Thursday, February 02, 2006

Harper "snubbed" by "Progressive" summit

Joel at Proud to be Canadian has an excellent post on why it's a good thing that Stephen Harper didn't get invited to the international progressive summit (or whatever it's called ... let's say 'Socialist Love-In').

Here's my take on the word "progressive":

Some of you know, I play bass and keyboards in a rock band -- a progressive rock band, trying to emulate bands such Rush, Yes, Dream Theater, Tool, 10cc, etc. The music style itself is difficult to define, always different, hard to keep time with, and sometimes just way out there, but it can also be quite melodic, airy, and fun mixing in various genres.

But being that I'd consider The Beatles the first experimental prog-rock band and the 70's being the best decade of music ever, prog music today is essentially mimmicking the ideas from 30 years ago. Those core ideas of combining classical music with rock are what make it great, so it's really a combination of the best of the old and new, with dashes of rhythmic insanity.

Now back to politics. You see, in Canada, there was a party back in the 20's and 30's called the Progressives. They were a populist movement from the west that, like the Reform Party, became the official opposition. Then in the 40's the leader of the Conservatives in Manitoba somehow got the Prog monicker added to the party name and it stuck until Stephen Harper and Peter Mackay listened to my advice (no not really) and returned to the old name, Conservative -- the one that even Rt. Hon. John Deifenbaker preferred.

I remember just before those Stephen-Peter negotiations in 2003 when Peter said he liked 'progressive' because it meant "moving forward". Sure, in the sense that society would show progress. But towards what?

Like music, "progressive" in the political sense is difficult to define, because while old ideas such as socialism were prevalant, today it seems to mean "socialism lite" or modern liberalism, and in the last election, Paul Martin tried to reign in all the progressives out there (gee I wonder who he was trying to target? Hmmm.)

"Conservative", on the other hand, while you can easily tag on prefixes such as "social", "economic", "environmental", it essentially means "to conserve". Is that "moving forward" or is it being smart and cautious?

Ironically, Peter Mackay, by dropping the name "progressive" actually progressed the merger and now Canada as a whole appears to be making progress with a new Conservative government, but without progressive attached. Confused?

So why did the old P.C. party get creamed in 1993 and eventually die out so badly under super P.C. Joe Clark that they had to merge to survive? Because really, "progressive" and "conservative" cancel each other out, or you can just call it "liberalism". So now, by name, we can hopefully be assured that the Conservative Party won't become just another Liberal Party.

Well, although Tony Blair and the Clintons were invited, with Stephen Harper not being invited to the socialist prog fest, I am further reassured.

Now where's my Spock's Beard CD?


Anonymous said...

maybe if they had a little less reform and more progressive they Harper wouldn't come across as the so-con hick as he does.

Hatrock said...

Well I was referring to progessive on the economic scale, not the social scale. Nice troll though.