Monday, August 29, 2011

There can be no shortcuts for the Liberal Party

The Liberal Party of Canada's summer caucus meetings begin today in Ottawa, and I've already heard some rumblings and musings from those quarters that give me pause, and cause for concern.

When I read comments about how the passing of Jack Layton and the upcoming leadership challenges the NDP will face provide opportunity to the Liberals, I grow concerned. When I read about how this could be a shortcut back to power for the Liberal Party, or at least relevancy, I get upset.

The fact is, the problems the Liberal Party faces have absolutely nothing to do with the NDP and everything to do with us. And the idea that we could simply seize an opportunity created by external events to return to prominence is exactly the kind of short-sighted, short-term thinking that has plagued this party for years, and contributed to the slow rot that has led us to our current state. It's the same mentality that had us put off meaningful reform for years, because if we just got the right bright shiny leader, and we just waited for Harper to stumble, then all would be will in Liberaldom once more.

We must cure ourselves of that thinking. At the extraordinary convention this summer we committed to a long-term course of rebuilding and restructuring. From the biennial this winter, the election of a new national executive, policy debate and constitutional reform in the years ahead, and a real leadership race with a strong field of contenders. We need to keep our eyes on that path and what we need to accomplish, and not be distracted by whatever challenges the other parties may face.

I was on CJAD in Montreal this weekend to talk about Layton, and I was asked what the Liberals could learn from Jack Layton's example. To me, it was fairly clear: for better or for worse, people always knew what Layton and the NDP stood for. Sure, there were politically-motivated deviations, like their stance on the HST and their rejection of carbon pricing – but by and large, if you asked someone what the NDP stood for, they could tell you. And they haven't been able to say the same thing of the Liberal Party in some time.

Harper can stumble, and the NDP can face challenges holding their coalition together. And our caucus should use this period in the House of Commons to show Canadians we can provide the kind of effective, practical and principled opposition they're looking for. But the fact is, until we get out house in order and our act together, external forces mean nothing. It's not them; it's us.

There can be no shortcuts, and if you're not in this for the long-haul you may as well hop off now.

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5 comments:

Mark Francis said...

Tactics generate little lasting fruit when exercised in the absence of strategy.

CK said...

What are you saying? That the Liberals should just back away from politics in general?

Bob Rae does perform quite well in Question Period, but do we know if Nycole Turmel can? And if she can't rise to the occasion, are you saying Bob Rae shouldn't perform to his best ability? Or if Mme Turmel misses an opportunity to use any tools at the opposition's disposal, the Liberals should abstain from doing so?

Frankly, at this stage, Harper is about to ruin the country beyond recognition, starting with dumb on crime and morality themed omnibus bill, complete with warrantless internet spying. I know, Harper has the votes, but opposition parties shouldn├Ęt make it easy for him.

Frankly, I think some cooperation would be in order and the sooner both the NDP & the Liberals realize one common enemy--Harper. The better for all. And no, Canada can't afford another Harper majority after 2015. I don't even think we can afford this one.

Jeff Jedras said...

CK,

No, I'm saying that believing we can skip reform and introspection in the mistaken belief NDP troubles will cause support to simply fall into our laps is wrong. Yes, perform in the house. I'm simply saying we need to continue on with reform no matter what other parties are doing.

Gloria said...

We were warned, if Harper wins a majority, we can kiss Canada good-bye. He is making a hell of a mess.

A new article in Australia has said, how badly democracy in Canada has eroded. Holland absolutely loved our young Canadian boys, who liberated Holland during WW11. They are extremely upset, by what is happening to their beloved Canada.

Harper sending an ex politician, who has the most foul and dirty political record, in this country's history, Gordon Campbell, as High Commissioner to England.

In Canada, corrupt and thieving politicians, are permitted to cheat the citizens. The more corrupt they are, the bigger the reward.

If you read, Harper in New York, at the Council of Foreign Relations, Sept 25/2007. I doubt that any political party, will be needed in Canada.

You are right CK, Canada is going to be totally destroyed. Even the WW11 veterans are saying. WATCH OUT!!!

Gloria said...

Jack was our anchor. We were counting on Jack to save Canada, and to keep our country sovereign. Jack chose Nycole Turmel, he must have had a good reason for doing so. If he had confidence in Nycole, we should too.

I had wanted the Liberals and the NDP, to join forces, to keep Harper out. I read: Harper gives a speech, in New York at the Council of Foreign Relations, Sept 25/2007. We were warned, if Harper won a majority, we can kiss Canada good-bye. As you will see, when you read that.

Harper has embarrassed Canadians, far too many times. In Copenhagen, over green house gases. He lost Canada's seat in the U.N. He had, Guelph University stormed, to stop the students from voting. They even tried to steal the ballot boxes. At meetings of the nations, he always manages to anger everyone attending. He refused to co-operate at the last meeting. He gave false statements to Europe, he tried to pass off the dirty tar sands oil, as clean energy.

The most embarrassing of all. He sent ex BC Premier Gordon Campbell to England as High Commissioner. He has the most foul and dirty political, in the history of Canada. His main priority is, to con Europe into accepting, the dirty oil sands crud. He has absolutely no morals or ethics, what-so-ever. But, Harper had a convicted felon working for him, who's girlfriend was an ex prostitute. he is in contempt of the house. So, he and Campbell compliment each other.

Scientist are not permitted to publish their results. Everything must go through Harper first. Environment Canada is slashed. Hmmmm. And, Harper wants to peddle, the dirty tar sands oil, all over the globe.

Harper has very severe paranoia. However, all dictators do. The media is also muzzled. They are to be a propaganda machine, for Harper and the Conservatives.

Another country said, Harper is considered, a petty gasbag, arrogant, stubborn and impossible to work with.

The media in Australia wrote, how badly democracy in Canada, has eroded. The American citizens say, Harper's election win, was rigged. They have no use for Harper, what-so-ever.

Holland who loved our young Canadian soldiers, who liberated them, (two of my brothers, and a brother-in-law, were in Holland during WW11) There are family's that stay in touch with us, to this day. Holland is extremely upset, by what is happening to their beloved Canada.

Our Canada's good name, has been fouled and dirtied. A cesspool of corruption, is what our country has become.