Wednesday, October 31, 2007

The Liberals Lack the Vision Thing

The Conservatives offer Canadians a vision. It is not one that I happen to agree with, but at least they have a vision. Moreover, they have been able to translate that vision into a number of popular policies, e.g., the GST cut.

The Liberals offer Canadians no vision. They are the party of the status quo. This crop of Liberals seems utterly disinclined to challenge societal “taboos” the way Trudeau did with his Omnibus Bill in 1968. It is the party of bourgeoisie respectability. There is a hodge-podge of technocratic solutions aimed at tweaking things a bit. Many are well thought out and well intentioned, but none inspire. There is not a single Liberal policy that Canadians would trade even up for shaving another point off the GST. This crop of Liberals is decidedly not “cool”. They are painfully nice, in Canadian sort of way, but they are as dull as dishwater and hopelessly temperamentally conservative. They lack any kind of sex appeal. It as if the Liberals decided that Stanfield and Clark are better role models than Pierre Trudeau.

It gets worse. The Liberals claim to be the party of a united Canada, but not one of their policies is aimed at all Canadians. The Liberals talk about university students, Maritime Canadians, Native Canadians and the poor, but offer Canadians no policy that will have a tangible benefit to all Canadians. They have abandoned universality altogether. Moreover, Dion hints at wanting to carry on the proud Liberal tradition of standing up for a strong Federal government, well all the while announcing that he was solidly behind the rightly loathed Meech Lake and Charlottetown Accords and otherwise sounding like the loathsome Jean Lapierre in a mellow mood. In both senses, not only has the party failed to capture the imagination of Canadians, they have also betrayed the legacy of Lester Pearson and Pierre Trudeau.

If the two parties continue as is, the Liberals will loose the next election and loose badly.


billg said...

Nice post. Your right. But, there is one thing your missing, its not really all the Liberals fault. This country has been managed pretty well for the last 15 years, 13 under the Liberals. I know most Liberals have a hard time understanding this, but, thats amazing. 13 years!! I'm not sure Liberals appreciate the amount of energy, sweat and talent that has been used in those 13 years. The tank is empty right now. To me, when a country swings left then right...thats a good thing. Its going to take alot to deny Mr Harper a majority, and, in 5 years its going to be hard to deny the Liberals their majority, and thats the way I'd prefer it to be. I like it better and think Canada is much better served when the Libs and the Cons fight it out for the best ideas, and right now the Libs best ideas have been used up, but, the party will re-charge itself, think of ways to better Canadians lives, and, win the next election after this one. Its a win-win thing.

Anonymous said...

You don't know that yet - they are keeping their policies close to the chest - anything they reveal is taken up by Harper.

Patience folks.

Anonymous said...

Why would you say that any Liberal policies disclosed would be taken up by Harper?

You can read Harper's long term plan and policies which was formulated and voted on by the grass roots party members at the 2005 policy convention.

Aside from a few tweaks based on an ever changing world and adapting to new realities as any government should Harper has followed this plan incrementally with short term, mid term and long term goals and actions.

Good government is doing hundreds of little things right. So, the Liberals keep thinking they have to come up with some big ban g and a new empty rhetoric slogan? Greener, leaner, meaner, keener, social justice and new backpacks for all is not quite cutting it? all

Jim said...

Har har! That's funny...."We have a bunch of really great policies, but we are not going to tell anybody, lest the Cons steal our ideas."

At this point in history the LPC is bankrupt in every way, shape and form. They better come up with something soon....

Koby said...

>>>> You don't know that yet - they are keeping their policies close to the chest - anything they reveal is taken up by Harper.

Patience folks."

Harper is very predictable. He is for tax cuts, “choice” in education, getting dumb on crime, launching a war on drugs, military spending, reshaping Canadian foreign policy, and about pretending to act on global warming but doing nothing at all about it. Harper has not changed at all over the years. What has changed is the messaging and his willingness to pander to Quebec to achieve what he wants. In Rediscovering the Right agenda Harper was clear as to what he wanted to do and there is not a specific policy item in there that he has not already set upon. Furthermore, his list of principled stands sounds remarkably familiar. “I have written many times that the Reform Party and Canadian Alliance made gains in the past by taking principled conservative stands on the issues of the day. I believe our party has been doing that under my leadership on a range of issues - from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq to defence and foreign policy, taxes and spending, childcare and criminal justice, healthcare reform, and even on environmental matters like the Kyoto accord.”

The Liberals released the only thing that Harper might have claimed as his own, viz., corporate tax cuts. The Liberals can and will defeat the Harper if they challenge this vision head on. Indeed, the only policy item that Harper has abandoned in that whole document is the very thing the Liberals had the boldness to go toe to toe with Harper on, viz., SSM. “This same argument applies equally to a range of issues involving the family (all omitted from the Throne Speech), such as banning child pornography, raising the age of sexual consent, providing choice in education and strengthening the institution of marriage. All of these items are key to a conservative agenda.”

If Harper wants a War on drugs, then the Liberals should promise to end it by promising to Legalize marijuana. If Harper wants to slowly role back healthcare, then the Liberals should seek to expand it by including dental care and a national pharmacare program. ….

Anonymous said...


What about the Third Way of Tony Blair, Bill Clinton, and Jean Chretien? Is that not visionary for you?

Koby said...

"What about the Third Way of Tony Blair, Bill Clinton, and Jean Chretien? Is that not visionary for you?"

Not at this junction in time. There is no way the Liberals can climb out of the hole they are in promising to be Chretien 2.0.