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Le conservatisme

Linda Cardinal
Jean-Michel Lacroix


Texte intégral

1Andrew Ives — La Transformation du conservatisme à la canadienne

2The fusion of the two Canadian right-wing parties in 2003 marked a turning point in the history of Canadian conservatism, and on a wider level revealed changes in Canadian political culture. The principal change involves the weakening of the historically dominant Red Tory current in favour of a conservatism attached to the doctrines of economic liberalism. This change is illustrated using a model inspired by the work of Louis Dumont and the concept of rising individualism. The paper goes on to deal with the changes in religious influence that help to explain the transformation of Canadian conservatism.

3Frédéric Boily — Un néoconservatisme à la canadienne ? Stephen Harper et l’École de Calgary

4The term “neoconservatism” has often been used to characterize a group of intellectuals commonly referred to as the Calgary School. The Conservative Party under Stephen Harper has also been deemed “neoconservative.” But is this really appropriate? To address this question, one must first define how “neoconservatism” both draws and differs from other types of conservatism, such as reactionary or neoliberal conservatism. Only then can one determine whether the Calgary School and Stephen Harper’s governement can be described as neoconservative. We show that both the Conservative Party and the Calgary School represent a kind of synthetic conservatism, combining different conservative tendencies, of which neoconservatism is only one among several.

5Paul Lucardie — L’évanouissement du ‘toryisme’ canadien : les programmes du Parti conservateur de 1993 à 2006

6Old Tories never die, they just fade way:” That might be the conclusion drawn from a qualitative analysis of election platforms of the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada and its successor, the Conservative Party of Canada, in the period 1993-2006. Loyalty to the British Empire made way for a pro-American foreign policy, aristocratic scepticism for prudent populism; corporatism was replaced by individualism, state interventionism by business liberalism, while moralism has been added as a new element – no doubt due to the influence of the Reform Party, which first competed and then merged with the Progressive Conservative Party.

7Catherine Côté — Discours politique et discours médiatique : Le Canada est-il si conservateur ?

8The Canadian federal election of 2006 was a turning point after more than a decade of Liberal reign. Even if it was a new minority government, many analysts suggested that a conservative wind blew on Canada. This text analyses to what extent the parties’ discourses shared conservative views during the campaign and how the media conveyed that discourse. Moreover, it verifies voters’ predispositions to respond to that message by looking at different surveys. Results show that individualistic values are dominant and will therefore predispose voters to choose a party accordingly to a certain conservatism which is close to “red toryism”.

9Nathalie Kermoal — Les politiques autochtones canadiennes : de Thomas Flanagan aux conservateurs

10During the federal elections of 2004 and 2006, observers started to emphasize the influence that a group of intellectuals had on Canadian political life. Located at the University of Calgary and referred by most as the Calgary School, it has been said that it plays an eminent role within the Conservative Party and acts as a sort of laboratory of ideas for Western Canadian Conservatives as well as for Prime Minister Stephen Harper. This text analyzes the intellectual influences on the writings of Thomas Flanagan, the leader of the Calgary school. Very much influenced by the Austrian thinker, Friedrich Hayek, Flanagan seeks a major reform on reserves in Canada and sees individual property rights as a way of solving problems faced by the First Nations in Canada. This paper highlights the link that exists between Hayek and Flanagan as well as the influences the letters have on the political orientations of the conservative party when it comes to Aboriginal issues.

11Louis Balthazar — La portée du conservatisme américain au Canada

12Canadians may have felt recently much less conservative than their neighbours of the South. Contrary to what has been identified in the past by some observers who compared Canada to the United States, Canada has looked more liberal than its neighbour, thanks to its evolution since the 1960’s. This may be true in part but is quite exaggerated. Americans in fact are less conservative than it has been said. Canadians have become more conservative. Life in the suburbs, and now in the exurbs, has fostered conservative attitudes in Canada as well as in the United States.

