The Liberals have a choice. Either they can attempt to change the channel in Quebec, or they can continue with business as usual and go down to defeat there. Going Conservative Lite will not work. Dion’s reputation as an arch federalist speaks against it as does the fact that Conservative do asymmetrical federalism far better than the Liberals and they did it first under Mulroney meaning the Liberals came off looking like a bunch of Johnny come latelys on Martin. The Liberals must shift the entire focus away from federal provincial relations. Afghanistan and the environment are a start, but the Liberal’s track record hammers them on both files. Moreover, the fact that the Liberals Afghanistan position is not grounded in a coherent critique of the mission’s merits or lack there of hurts the Liberals immeasurably.
My position is clear. As Quebec is the most socially liberal Province and Montreal arguably its most the socially liberal city, the Liberals should seek to become the champion of social liberalism. The more controversial and headline grabbing the issue the better. Indeed, given the fact that the Liberals have virtually no chance outside of Montreal (Hull being a notable exception), this option is particularly attractive. I would like to hear some other opinions.