Thursday, July 07, 2005

What It Means to be "Progressive" for Me

As you can tell, the name of my blog is "The Progressive Right". Why?

I consider myself "progressive". Some might consider me a "Red Tory" for that. I supported John Tory's leadership at the Ontario PC Leadership Convention, and I remember markedly that being a supporter of John Tory meant that I was a Red Tory - one of his opponents that night, Jim Flaherty, made mention of it. I'm not going to argue the colour of my Toriness in this post, but whether or not it's possible to be progressive and right-leaning.

I believe when a truth is self-evident, it should be enforced and encouraged. I believe that if the logic fails, then the argument fails.

That said, being progressive doesn't necessarily mean you're left leaning. It means, "promoting or favouring progress toward better conditions or new policies, ideas, or methods" or "proceeding in steps; continuing steadily by increments".

Publically stating that we will not have "two-tier health care" is not progressive; changing the laws or conditions that impede a person's ability to access health care is progressive. How that change comes about is the difference between right and left viewpoints.

Increasing spending for ineffective social programs is not progressive; creating and spending on effective social programs is progressive. Re-evaluating support (that is, stopping the bleeding) to ineffective programs is not anti-progressive. Again, how that change comes about is the difference between right and left viewpoints.

Shooting money into the air to create a national day care program is not progressive; actually physically creating a national day care with a plan where working parents can continue to work without heavy debt or allowing parents the opportunity to raise their own children without fear of dropping below the poverty line is progressive.

I believe in firm justice, I believe in a strong military, I believe in being fiscally prudent, I believe my tax money has value, I also believe that I can be trusted with it if the government decides to give some of it back, I believe in electoral reform, I can like Americans even if I disagree with their elected representatives. I want clean air, clean water, real justice and equity for all, I want everyone to have a fair shot with their health and education.

I consider myself socially liberal; whatever people do when they are of sound mind is okay by me. I don't feel threatened by someone else's religion, lifestyle, colour, choice of wardrobe, hair colour, or choice of beer.

I want change, and I want change for the better. I respect any political party that recognizes there are problems and puts forward a solution to fix it.

I disagree with some things with the Conservative Party, but that's to be expected, and I think disagreements within a party is productive and should be encouraged.

That's why I'm progressive. That's also why I'm a Conservative.


Andrew said...


Excellent post, you did a great job of adding some clarity to a term that is often very "muddy".

Storm Trooper said...

Wow. You sound like you're on top of things. I went to one guy's site and he was ranting about the morally bankrupt Liberals and so forth. He said: we must get rid of all the dirty Liberals!!! I pointed out that the ideological term "liberal" has nothing to do with the party.
As far as red tories - awesome! Even though I think Joe Clark was finished when he retired, his mantra was something that even I could identify with. I hate this whole Stephen Harper-run consevative party. I did some reading on him and was appalled at the information I found. Even read up on the NCC? He was their president in 1998-99. They were identified with anti-abortion, anti-immigration, changes to electoral laws etc. They won't even announce the names of their members. Sort of a secret society for racist assholes or something. Crazy!

Anyway - keep pushing the red tory stuff! If might help keep that bastard, Harper, out of the government.

Nunzia said...

hmm..have you ever considered that maybe you are a libertarian? (re: your social views)

Anonymous said...

Better check your facts about the NCC. They never did anything on abortion and nothing since the 70's on immigration (I don't think you can blame Harper on that he was in high school then).

They never published their donor lists BECAUSE DONATING TO THEM WASN'T TAX DEDUCTIBLE. It was free citizens giving their own money and getting nothing in return.

One of the NCC's biggest causes was keeping FARMERS OUT OF JAIL FOR SELLING THEIR OWN WHEAT but then I guess all you city Liberals who don't get out of downtown Toronto don't care about stuff like that only crazy socons.

Felix Taylor, Jr. said...

Yes! Another Conservative with a social conscience. It is not a contradiction and if any market-fundamentalist tells you to join the Liberal party, you tell 'em where to go!

Anonymous said...

Just for the record, even if I quibble with some of your posting, you would be more then welcome as a Progressive Blogger (in my view) :)

We have 3 blogging Tories who are now also Progressive BLogger members. It doesnt have to be an either-or situation. I really do hope more of the Red Tories join the group over here.

Rhetoric said...

An excellent post. It has been way too long since I read a Blogging Tory post that used the term "Red Tory" without implying that they really mean "communist".

Anonymous said...

Stop blogging right now!