|Book cover courtesy Douglas & McIntyre|
Just in time for the Canadian federal election, Conservative Senator and party loyalist, Hugh Segal, has written a book about the joys of conservative politics.
In The Right Balance, Mr. Segal provides Canadians with a thoughtful and detailed account of the origins of Canadian conservatism and its raison d’être.
"These thousands of American Empire Loyalists, who emigrated from the colonies to New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, southern Québec and Ontario, did more than simply leave one idea of society behind to embrace another," writes Mr. Segal. "Their preference for the British Crown and Empire over the new republicanism of the colonies was also an embrace of a specific social order, a specific construct of society itself. Their migration to the Canadian colonies not only shaped a core element of our national and historical identity, but also established the very nature of English-Canadian conservatism."
Mr. Segal gives examples of prominent Canadians who moved the conservative movement forward and helped shape the country we have today: Sir John A. Macdonald, R.B. Bennett, John Diefenbaker, Brian Mulroney.
He also argues that Canadian conservatism is different from conservative movements in other countries in that it has been able to walk the line between private enterprise and public involvement.
"The right balance here is the very essence of a distinctly Canadian approach to communitarian conservatism and national enterprise. It is a clear Canadian rebalancing of the traditional relationship between free enterprise and private capital on one side versus public interest and social responsibility on the other," writes Mr. Segal.
To be fair to left of centre readers, Liberal governments have, of course, been in power many times since Canada became a nation and their supporters will tell you that Liberals are equally responsible for the great country we have today.
In the end, finding the right balance is neither left wing nor right wing, it is simply the correct thing to do.