Tuesday, April 10, 2007

What is a 'Tory'?

Just nosing around in National Newswatch this morning when I came upon this article by the Star's totally unbiased Tonda MacCharles.

One headline caught my eye - "Tory secrets go for $6.48 on eBay". The article then proceeds to explain how a Star employee got a hold of a laptop containing "secrets" left by a Canadian Alliance party organizer from back in 2003.

In these days of identity theft, this type of thing is inexcusable to be sure.

But it was the title that intrigued me. The term Tory is thrown around so casually now, that it seems to encompass a whole range of ideologies. I mean, if anyone from the Canadian Alliance was considered to be a Tory, how do we differentiate from the now defunct PC Party of Canada?

Surely Ms. MacCharles wasn't actually intending to cast aspersions on the current party in government, was she?

No, never. Not the Star!

* * * *

Update: Right on Course - The Toronto Star: Invading People's Privacy...


jeff davidson said...

i'm quite sure that you're better off as "tories" than the alternatives. there was good reason to lose the reform/alliance tags. you think harper would be PM today if he was leader of the alliance party?

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Jeff, I'm not disputing that at all.

I have an issue with Tonda M. using the word 'Tory' to refer to something happening back in 2003 with the Canadian Alliance party. It's the semantics that are at issue here.

glenda said...

An entire essay could be written on what a Tory is. The Canadian Alliance was not Tory but the semantics are lost on most reporters and many Conservatives. The bottom line however is that editors like the word because it's only four letters and easy to fit into a headline. Reporters don't write the headlines.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Good point, Glenda.

O.K. Tonda is off the hook. Back to blaming the editors.

Anonymous said...

I wrote to a Star reporter/editor about one of his headlines during the last election, and got a personal reply. It wasn't what I wanted, but I got his attention. He basically told me that the headline was what he heard the PM say (for the life of me, I can't remember the issue now)....but, I wrote back, saying that he took the comment out of context, which he did, and made it into a biased headline. He didn't write back. :-)


Joanne (True Blue) said...

Well, if anyone from the Star is reading this right now, please feel free to express your opinion.

glenda said...

On the other hand ... Grit is also only four letters and I don't think it's near as popular with headline writers.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Glenda, that's interesting. It might be fun to do a little survey on that...

Red Tory said...

You may have noted that I NEVER use the term “Tory” when referring to the Harper Conservatives because it gives particular offense to some of my readers who are old-line, hardcore traditional Tories and seethe with fury at having the term usurped by a bunch of jumped up right-wing hooligans masquerading as conservatives. Hence, the expression “so-called conservatives” is employed or the term is simply put in quotation marks (“conservatives”) when referring to these pretend conservatives. I try to be very particular about this. In point of fact, most of those who claim to be conservatives are actually Classical Liberals. Now there’s a rich irony for you.

It always makes me laugh when irate “conservatives” get their knickers in a twist at my handle and claim that I have no right to call myself a Tory of any kind. Clearly, they have not the slightest clue what a “Tory” is let alone a “Red Tory.” Funny thing, political labels...


As for the term "Grits" I think you'll find that most people find it archaic these days. Many probably wouldn't even relate it to the Liberals. It has only slightly more currency than "Whigs" does.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

As for the term "Grits" I think you'll find that most people find it archaic these days. Many probably wouldn't even relate it to the Liberals.

I think we need new 'handles' for both parties.

Anonymous said...

All I have to say is this obvious point based on the story: if the MSM in this country was not liberal, then liberals would not exist.
(real conservative)

Anonymous said...

Tango Juliette sez:

Interesting how the self-annointed sages like to try calcifying the English Language, one of the most malleable,changeably adaptive and absorbative languages on the face of the planet.

No matter how you slice it R * T, common usage seems to be heading to : Tory: Not a Grit.

Grit: appropriately, in the past did, and still does today, rhyme with the fillings in little Boo-Bears nappy.

The Grit-oriented media has chosen to try bleaching the poop out of the language, but sometimes the truth still sticks.

Grits then, it is. They're full of it and it is starting to not only show -- the whole thieving LPC sideshow simply R E E K S of it.

In reality, the Liberals seem to have been afflicted with peculiar vision/perception defects. They can't yet see their own criminality, choosing to delude themselve with the lie that "the RCMP/thedumb electorate screwed us in the last General Election!"

they refuse to use the name Conservative, and have refused to do so, since Harper became head of the Conservative Party.

Chretien, Martin and the other flakes in past Cabinets constantly used names like "refom/alliance" or vice versa, or "Days party" or "the Presto-Party." But that's OK. Cause them doomed-to-extinction Graberals will never, ever, ever be able to garble out the words "Those bluddy Conservatives, our conquerors, our vanquishers, our exterminators."

The sorriest Blue-Blood, silver-spoon, fat-cat socialist Liberal on the Planet?

That'd have to be the one who is a "Conservative Majority Denier!"


Red Tory said...

The so-called liberal media... Good grief, don't you folks ever tire of flogging that poor dead horse?

Red Tory said...

Perhaps if Banjo Julliette wasn’t so mired in her Boo Bear’s nappies while pounding out another one of her incomprehensible Liberal-bashing diatribes, she might realize that there’s a difference between Conservative and conservative: the former term referring to the Conservative Party of Canada and the latter to conservative, as in the political ideology.

