The CBC’s At Issue panel nailed it on Thursday. http://www.cbc.ca/national/blog/video/politicseconomy/at_issue_whither_the_liberals.html
Andrew Coyne: “I am not sure anybody knows [what the Liberal party stands for] least of all the Liberals.”
Gordan Gibson: “They [The Liberal Party] have got to develop policy and they haven’t.”
Russo: “What the Liberal party has become is a party of nostalgia.”
Hebert: “Sometimes a rebirth [the 2006 Liberal leadership convention] is a stillbirth.”
The Liberal Party is a party without a soul, without courage, without direction, and without policy. Above all else, the party is hopelessly conservative.
The center point on the political spectrum is not achieved by splitting the difference between what the NDP say and the Conservatives say. What lies between the two is not fertile ground, but rather a desolate no mans land. The Liberal party brass does not seem to realize this. They love pasting together Conservative and NDP talking points to create a shit mix. Afghanistan is a great case in point. Talking points are not starting points. They are an end points. They must flow from a coherent position
Worse, the Liberals approach is entirely passive when it should be active. They should not seek to occupy the political center but to define what is central to being Canadian and let the Conservatives position themselves on the right of that vision and the NDP on the left. This is a daunting task, but it has done before. What we think of Canada is really the Liberal vision of the country under Trudeau and Pearson.
The Liberals need to again duplicate Trudeau and Pearson approach circa 63 through 68. They have to attract those on the left by proposing universal social programs and they need to bring libertarians under their tent by pursuing socially liberal ends. Finally, they have to tie this too approaches together using pragmatic Red Tory language.
The $64,000 question is what polices to pursue.
Long term legalize prostitution
Universal Pharmacare program
4 weeks vacation for all Canadians
Universal dental care
Universal Child care
Long term preconditions for success
Deal with under representation of the cities in the House of Commons
Introduce mandatory voting; As long as seniors vote in much greater numbers than young people, Canadian politics will be stuck in the past
Abandon special interest politics