At the same time, Harper is also actively trying to woo
voters who are more concerned about security than they are
about the country's fiscal state.
That's why he is building up the military, ordering new
prisons, and enacting a plethora of "tough on crime" laws.
The upshot of all this is that no major political party in
Canada, not the Conservatives, not the Liberals and
certainly not the NDP, is currently championing economic
As a result, a political vacuum exists, at least as far as
fiscal conservatism goes.
In the U.S., this vacuum was filled by a non-political
party―The Tea Party Movement. The Tea Party, after all, was,
at least originally, made up primarily of economic
conservatives fed up with the fiscal incompetence of both
Republicans and Democrats. Simply put, Tea Partiers were
angry with the government's massive spending, with the
deficits and the bailouts. Could a Canadian-style Tea Party
movement emerge here?
Probably not yet; the dynamics are just not right. While
Canadian economic conservatives may be disappointed in
Harper, they like the Liberal alternative even less. And
besides, many of them still hope that if Harper ever wins
his elusive majority government, he will then embrace truly
conservative economic policies. Hence, they won't be taking
to the streets anytime soon.
But that doesn't mean economic conservatives are happy.
Indeed, they are waiting and hoping for a political champion
to emerge, a leader who will speak up for smaller government,
lower taxes and individual freedom.
Maybe Harper will one day shift his focus and become that
leader, or maybe it will be somebody else, like former Tory
cabinet minister Maxime Bernier. Or maybe such a leader will
All that can be said for certain is that Canada's political
orphans need a home.