The Current

It's time for red and blue Tories to part ways, says Conservative Party member

Not all Canadian conservatives are liking the looks of the Conservative Party leadership candidates. According to Conservative Scott Gilmore, the party today has strayed too far from the centre and he's proposing a brand new conservative party.
Conservative Scott Gilmore says none of the leadership candidates are working for him and he is proposing it's time for a brand new Conservative party. (Justin Tang/Canadian Press)

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There are 12 Conservative Party of Canada leadership candidates in the race to be the future face of Canadian conservatism and every option is leaving Scott Gilmore cold.

The Conservative party member, who is married to a Liberal Cabinet Minister, argues in his article, Confessions of a Self-Loathing the grand experiment of uniting the Canadian right may have run its course.

It's been 14 years since the merger of the Canadian Alliance and Progressive Conservative parties and Gilmore says the time has come to uncouple — and launch a new conservative party, closer to the old PC roots. 

Gilmore tells The Current's Friday host Laura Lynch that he's become acclimatized to the idea that being conservative in Canada means "that you also are opposed to refugees, you're opposed to marijuana, you want to put more people in jail."

"These are all ideas that have sort of naturally seeped into the conservative discourse but they don't reflect the values, I would argue, of the majority of naturally conservative voters in this country."
Erin O'Toole has the backing of the most Conservative MPs for party leader. (Paul Chiasson/Canadian Press)

Gilmore says he hears people identifying as fiscally conservative but socially moderate yet he points out there's not party in Canada that represents those values.

Conservative political analyst Alise Mills understands Gilmore's frustration but she doesn't accept the hate.

"I don't understand maligning 38 per cent of Canadians and a movement and not being able to understand the difference between a movement and a party."

Mills tells Lynch as a conservative movement person, she has seen the movement beginning to up rise in the last eight years.

"I think the movement is also in this process of like, you know a snake shedding its skin — it doesn't matter how close we could be to turning over power, the party needs to go through this massive change and disassociate itself with its former leadership."

Conservative Party member and youth political activist Colby Badhwar relates to some of the frustrations Gilmore points to but questions creating a new Conservative party as a better way represent conservatives across the country.

"I think that dividing the right again would be very counterproductive because I don't think that there's any chance that we could get back into government under those circumstances," he tells Lynch.

"I think the more productive way to go about that is to engage in grassroots activism on the ground and change the face of the party that way rather than just, you know, trying to start fresh."

Listen the full conversation at the top of this web post.

This segment was produced by The Current's Willow Smith, Shannon Higgins and Sam Colbert.