Friday, August 31, 2007

Maybe there is hope for the Liberals yet

Maybe there is hope for the Liberals yet. Liberal pollster Michael Marzolini gives the party some sensible advice.

1) Some Liberals have been touting recent economic turbulence as a potential opportunity to remind voters of their record as the party that tamed the national deficit and presided over almost 10 years of uninterrupted economic prosperity.

But Marzolini said the Tory economic record is viewed favourably as well. And House Leader Ralph Goodale said deficit busting "was for the era of the last 10 or 15 years and what's really important is what's going to happen in the next 10 or 15 years."

I said the same awhile back.

The Liberal Party is not going to get back into power promising to be same old good economic managers minus the corruption associated with the sponsorship program. Indeed, the economy is not tanking. So the solid Economic stewardship card does not even have superficial appeal.

2) He told them Canadians want fresh faces and creative, new ideas from the Liberals, not a rehash of past triumphs from former ministers left over from the Jean Chr├ętien and Paul Martin eras.

I have made the same point.

The Liberal brass seeks continuity with the past. Only in Canada would a supposedly liberal party stress tradition as much as this one. What the Liberals should be looking to do is to break with their past (their most recent past anyway) and not embrace it.

3) The Party must rebrand itself

The Liberals meanwhile, have yet to create an impression in opposition
I have made this point repeatedly.

It desperately needs to rebrand itself. The sponsorship scandal and years of political compromise have stained the once bright gloss. “What is does mean to be a Liberal?” has become as intractable as “what does it mean to be a Canadian?”.

4) However, Mr. Marzolini also told the Liberals that two of their key attack points, Afghanistan and the environment, are less effective because their stand is not clear.

MPs said Mr. Marzolini told them that Canada's role in Afghanistan has the potential to move voters, especially in Quebec, but the Liberal position is vague in the minds of most voters – who also see the Conservatives as being for the mission, and the NDP against.
I have made this point too.

Dion says Canada, having committed ourselves to the mission, should sit there and take our lumps until 2009; anything less would be “dishonourable”. Nobody has thought to expose the shallowness of Dion’s position by asking him this: If the Conservatives were to extend the mission to 2011, say, would removing Canadian troops in 2010, say, also be “dishonourable”? The Liberal party’s position can not be dictated by what the governing Conservatives stupidly commit Canada to as part of their three M foreign policy, viz., moronic, moralistic and macho. Dion can not afford to continue hiding the sins of the father; Liberal Afghan policy must flow from what the party’s assessment of the mission’s merits.

Rather than blasting ahead with the pull out option, some of the initial criticism got to Layton and he started back tracking before finding his backbone again. I commented on this.

After showing signs original thinking on Afghanistan, Layton’s inner child lost confidence in his own views and has subsequently backtracked; the NDP’s Afghan policy is becoming more muddled by the day and in the process more and more Liberal.

5) Among other things, he said, the Liberals need to offer fresh faces and a fresh agenda to Canadians and start laying out policy alternatives easily understood by voters.

Yep I have been harping on this for years.

the Liberals need to introduce policies that will get people talking. This means fist of all proposing policies that the public has the facility to talk about,

I have also offered some suggestions

1)Propose scrapping the monarchy

2)Propose mandating 4 weeks vacation a year

3)Propose free dental care

4)Propose Legalizing euthanasia

5)Propose Legalizing marijuana

6)Propose abolishing the senate

7) Again propose banning hand guns

8) Mandatory voting.

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