the United Party and the Pirate Party, would certainly help dispel any connections.


EDIT
The webmaster has contacted me with an explanation that I'm not buying - but he says once all 3 parties choose candidates, the PC link will come down.

2 comments:

Bernard von Schulmann said...

Interesting take on the 1 Calgary movement.

What I am noticing is that the movement has no steam at all other than a few journalists looking for someway to make a race out of a Conservative coronation.

When you look to Facebook their page has almost no likes, they are at 180 as of now. On Twitter they only have 149 followers. Many of the Likes and Followers will be people like you and me, political junkies from elsewhere. At best I think there are maybe enough people to sit around a pub table actively involved.

TheNewTeddy said...

If they are honestly doing what they say they are, and not a front for the PC, than it is a good idea; but will never work.