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.