13Gérard Boismenu — Le conservatisme : une valeur transcontinentale ?

14The study of the distinctive inscription of Canada in the North American continent is enriched with a comparative analysis of different forms of conservatism on both sides of the Atlantic. The impact of American fundamentalism accounts for the religious content of Canadian conservatism which has little to do with secular European conservatism.

15Éric Bédard — Le conservatisme canadien-français au XIXe siècle. Accéder autrement à la modernité

16In reaction to the ideas of the French revolution, conservative thought proposed an alternative view of modernity. After the failure of the republican rebellion which took place in Lower-Canada in the years 1837-38, the French-Canadian elite came to consider principles like unity, prosperity and morality, inspired by the conservative ethos, as the core of a doctrine which dominated political life in Quebec until the Quiet Revolution began in 1960. This text tries to demonstrate that, by promoting these principles, the French-Canadian elite did not reject modernity per se, but rather chose another path to fulfill its technical and philosophical promises.

17Gérard Fabre — Le conservatisme en habit vert. Académiciens français et élites francophones canadiennes au tournant du XXe siècle

18In the early twentieth century, most Francophone conservative writers thought highly of the French Academy. In his memoirs, French Canadian author Édouard Montpetit (1881-1954) refers to Ferdinand Brunetière (1849-1906) and Étienne Lamy (1845-1919). These Catholic Academicians helped the development of cultural relations between France and French Canada, at a period when the French government was anticlerical and not much appreciated in French Canada. These Academicians were highly regarded because their works came up to the expectations of French Canadian elites.

19Jean-François Caron — La nature des droites au Québec : entre conservatisme et libéralisme

20What is the nature of the political rights in Quebec ? Are they related to Liberalism or to Conservatism ? Based on the sociology of conservatism inherited from Edmund Burke and Louis de Bonald, this text tries to show how they differ from the sociological logic of liberalism. With those models, it seeks to demonstrate that the Parti libéral du Québec is closer to liberalism, while the Action démocratique du Québec shows some elements of conservatism.

21Gilles Labelle — Une tentative de faire renaître un courant intellectuel conservateur au Québec : la revue Égards

22Égards is a new conservative journal published since 2003 in Quebec. The editors have already published 16 issues, which is more than many observers expected. The main goal of Égards as expressed in its fundamental declaration is to “untie the homicidal work of the Quiet Revolution.” After an analysis of the critique of Quebec contemporary society proposed by the editors, the “political theology” of one of the founders of the journal, well-known writer Jean Renaud, is considered in detail.

23Michel Sarra-Bournet — L’infortune politique de la droite québécoise après 1960

24This study focuses on the difficulty of right-wing parties to gain support in Quebec after 1960. Two factors have been identified. The first is the effect of the electoral system on the number of parties and on their behaviour once in power : it favours a two-party system, made of “catch-all parties” that govern close to the center of the political spectrum. The striking similarities of the policies of the last two governments disappointed many right-wing voters who deserted the Liberal Party in 2007. The second is the effect of the constitutional debate. For many years, the right-leaning voters were forced to choose between the federalist Liberal Party and the sovereignist Parti Québécois. Therefore, the diminished constitutional tension also accounts for the recent surge of the Action démocratique du Québec. That party was able to tap into the pool of nationalist voters tied to the Parti Québécois since the disappearance of the Union nationale.

25Jacques Palard — Culture politique régionale et vote conservateur. Singularité ou exemplarité de la Beauce (Québec) ?

26The context of La Beauce, a very specific part of the province of Quebec, offers an interesting case study even if the word conservatism, strictly speaking, does not really apply. Yet the election of Maxime Bernier, a Conservative MP at the 2006 federal election, highlights values such as individual liberty, free enterprise and moral integrity. The region of La Beauce seems to provide an ideal breeding ground for conservative ideas.

© Presses Sorbonne Nouvelle, 2009

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