Global warming is not the winner everyone has made it out to be. Saying that one is concerned about the global warming has and will continue to garner at best a "that's nice" response from the public and worst “yeah right” response. The Liberal environmental record is poor, their policies only vaguely understood and for those people for whom the environment truly is the most important issue they are going to vote, drum roll please, Green.
The only thing the Liberals have going for them as far as the environmental file is concerned is that Dion’s cap and trade proposal is a good one. That said, it hard to see the public being overly excited about such and idea.
The Liberal pledge to fight poverty is similarly politically ill-conceived. People are not going to get overly excited about a grab bag of repackaged Martin policies that 95% of the Canadians do not have the time nor, energy to seek to understand.
Once you get past poverty and the environmental you have the baron repackaged wasteland that is the rest of the Liberal platform.
All is not lost for the Liberals though; they just have to understand what the Conservatives did going into the 2005/2006 campaign. The Conservatives trotted out easy to understand policies that took aim at broad spectrum of voters. Whatever else one may think about them, the GST cut and their promise give parents with $100 a month for every kid under 6 were both politically brilliant.
The Liberals do not have a choice but to copy such a program. They simply lack the money, grassroots support and media presence to target sub groups of voters the way the Conservatives can. As an opposition party they do not have the power to control the agenda the way they once did. They are going to have to develop 3 or 4 simple, easy to understand policies that are aimed at a broad cross section of society if not everyone.
Now, the Liberals have let it be known that they would like to hold off announcing policy until after an election was called. I found such a line believable in the summer. I certainly do not now. The cupboard is bare and the party is stalling. Either that or they are even more badly led than anyone thought. Holding back policy is no way of improving fund raising numbers that are not magically going to get better on their own. It is also no way to keep sinking party moral up, the media interested in anything other than infighting and the public at all interested in the Liberal’s very existence.