Whether the CPC is actually conservative is a matter of debate. We are frequently told by some Conservatives who are peddling the notion that the CPC is in fact a “centrist” party that in the U.S. Harper would be considered a Democrat. Presumably, this is meant to sway those who lean to the left and centre of the political spectrum into thinking that Harper is a moderate of some kind. Does that invalidate the claim to be a conservative? It’s really something that those on the right should resolve because there seems to be a good deal of confusion over what the CPC actually stands for these days. It seems that there are a good number of Conservatives who want to claim the centre in order to get a majority, but in doing so they have to embrace policies that many of their more conservative supporters find repugnant and contradictory to their beliefs.

I’m not sure what all the vituperative rubbish about the endemic criminality of Liberals or all the name-calling about them being fat-cats, socialists, etc. has to do with anything other than being the usual angry discharge of vitriol this particular individual delights in.

But I digress… The actual topic of this thread was the term “Tory” and what does it mean. As I said, there are some Tories who feel that Harper and the Conservatives have no right to the use of that particular term because of their quasi-Republican political affinities that run contrary to traditional Tory values. Again, this is something that the right needs to come to grips with. It’s not something that I get particularly exercised over, but I avoid it out of respect for those who feel its usage by the Conservatives is illegitimate.

Anonymous said...

Tangle Banjo-ette sez:

It's really TangoJuliette, my civilian scoffer, and it's a moniker I acquired in Jump-school some forty-five years ago. Army Radio talk for the initials of my names. You, paranthetically, as Red Tory, could be Romeo Tango:

". . . a bunch of jumped up right-wing hooligans masquerading as conservatives. . . ." redtory

For a guy who likes to lob grenades, you don't seem to take kindly, nor maturely, to someone tossing a few back atchya. How typically liberal of you. Your pejorative ramblings are wraped in the guise of "truth and of righteousness," while we poor sods, opposed to the thieving leftoid/centrists, are not blessed with the same sort of "pass?" Just because you say that's the way it it?

I call that one of the highest levels of absolute "GR*T-SH*T."

Gee Red, you sure do get worked up over titles. Tho I do agree with your cleaving to purist forms of label retention, the English language doesn't always seem to work out that way.

I honestly do suspect that the media-driven agenda of nomenclature is what is primarily behind the label "Tory" having far more traction today than the equally short forms of "Whig" and "Grit." Seriously, the last tag, "The Grits", is probably being dry-docked by the media types because, admit it, it truly does lend itself to some unfortunate scatological twists, much more than it being a case of the populace being as perceptive as you might have seemed to be implying in some earlier disertation of yours. But "Whig" has some very interesting twists available as well.

"The so-called liberal media...?" Red?

O c'mon. AnyONE, anyTHING devoted to continually defending the indefensible, is esentially trying to carry out some best-before date CPR. Some purportedly dead horses are truly worth flogging, 'cause they ain't quite dead yet. Reminds me Dracula, Vampires, of Tass, Red star, and other totalitarian and monolithic enterprises. A silver bullet or a wooden stake, either one is good enough to put an end to the flogging of this "deceased" nag.

Same with the issue of the crimiinality of the LPC. Maybe YOU don't mind being fleeced of your tax dollars, but I most certainly do. As for the broad brush I use to tar this big RED machine? Well, let's just check out some of the Gomery Testimony. I has been declared that at least twenty Lib Riding Associations were recipeints of exhorbitant Brown-Envelope Largess. And, all of it Purloined, Illicit, of course. That's close to twenty percent of the Lib seats today. If the Libs don't want to rat out their TWENTY associates, that quite clearly places ALL of the riding associations and members on the "suspected of being crooked thieves" side of the ledger. I s'pose that's sufficiently Liberal for your sensitivities, yes?

Your missives have long had me believing that if anything, regardless your claimed sensitivity and magnanimity, you sound more like a closet Liberal than most anything else. Could that have you sliding across the colour spectrum, over into the realm of the Garnet Grits?

How many of this Lib crowd could you identify as being truly "classically Liberal?" C'mon, now. Honestly, I mean.

typos e. & o. e.

liberal supporter said...

The funny part is that the Grits were named after clear grit, a kind of sand used in making mortar, which personified the kind of people they wanted in the pre-Confederation Reform movement.

I'm sure if there was a rising Liberal named John Grit, you would hear the party nickname used more.

jgriffin said...


If people don't like the old names maybe we could just go by their colours. The Harperites could be the "blues", the Dionistas the "reds", and of course Smiling Jack's boys would all be "yellows"...

PGP said...

I'm not so sure that The Red Rag can really be classified as MSM....

Tabloids don't really count.
But why mix the question of What's a Tory with the story on misbehaving pseudo journalists and their ethically challenged employers?

One of these things is NOT like the OTHER.

Brian in Calgary said...

In point of fact, most of those who claim to be conservatives are actually Classical Liberals.

RT, I was going to ask you to not insult me by calling me a Liberal, but then I realized you qualified your term. As I understand it, a Classical Liberal is one who believes in liberty. If so, I can live with that description. I've certainly been called much worse.

BTW, according to the dictionary attached to my WordPerfect software, one of the definitions of "Tory" is: a supporter of traditional political and social institutions against the forces of reform; a political conservative.

liberal supporter said...

WordPerfect Brian?

I thought I was the most "computer conservative" person around. I finally decided last year that with Microsoft Word at version 12, I could feel safe that they've got the bugs out.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

The funny part is that the Grits were named after clear grit, a kind of sand used in making mortar, which personified the kind of people they wanted in the pre-Confederation Reform movement.

L.S., that's interesting. I always wondered about that.