M-103: How To Beat Fake Tories
March 23rd, 2017 (Updated) | R. Rados
michael chong
The vote is in. Canada's House Of Commons passed the controversial anti-Islamophobia motion, M-103, with only 91 Nay votes coming from Conservatives. Supporters have argued that M-103 is "just a motion" and has no real consequences, which makes us wonder why anyone would then bother with it. 

It could be argued that M-103 was one of the most important motions in recent memory, even if it fails to result in any new legislation. Out of all the sitting Conservative MPs, it appears only one showed up on March 23 to join Liberals and New Democrats to vote in favour of M-103. Others were absent, leaving us no choice but to dig into their histories and determine for ourselves what their positions would have been. 

To be clear, M-103 called for a "whole of government approach" to quell Islamophobia, leading many to believe that it would eventually result in legislation following government "studies" and recommendations. Canada's current hate speech laws could be used to impose even more restrictions on speech in Canada, particularly pertaining to Islam and the criticism of Islam. As I described in an article last month, Canada's Supreme Court has once ruled that "hate propaganda" is as simple as "harsh criticism". To get a better perspective, you can read about it here. There is no telling what future courts will rule on hate speech, making the very existence of such laws dangerous. 

So, which Conservative MP voted for M-103? You'll have no trouble figuring that out if you've been paying attention. 

Michael Chong - Voted Yes

Michael Chong hasn't been shy about leaning left on some of the most important issues facing Canadians. Somehow, though, he still likes to call himself a conservative. In September I outlined some of the fundamental things Michael Chong is wrong about. You can read that here. The list includes a national carbon tax, which Chong has been trying to shove down our throats via the Conservative leadership race since last Spring. 

To add to his perpetual race baiting—by using his immigrant history to prove a redundant point no one cares about—and to his accusations of racism against fellow leadership candidates, Michael Chong has been acting like a full fledged Liberal. So, I guess, why would he stop now?

I have no ill will against Michael Chong personally, but he's been faking it for too long. Michael Chong is not a conservative and has no place in my—or your— Conservative Party. It's time for him to go.

The Conservative Party is in the official opposition, which means now is a better time than any for Michael Chong to cross the floor. That's right. I said cross the floor. Leave. Goodbye. If he doesn't, he should be internally challenged for the nomination in his riding of Wellington-Halton Hills. If he does the noble thing and chooses to cross the floor before 2019, the Conservative Party can have a nice, fair nomination race to replace and challenge him in the next general election. If not, a good conservative should step up soon.

Surely there must be registered Conservatives in Wellington-Halton Hills or elsewhere that would put their names forward in the event Michael Chong chooses to carry the Conservative banner into 2019. As a reluctant Conservative Party member (haven't received my card yet), I'm sure I speak for others like myself when I say that Michael Chong is not welcome here anymore. Wellington-Halton Hills could benefit from having a true conservative representative in the House Of Commons, rather than a Liberal that carries a false flag. 

The other option is for conservatives in Wellington-Halton Hills to stay home or vote for an alternative on election day if Michael Chong is still their Conservative candidate. In 2019, The Conservatives will either win or they won't. Sacrificing one faux conservative seat won't make too much of a difference. Even if Michael Chong wins as a Conservative in 2019, he shouldn't be trusted to prop up or support important Conservative legislation. Electing Michael Chong in 2019 is the exact same as electing a Liberal. It will make no difference. 

Lisa Raitt - Absent 

If you're another phony, unprincipled conservative who is afraid to lose your job or face consequences, there is no better way to try to save yourself than by skipping a vote in the House Of Commons. That's exactly what Lisa Raitt chose to do on March 23, despite being in the House Of Commons—and in Ottawa—the day before. 

The day before the vote on M-103, Lisa Raitt complained that she had been nearly obstructed from being present in the House Of Commons by an evil, conspiratorial Liberal government on budget day. I don't doubt her claims, given how disgusting the Trudeau government has been since it was sworn in, but my question is: where was she on M-103? Was there a bus blocking her from getting into the building? Probably not. 

The best way to find out if Lisa Raitt would have supported M-103 (had it not been so contentious) is to look back at some of the things she has supported in the past. More specifically, her support for expanding the definition of hate propaganda and "harsh criticism" under Canada's Human Rights Act with Bill C-16. 

In October, Lisa Raitt proudly voted for Bill C-16 which accomplished the following:

This enactment amends the Canadian Human Rights Act to add gender identity and gender expression to the list of prohibited grounds of discrimination.

The enactment also amends the Criminal Code to extend the protection against hate propaganda set out in that Act to any section of the public that is distinguished by gender  identity or expression and to clearly set out that evidence that an offence was motivated by bias, prejudice or hate based on gender identity or expression constitutes an aggravating circumstance that a court must take into consideration when it imposes a sentence.”

In the Conservative leadership race, Lisa Raitt has exhibited the same type of behaviour. By behaviour, I mean trying to avoid important issues. Her platform for leadership is one of the most vague among all the candidates. Going into April, most Conservative members still have no idea what Lisa Raitt stands for. 

Lisa Raitt speaks well, but she has no principles and absolutely no backbone. Unlike Michael Chong, who has a huge backbone, Lisa Raitt chooses to stand for nothing. She fears being wrong. She fears being criticized. But most importantly, she fears losing votes in her riding of Milton. Many of her peers have called her strong, but she isn't. A strong person stands up for what they believe in. If Lisa Raitt really believed in anything, she would have shown up to vote for or against M-103 like Michael Chong. Instead, she chose to avoid the backlash and the consequences.

Lisa Raitt thought she could play to both sides by skipping M-103. She thought she could avoid criticism from both the conservative and progressive wings of the party by simply abstaining and not having an actual vote on record. She was wrong. She isn't fooling anyone. Lisa Raitt has proven that she has no principles. She has proven that her personal ambitions are more important than her party and her conservative supporters.

Sorry Lisa. Saying you oppose a carbon tax and giving the Trudeau government the periodic tongue lashing isn't enough. If Raitt wants to prove she's a conservative or that she's worthy of leading the party, she should start acting like it. I bet conservatives in Milton are glad she still gets a pay cheque this week for not showing up to do her job. Right?

Boot Them

There are ways to deal with fake Tories. As outlined above, they should be either encouraged to cross the floor or be challenged by conservatives in their ridings leading up to 2019. If you live in either Wellington-Halton Hills or Milton, call your constituency office. Call your local presidents and board members. Start a petition. If you know a good (preferably higher profile) conservative, encourage them to step up. When all else has failed, true conservatives can run as independents. For more info on how to become a candidate, see here

Party politics has a way of taking out the trash, but it starts at the grassroots level. Conservative insiders and the party establishment will resist internal challenges, but we can fight them. If the faux conservatives refuse to step aside, we can give them that much needed shove.