Friday, October 20, 2006

Harper and The TheoCons - Part II

Related: Harper and The TheoCons Part I

I had been considering whether this particular essay was necessary, but with recent events that look suspiciously like the TheCons in the CPoC flexing their muscles, I decided that it is worth some time to examine who some of the personalites that the article in the October issue of The Walrus noted.

First out of the gate is Texas Evangelist John Hagee, the man behind John Hagee Ministries. Hagee came up to Canada at Charles McVety's invitation of Charles McVety. What's the relevance of an American Evangelist coming to Canada? Not much - superficially. However, the Walrus makes two very important observations about Hagee:

...to hear a superstar pastor with a direct pipeline to the born-again occupant of the White House. As Hagee confied to a reporter before his Toronto appearance, he first broke bread with George Bush back in the Texas statehouse, "so I know that he is with us."

Now he has reached the same conclusion about the man ensconsed at 24 Sussex Drive. On stage, Hagee lauded one of Stephen Harper's first post-election acts: after Hamas militants won power in the Palestinian Authority, Harper became the first world leader to cut off its funding, trumping even Bush.


This segues nicely into a discussion of Charles McVety - a very significant player in the "Christian Right Wing" in Canada. He was certainly one of the loudest opponents during the arguments over SGM, and is known to be trying to load the Conservative caucus in Ottawa. (Besides the challenge to Garth Turner, the Walrus makes more observations)

His Toronto host, not to mention longtime Canadian major-domo, was Canada Christian College president Charles McVety, one of the most outspoken players in this country's religious right wign. During the last election, as head of a handful of pro-family lobbies including the "Defend Marriage Coalition", McVety emerged as a power to be reckoned with. He bought up the rights to unclaimed Liberal websites such as josephvolep.com and stacked a handful of Conservative nomination contests in favour of evangelical candidates adamantly opposed to same-sex matrimony, a campaign he has vowed to repeat. As Harper navigates the tricky waters of minority rule ... it is noteworthy that he has continued to cultivate a man regarded as the lightning rod of the Christian right. Last spring, those around the prime minister drafter McVety to help sell the government's contentious child-care policy and on budget day he was the personal guest of Finance Minister Jim Flaherty in the Common's VIP-gallery


I'll not spend too much time on Darrel Reid - I've already discussed him.

Last winter, The Institute of Marriage and Family opened its doors in Ottawa, headed by a gentleman by the name of Dave Quist. Besides the known connections back to Dobson, I'll let the Walrus' excellent research speak about this man who is otherwise a cipher to me:

...A born-again Christian who spent six years as executive assistant to Reed Elley, the Reform/Alliance MP from Nanaimo-Cowichan, Quist more than fit the job description. In 2004, when Elley resigned, Quist ran for his seat and, aftr losing spent last year as operations manager in Harper's office.
...On the day of the Throne Speech, Quist was one of more than a dozen guests at a festive pre-event lunch in the parliamentary restaurant hosted by Senator Ann Cools, a vocal social conservative in Harper's caucus. There had been no mention of a business agenda in the initial invitation, but Cools' guest list included some of the country's most muscular so-con voices, include McVety and Gwen Landolt of REAL Woman of Canada.


There's more, much more that I want to discuss. What I see as key here is a pattern that is consistent with what we have observed in recent weeks, especially with respect to MP Garth Turner's treatment. More and more, the picture that is emerging is that the CPoC is being driven not by a group of moderate conservatives, with the extreme being kept somewhat at bay by numbers, but rather it appears that the extremists are slowly pushing out the last vestiges of the old Progressive Conservatives (or those who will not convert to their particular way of thinking...)

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