"As always in a crisis, Mr. Harper drew up the drawbridge and retreated to the fortress, i.e., his political base. There is a genuine hardcore of Conservative followers who will stay with the party however dark the clouds; and when in difficulty, Mr. Harper tends to them and them only. (The Liberals and NDP both can claim a similar core of diehards.) But in Mr. Harper’s case, the power of the Senate scandal was such as to detach even some from this otherwise unshakeable support group."Here is my response to this in a letter in today's National Post:
I used to be a ‘hard-core conservative’
Re: For Harper’s Conservatives, 2013 Was All About The Senate Scandal, Rex Murphy, Dec. 27.
Rex Murphy talks about “genuine hard-core of Conservative followers.” That was me — up to the point when Stephen Harper made the decision to become pro-choice.
I had a glimmer of hope back in November when the Conservatives had their policy convention and finally condemned sex-selection abortion. Yet afterwards, we saw no real action on this practice. It also appeared to be a somewhat disingenuous move, since it didn’t jibe with MP Mark Warawa’s own motion on the same subject. [This motion was deemed non-votable because it was supposedly outside of federal jurisdiction. So how could it be legitimate for a federal party to condemn the practice, but outside of Parliament's jurisdiction to condemn the practice?]
As well, the Conservatives also supported the Unborn Victims of Crime policy resolution at the 2008 Conservative policy convention. Yet, five years later, that support still has not translated into any kind of policy, bill, or motion.
I will have to see some pretty hard-core changes in the leadership of the Conservative party before the next election in order to vote Conservative again. As it stands now, if the government continues to support the status quo on abortion (i.e., a pro-abortion position) and/or Mr. Harper remains leader, I could not in good conscience vote Conservative. And I’m pretty sure I won’t be the only hard-core Conservative who chooses to move away from the Conservatives.
Patricia Maloney, Ottawa.