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Friday, February 8, 2013

Columns: How Did The Conservatives Become The Family Values Party?

Columns: How Did The Conservatives Become The Family Values Party?

By on August 17, 2011

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).
David Murray
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 que from some of the old Mennonite teachings.(Please note: That in no way are we saying in this article that you have to go to church to have good family values: I thought I would put that note in before my good friend Dale Jackaman responds to this article)
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 (Living in the Fraser Valley 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 todays NDP) and brought us universal medicare. In his simple, down home way of thinking, the amount of money in a mans 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 as the family values in our 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 Prime Minister Stephen Harper as well as MP’s like Randy Kamp ,James Moore and Ed Fast manage to wrap themselves in the blanket of family values. The same 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?
This piece was written by David Murray and first appeared in the Abbotsford Today over a year ago. It was picked up in a lot of other papers in Canada , coast to coast.
David Murray – Is the Editor of the Pitt Meadows Today
Is a councillor in the City of Pitt Meadows

Please contact me at
You can follow me on Twitter: DavidMurray4NDP

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