Tuesday, January 31, 2006

The Old Liberal Party

One thing I'm not going to miss about the election campaign is this constant reference:
If the Conservative Party were the old Progressive Conservative Party, they'd have a real shot at power.
Scott Brison says it every 5 minutes. He must be the life of a party.

Then, I read this by Adam Radwanski, where he details his trip through the Liberal Youth as a non-Martin supporter [hat tip, Bad Red Apple]; I'd like to suggest that the current Liberal Party is not the old Liberal Party. In that same theme, Sinister Thoughts argues that many left-leaning supporters are wrong in their belief that the Liberal Party is left leaning enough to stop conservatism, believing that the Liberal Party is the same one that was governed by Pierre Trudeau.

The quote from the campaign that comes to mind to underline this - "Liberals campaign like the NDP, but then govern like the Tories".

Canadians have decided that they like the country to be governed by Tories, but now it's safe to campaign like Tories (not entirely, granted, or we wouldn't be in a minority government). Quebec, having long relegated Conservatives to "also rans", has even said that they don't mind electing and supporting Tories - electing an amazing 10 Conservative MPs, and reducing the desire for separation due to the prospect of having another federalist voice in Ottawa, as suggested in a recent poll.

But, what about the Liberal Party? Do I want them vanquished? Gone? Not at all. I think having a mainstream left-leaning party is important.

We don't have one, though.

I think it's healthy to have multiple parties, debating ideas, and that governments change between those ideologies, so new policies and programs can grow.

I think the Liberal Party needs to push out the Martin-only team, the one that seems to be in control of the Liberal Party, as suggested by Adam Radwanski. I think they need this time to rebuild without either Mr. Martin or Mr. Chr├ętien whispering in somebody's ear. Will that happen? I don't know. I'm not a Liberal.

There is no need to campaign like the NDP and to govern like the Tories. Campaign like Liberals, and govern like Liberals.

In my opinion, because I need a Liberal Party, as much as I need an NDP to challenge my beliefs, I believe that if the Liberal Party wants to win the next general election, it must become the old Liberal Party.

Take that, Mr. Brison.

Updated: It looks like the poll that I quoted in this piece about the drop in support for sovereignty has been corrected to reflect new numbers [Toronto Star, Poll still shows drop in sovereignty support]:
The revised poll numbers indicate the number of Quebecers who supported an independent Quebec dropped to 37 per cent after the election from 40 per cent before the Jan. 23 vote.

The original results pegged support for sovereignty at 34 per cent after the federal election and 43 per cent before.

...

Claude Gauthier, vice-president of CROP, said in an open letter in La Presse today that the problems came to light after a thorough analysis of the makeup of the respondents.

"More non-francophones were contacted at the end of the poll and more residents of the island of Montreal, as well as, to a lesser degree, a few more women," he wrote.

"These are variables that figure prominently in the political opinions and which usually give the advantage to the federalist options and parties.
I've updated the original reference with the new link.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

THIS might be how a political party should be formed and led:
http://www.wildduckdiary.com/wordpress/2006/01/31/harpers-braintrust/