Thursday, December 11, 2008

Ignatieff and Conservative Mistruths

Canadians expect their politicians to be able to stand up for themselves. Dion never seem to understand this. He constantly railed against the Conservatives and the lies they told about him. He took such lies as a personal insult. His caucus followed his lead. The Liberals were constantly asking for apologies. Worse, the Liberals were often so busy asking for apologies that the lies that were the source of their outrage were forgotten during the self righteousness grandstanding that followed.

Thankfully, Ignatieff seem to see things differently. He said that the Conservatives owe the Liberals nothing least of all an apology. However the Conservatives owe the Canadian people plenty, including the truth. A lie about Dion is to lie to the Canadian people. The Liberals need not, indeed must not, seek redress for themselves. To do so is forget what one of their most important functions as an opposition party is. Namely, the Liberals must protect the public by cataloguing and demonstrating Conservative mistruths. The Liberals can not allow themselves to be distracted and thus the public left in the dark.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Dion is a Liability: the Liberals must have new Leader come Jan 27th

Politically, Dion is the most inept leader in the history of the Liberal party. He is a liability. In English, he is terrible in an attack and even worse in defense. If Harper is successful in proroguing parliament, the Liberals should be looking to replace him for that reason alone. However there is more to it than just that. Having a lame duck leader for 6 plus months was always a terrible idea. Have a lame duck Prime Minister would be 100 times worse. I almost do not care how the Liberals go about choosing their next leader at this point. The important thing is that Dion is gone come January 27th.

Besides dumping Dion and actually mounting a coherent defense against the Conservative onslaught, the Liberals need to address the elephant in the living room. They can pretend that Harper’s threat to cut public funding for political parties was not what precipitated all of this, but no one is buying it. Someone at some level has to address this issue. It should be a relatively easy case to make. After all, one can argue all one likes about the merits of public funding. I happen to think it justified. However, the fact of the matter is that without public funding this time around several parties would be facing bankruptcy. In other words, what Harper said amounted to a threat to legislate various parties out of existence.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Is Proportional Represenation comming to Canada?

There is only one way this makes sense the Liberals long term: Either the coalition itself moves toward proportion representation or the Liberals use coalition as means of making proportion representation a election issue the next time around. As I said before, from a strategic point of view PR makes sense for the Liberals. As the party of the center, they would be well positioned to be part of government from here until the end of time.

By the way, I hope the people talking about a 308 approach realize that if Canada retains a first past the post system, west of Toronto, the Liberals will wiped off the face of the face of the earth in the next election. I doubt that they would even hold onto Quadra and Vancouver Center. The rest are toast. Outside of Vancouver and Victoria, the Liberals will finish 4th in BC.

For the sake of the NDP, Liberals and indeed the even the Bloc the coalition has to get a lot accomplished. It can not afford to play it conservatively, as it were. They are going to have be truly bold.