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Saturday, February 5, 2011

How Did The Conservatives Become The ‘Family Values’ Party

By David Murray. I’ve always considered myself a ‘family values’ kind of guy. I have made sure my children have grown up in the world knowing about “God” . My son even chose to go to a Christian University in Portland Oregon (Concordia College).
After a hard day at work I would come home and make sure everyone was at the practice, game, dance or karate lesson they were supposed to be at. Like many people in the Fraser Valley, I take my queue from some of the old Mennonite teachings.
Love thy neighbour; take care of the poor; beware your success blind you to those less fortunate; take care of your community. These values aren’t the sole property of the Mennonite community, they belong to all the regions of the world in one way or another, and they belong to all healthy communities the world over.
As we have become more of an urban nation (Abbotsford is a great example of this) over the last generation and moved away from our small town, rural lifestyles, governments have tried to express these basic values through legislation and give a caring, loving and forward-looking sense to the country.
Tommy Douglas, a hero to a new generation of Canadians, took his prairie values, as head of the old CCF (precursor to today’s NDP) and brought us universal medicare. In his simple, down home way of thinking, the amount of money in a man’s bank account shouldn’t determine whether he, his family, his children should receive medical care.
The CCF and later under NDP’s David Lewis and Ed Broadbent, used their position as a strong third party in the House of Commons to advance labour laws and social justice to provide protection for workers at the expense of corporate profits.
David Lewis’ son Stephen has played an important role at the United Nations fighting to make the world a more caring place, both in the fight against AIDS and against poverty and the many social plagues from which Africa suffers. I have listened to him speak many times and he is an empowering speaker.
It sometimes baffles me that the right wings of the old Progressive Conservative Party, which merged with the right wing of the old Reform Party to become today’s Conservative Party, somehow managed to successfully take on the mantle of ‘family values’ in this country. This is not the “old” Progressive Conservative party that had strong leaders like John Diefenbaker who was skillful in working with other members of parliament regardless of political stripe. (with Tommy Douglas) many pieces of progressive legislation were passed in his tenure as Prime Minister.
This is a party and a government that has declared war on crime, even though statistically crime has been on a substantial decline for decades. .It is the party that attempts to restrict and punish refugees in the guise of punishing human traffickers.
It is also the party that has cut back social spending on ‘moral’ causes with which it doesn’t agree. Attacking Libby Davies and her Bill C-304 to ensure secure adequate, accessible and affordable housing for Canadians is a clear example of a broken government. It has gutted the Canadian census making it almost impossible for social agencies and provinces to make any meaningful decisions about helping the marginalized and the disadvantaged.
These are not family values. These are not the beliefs I grew up with. These are not the small town values that helped us survive as a country through over a hundred years of hardships.
How did the Stephen Harper and Ed Fast and other conservatives manage to wrap themselves in the blanket of family values – values against which they seem to be battling with every new piece of legislation they introduce as though rolling back the last 100 years of Canadian political evolution to a harsher, harder and meaner time?
David Murray's NDP Blog
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My name is David Murray and I am currently on City Council in the City of Pitt Meadows British Columbia.
I ran Federally for the New Democratic Party in 2011 in Abbotsford and with the great team we had in place had the distinction of being the only riding in Western Canada that doubled our NDP vote!
I am the Editor of the Pitt Meadows Today Community Online Newspaper which together with its sister papers the Abbotsford, Chilliwack and Langley Today are receiving 250,000 hits a month!

My family goes back to the CCF-NDP party circa October 1935 as my father "Bud" Murray worked on Tommy Douglas's first campaign!

I am a union activist for CUPE and sit as the Secretary-Treasurer of the Fraser Valley District Council and the Secretary-Treasurer of the Fraser Valley Labour Council (CLC)David Murray
David Murray is the Federal NDP candidate for Abbotsford. He is the political columnist for theAbbotsford/Chilliwack/Langley |Today. You can follow David Murray on Twitter : DavidMurray4NDP

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