Our Ideological Compass
Core values are the essential and durable base of our party. An effective set of core values answers the following question: what is really important to the Conservative Party of Quebec? When we tell our children or our friends what the party is all about and why we support it, we tell them about our values.
Values are the glue that holds us together.
Our values are intrinsic and critical to our party and they must be so for every member. They must endure changes to the leadership of the policy commission or of the leader of the party. They survive regardless of what happens to society, at the National Assembly or in the polls.
Our core values distinguish us from other political parties but that is not why we have them. We have them because they define us; they say what we stand for and who we are.
Our values are not for sale. We may lose votes because we have them but we will nevertheless cherish them and passionately defend them because we know, in our heart of hearts, that they are the right thing to do to put Quebec back on the rails.
We should use our values as a benchmark to measure our successes and our failures and how we reward and recognize our volunteers and our candidates and how we celebrate our successes.
We, the members of the Conservative Party of Quebec, form a party where Quebecers of varied backgrounds and cultures can coalesce around certain ideals and values. These True North principles provide the Party with an ideological compass always pointing in a consistent direction to guide its actions and programs, filter its candidates, align its volunteers and rally its members.
Individual Rights and Freedoms
Individual liberty is the fundamental political value of the Conservative Party of Quebec.
We defend the fundamental rights and freedoms of the individual against the encroachments of the all powerful State. Since freedom is not so much the right to exercise one’s will than to not be subjected to someone else’s, government, when it acts, must always question if its action increases or decreases individual liberty. Government should never sacrifice the well-being of the individual for the well-being of the community. We respect the right of individuals to exercise their freedoms so long as they do not encroach on the freedoms of others. The State, by its coercive power, must not prevent individuals from doing things with which it does not agree.
The Responsibility of Each Citizen
Individual rights and freedoms entail individual responsibilities and obligations. Free citizens assume their obligations, the responsibilities of their choices and the consequences of their actions without expecting the State to do so on their behalf.
We want a prosperous economy but we believe that economic activity should be carried out through a market economy, that is, voluntary exchanges among free individuals. The State should not substitute itself for the free market nor tell us where to work, how to save, what to build or produce. Rather, it should create a climate encouraging competition, which is a source of beneficial innovation for consumers. Private property and an independent judiciary are the foundations of a free market.
An Essential but Limited Role for the State
Government has an essential role but we do not believe that statism is the universal answer to all problems.
The essential mission of the State is to protect individual rights and freedoms, to administer the civil, penal and criminal justice system, to invest in public infrastructure, to intervene in case of natural disasters and to foster favorable conditions so that citizens can flourish and exercise their talents. Together with private charity, the State helps those in dire circumstances who are unable to provide for themselves. When it does so, government support must be well targeted and must encourage a gradual return to autonomy if possible. Our civil institutions, such as our families, our charitable organizations (whether religious or secular) and our community and cooperative organizations are in a better position than the State and its bureaucratic rules to help members in our society who are in need.
State regulation may be necessary to establish the rules of the game but they must not be so burdensome as to regulate every aspect of our lives nor derail a strong and flourishing free market. The State should not grant privileges and must not create dependency to individual or corporate welfare. When it does act, the State ensures that the resources and the power are delegated to decision-making authorities that are as close as possible to the citizens.
To fulfill its essential role, the State should be adequately financed by taxes at a level which will not discourage investment and work. The State manages Quebecers’ hard-earned tax dollars as a trustee of public goods. It ensures that public finances are well managed, that the budget is balanced and that public sector debt is maintained at an acceptable level when considering the taxpayers’ capacity to pay. It respects intergenerational equity.
We support the principle of the rule of law that provides individuals with a safeguard against arbitrary government decisions. The rule of law includes equality of all before the law.
A Government at the Service of Citizens
Elected officials represent their voters and they should serve them in an honest and ethical manner and for the interest of all. Their obligations towards their voters override those of their political party. The government, elected representatives and civil servants are in office first and foremost to serve Quebecers. They must act in an open and transparent manner and are accountable to the citizens.
Our Future and Our Place in Canada and in the World
Although there will always be changes, problems, conflicts and disasters in our society, we confront the future with confidence thanks to free individuals who are better equipped to cope and to achieve their goals in greater harmony. We believe that Quebecers are smart and creative enough to find solutions to the many challenges facing them if we let them free to act in their own interest. With the right incentives in place, the majority of them will address these issues in a dynamic, productive and innovative way.
We believe in the full exercise of the constitutional rights and freedoms of Quebec within Canada. Quebecers have an obligation to contribute to a united and democratic Canada within which they can assert their identity.
Quebec is open to the world and we have confidence that Quebecers have the potential and the genius to let their talent shine worldwide.