BURNABY, BC, March 19, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com) - A revolt is brewing in the Conservative riding of Burnaby-New Westminster where the Party candidate in the last election - a strong social conservative - has been denied the opportunity to seek the nomination again despite massive local support. Last week directors from the local constituency association held a forum discussing their concern at the Conservative Party's decision to disqualify Marc Dalton, the Conservative Candidate of Record for 2006.Well, if the Conservative Party officials choose to ignore the Social Conservatives in one riding or another, there isn't much choice for the Social Conservatives except for nominating their own candidates in those particular ridings - even if it means splitting the vote.
Prominent social conservative John Pacheco was similarly denied the opportunity to contest the Conservative Party nomination in 2005 which resulted in a firestorm of criticism for the Party.
Sure my majority-obsessed "Red Tory" opponents would be furious. They'll suggest that splitting the vote would make it easier for the Liberal (or the NDP or the Bloc) to win the riding... Well, if the people in the riding decide not to vote for a certain candidate - whose fault is it? Should we blame voters for voting their conscience or should we blame the party for taking certain groups of voters for granted?
And don't tell me about wasted votes. In the past election, over 30,000 Conservative voters in Halton cast their ballots for Garth Turner. Did that help them in any way? Did they at least succeed in securing an extra vote to prop up Stephen Harper's minority government? The only vote that is wasted is a vote for a candidate that doesn't represent one's views. Thus there were more wasted votes in Halton riding alone than there were CHP and Independent SoCon votes allegedly "wasted" in all other ridings.
Since the Canadian Alliance was merged into the leftovers of the Mulroney party there's once again the perception that Social Conservatives have nowhere to turn, so their votes might as well be taken for granted. We need to fight that perception. We need to make it clear that there's a limit to how much we can compromise.
No, I'm not saying that we should have a CHP or a Reform candidte in each of the 308 Federal constituencies and let the Conservative party plunge into obliviation - as it happened to the old PC party back in 1993. No matter what disadvantages Stephen Harper may have - Dion is much worse.
The right strategy would be taking back the Conservative party one riding at the time. Supporting those Conservative candidates that represent our views and nominating a CHP or an Independent pro-life, pro-family, Socially Conservative candidate in the ridings where the official Conservative candidates are in fact Liberals in the making.