Just as the Green Party got some interesting positive news for their leadership race, it seems that the bad keeps pouring in for the Conservatives around their leadership race. It’s been a week since Conservative MP and leadership candidate Derek Sloan tweeted his obvious dog whistle comments about Dr. Theresa Tam, something that was roundly condemned from people across the spectrum. That condemnation included some Conservative MPs, who spoke out to make it clear that Sloan does not speak for them.
Despite that, it took until yesterday for Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer to do the same, finally saying that Sloane shouldn’t have questioned Dr. Tam’s loyalty. That meek line came after Scheer spent the last week ducking, dodging and avoiding every chance to do that, leaving many conservatives and media observers exasperated by Scheer’s complete lack of leadership and backbone on a matter that should have been so simple. That’s lead for calls in the media for Scheer to be replaced sooner than later, suggesting that the Conservatives simply can’t surviving in this limbo with Scheer at the helm. So it was with that backdrop and that in mind we saw another new piece of news come out this afternoon from the Toronto Star:
If you ever wanted to see the dilemma that the Conservative party and the conservative movement writ large faces, that Tweet manages to summarize it. On one hand, many of Sloan’s caucus colleagues have apparently had enough. According to the Star, the Conservatives Ontario caucus, of which Sloan is a member, met and overwhelmingly voted that he must apologize for his ignorant comments about Dr. Tam. Further to that, if Sloan refused to apologize, which the “Unapologetically Conservative” MP has done to date, they want him tossed from their caucus. They’ve had enough of his crap and are tired of having to answer for the garbage he’s attaching to their party. That should put pressure on the legendarily indecisive Scheer to finally do something about Sloan.
But on the other hand, we see the Campaign Life Coalition “calling on social conservative to “save” Sloan from being disqualified from the leadership.” How exactly can they “save” this ignorant MP from this fate? Better yet, why is it that a group that is all about ending a woman’s right to choose deciding to put its neck on the line to try to save Sloan, in the process defending ignorant comments like his? Well folks, it seems that they are soaking in the Sloan Kool-Aid, if this is any indication. In a story about Sloan’s ignorant comments in Lifesite News, Campaign Life’s director of political operations, Jack Fonseca, is quoted saying that “Sloan was 1000 percent correct in calling for this bureaucrat, who has a clear conflict of interest between Canada and the Communist Chinese dictatorship, to be fired.” He goes onto say “Sloan is once again showing true leadership by saying what needs to be said, and not worrying about political correctness, nor the predictable attacks by the pro-Trudeau ‘Media Party.’” He wrapped up this whopper of a quote by saying that “This willingness to go outside the media party’s official talking points is precisely what would make Derek Sloan a great Conservative Party Leader, and future Prime Minister.”
Let those words sink in for a moment and after you do, you see the whole dilemma Conservatives face, that they’d faced for a long time but now finally seems to be coming to a head. There you’ve got someone speaking on the behalf of a group that’s all about abortion, going on the record repeating ignorant tropes about Dr. Tam, openly questioning her “loyalty” to the country by suggesting that she has “a clear conflict of interest”. It leaves an inference as to why she allegedly has a conflict, and it’s not because her name is Theresa. In fact, reading that you cannot help but think that if her name was Dr. Theresa Smithson that she wouldn’t have “a clear conflict of interest.”
Why exactly do you think that Campaign Life Coalition would be apparently be alright with one of their staff going on the record parroting such crap? Because they seen Sloan as an ally on denying abortions & they will do whatever they can to elect someone who will further that goal. For this group, the ends clearly justify the means, which makes sense that they would now be trying to put the screws to Andrew Scheer and other social conservatives in the Conservative caucus to “save” their saviour. They aren’t the least bit concerned about the electability of the Conservative Party or ever forming government. For them, it’s all about that one issue, and they’re proving that they are willing to do anything, stoop to any level, to advance that goal. And in this case, that seems to extend to standing behind and parroting the ignorant claptrap of Derek Sloan.
And in that you see the Conservatives dilemma, one that none of the current leadership candidates seems to want to tackle head on. You’ve got a strong, firm block of social conservatives, represented by groups like the Campaign Life Coalition, that only care about their own crusade and have no interest whatsoever in making the Conservative Party a tolerant, accepting and most important, electable party. And on the other hand, you’ve got a majority of caucus and party members, most of whom abhor these ignorant comments and are tired of being painted over and over again by the wide brush of those words. They’re tired of carrying the water for that rump, tired of answering for their ignorance, tired of their attempts to keep the Conservatives tied firmly in the 20th century. They want to move their party forward, build a broader coalition and govern, and they know that won’t happen as long as they keep having to answer for this group that keeps dragging them down.
The sad irony of this moment is that while you are seeing more Conservative MPs speak out, act up & try to correct this situation, neither the current leader, nor any of the leadership candidates, seem to have any interest at all in dealing with this existential problem once and for all. It feels like this moment has ratcheted things up a bit, because I have to admit seeing those comments attributed to an official from Campaign Life Coalition, doubling down on ignorant tropes that have nothing to do with their core issue, seems like a new depth in their attempt to do whatever they can do get their issue ahead. I’m sure that Jesus himself would have wept at that sight. It feels like this might be coming to a head, or put another way, if it doesn’t come now you have to wonder if it ever will. Because the longer this continues as it, the more power you see this group of social conservatives holding over that party. It’s clear to everyone on the outside looking in that the status quo for them can’t work, but what remains to be seen is if those on the inside looking outward are finally seeing it for themselves.
UPDATE: April 29th @ 5:45 PM: The Hill Times Abbas Rana is now bringing forward more details, confirming what the Star said earlier with some striking details showing that the Campaign Life folks seem to be following through on their “attempts” to “save” Sloan: