Monday, July 27, 2015
Flora MacDonald: Remembering a Decent Conservative
I don't believe I've ever written a tribute to a Conservative in this country. For obvious reasons.
But yesterday I retweeted this message from this decent Conservative...
To announce the death of his friend and great Canadian Flora MacDonald.
If Flora MacDonald had been born 20 years later, she might well have been Canada’s first female prime minister. As it was, the Cape Breton-born politician, who died early Sunday morning in her 90th year, broke down the invisible door that barred women from high office in Canada.
The political path she blazed led her to become the first woman in the western world to serve as foreign minister and the first to challenge for the leadership of Canada’s Progressive Conservative Party.
Who managed to prove in her long and excellent life that once you could be both: Conservative and decent. And who stood up for our precious Canadian values until the day she died.
So although it disgusts me, it doesn't surprise me, that this miserly message was all Stephen Harper managed to write or excrete to mark her passing...
I mean can you believe it? He couldn't even spell her name right.
But then of course he hated her and everything she represented. And he surely must have known that she despised him for what he did to her party, and has done to her country.
As she made clear in this 2003 Star article, shortly after she found out that Peter MacKay had sold out her Progressive Conservatives to Stephen Harper's ghastly red neck Alliance.
My reaction to the agreement in principle, signed secretly by MacKay and Stephen Harper in October, 2003, was first of all one of incredulity, then anger that the party decisions so strongly expressed in Edmonton and endorsed by MacKay during the leadership campaign could be so easily jettisoned.
Further, the fact that he would willingly preside over the demolition of a historic 150-year-old institution that has done so much to build this country leaves me asking how he defines integrity and principle.
Made it clear what she thought of that betrayal, and let those scummy Reform Cons know that she would not be marginalized or silenced...
I have earned the right to speak out when the future of the Progressive Conservative party is being threatened by betrayal at its current highest levels.
The party's future lies not in some right-wing alliance that would violate the progressive and moderate traditions of its former leaders, but with a renewed emphasis on the values that the great majority of Canadians feel represent their views.
Not by them, or for that matter by ANYBODY. Not after the way she had to fight for the rights of women to be taken seriously as politicians...
And yes, I like to think that some of that fighting spirit that allowed her to survive betrayal and disappointment, came from her Scottish heritage.
In her Ottawa apartment, overlooking the canal on which she often speed-skated to her parliamentary office, Ms. MacDonald kept a photograph of the gravestone of the woman for whom she was named: Flora MacDonald, preserver of the life of Prince Charles Edward Stewart. Her name will be mentioned in history, and if courage and fidelity be virtues, mentioned with honour.
Because while Bonnie Prince Charlie was a hopeless idiot and hardly worth saving. As a Scottish Canadian I was very proud of Flora. And she was a Canadian treasure.
So I thought I'd end this post with a song that isn't even Scottish. But when performed in the hallowed grounds of Edinburgh Castle where I'll be next week.
Sums up how I feel about her...
Amazing grace indeed. Thank you Flora MacDonald for standing up for our Canadian values, for the rights of women, and for basic human decency.
Who knows, when we destroy the Harper Cons and save our country, we might just save your old party too.
And one way or the other, we'll not forget you...