What has happened to pollute “progressive” in Progressive Conservative?

It has occurred to a lot of conservatives that provincial Progressive Conservative parties need to drop the word progressive. Why? Because the word “progressive” has become polluted by a regressive, intolerant and rigid ideology — essentially a contradiction in terms.

In fact, while progressive was supposed to mean a compassionate and commonsense conservative, it has taken on an attitude of fascism — where only one point of view is acceptably politically correct and mainstream — and it does not include a conservative view of the world where we take responsibility for our own lives and actions, while also assisting those who need our help to help themselves.

Odd, really, when you come to think of it, when it is the NDP progressives and Liberals in Ottawa who rail against change and reform of any kind — actually stifling debate — as witnessed during the last week about the possibility and necessity for old age pension reform. A role reversal as it were.

However, what I find particularly disturbing is what is happening in Canada’s universities. As a retired academic and post-secondary teacher myself, I just don’t understand what has changed in just a few short years. Yes, there were always left-wingers in universities. But, they were balanced by those of us who were centrists, what used to be referred as “progressive conservatives.” 

So, what do those former “progressive” conservatives do now? Well, like me, they drop the word progressive and replace it with compassionate or commonsense.

One thing is for sure, at least at the student association level, far too many student “progressives” are no longer open to debate it seems. I can only hope it is better at the faculty level, at least in the social sciences, sciences and business departments.   

For example, regarding students, here is a link to a meeting at the University of Victoria. Scroll half way down to the part about YPY — Youth Protecting Youth, a pro-life group. The meeting ended with recommendations to censure the YPY group because they offended the pro-choice majority. Now, whether you are pro-life or pro-choice, it really doesn’t matter in the context of this discussion, which is not about abortion. It is about freedom, the freedom of speech and the freedom of expression. It is also about the freedom of affiliation and the freedom of religious and political affiliation.

(For the record however, I am pro-life unless the mother’s life is in danger or in the case of rape. I do have an adopted daughter so my views are hardly surprising.) 

However, what should matter is this: Canada is supposed to be a free country and universities are supposed to be a place where ideas and beliefs are exchanged and debated in a respectful “adult” manner — which does not include shutting down differences of opinions. (H/T)

What are the next taboos, the next censures? Discussions about euthanasia? The freedom to be a Conservative supporter? To openly worship in Christian churches? To be in a marriage of one man and one woman?

We need to resist this intolerant and regressive progressive liberal arrogance and its assumption of superiority. And that is the crux of the matter.

3 thoughts on “What has happened to pollute “progressive” in Progressive Conservative?

  1. Exactly! This new kind of liberalism is very intolerant of any voices of dissent. Hardly what you would expect in a healthy democracy.

    Debate gets shut down if they don’t want to hear it.

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  2. Perhaps the students ideas about freedom of speech are taken from the leadership of the universities. Consider the behaviour of Allan Rock, Pres Un of Ottawa, and the infamous Ann Coulter affair. Access to information requests show the sad specacle of a former Liberal Justice Minister musing about having to support freedom of speech, while at the same time doing everything to try to prevent it. It is not an edifying picture, and Rock showed no inclination to apologize or resign.
    A summary link is here
    http://westernstandard.blogs.com/shotgun/2010/06/the-story-of-ann-coulter-and-former-justice-minister-allan-rock.html
    A detailed blow by blow account is also available on the net.

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  3. Thanks for the link Martin. I also came across an article in Macleans at the doctors office this morning. It’s titled “Which political party is really rigid and inflexible?” And, the answer is the Liberals (and NDP). Interesting. As I wrote in this post, a role reversal of sorts.

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