Friday, October 14, 2011

Apparently the Liberals are dead. Who knew?

Like clockwork, there's been another rash of obituaries written proclaiming the death of the Liberal Party of Canada. And what they lack in actual data points and evidence, they attempt to make up for in determination.

I particularly liked this passage form Chantal Hebert's contribution to the meme:
Notwithstanding the party's victories in Ontario and Prince Edward Island, the decline of the Liberal brand in Canada has continued unabated this fall.
Yes Chantal, if you ignore the Liberal positives on the provincial level, then things do look negative indeed. It's been amusing to watch people cherrypick some events from the recent spate of provincial activity and ignore others, whether its the ascendancy or decendancy of a particular party or to fit a narrative like it's the year of the incumbent. Frankly, I think each result has largely been driven by local factors, and trying to read wider trends into them is a little silly.

I'm also quite certain that those pointing to the lack of active campaigning for a Liberal leadership race the membership decided to postpone two years as a sign of our decline (no one wants the job!) would, were people actively campaigning in violation of the wishes of the membership, use that as evidence of internal descent and the party's decline.

Yes, what for the "expert" predictions on the death of the Liberal Party of Canada? Well, I remember when they predicted Paul Martin would win 250 seats, when they said the right was irrecoverably split, the Conservative brand toxic, Stephen Harper a loser who would be pushed out by his own party, and the NDP set to fade away, that last one as recently as this winter. Not a super track record.

Maybe they'll be proven right this time. Maybe they won't. The task facing the Liberals is daunting, and we'll either succeed, or we won't. I wouldn't want to quote odds; I have some concerns about how it's going but that's a story for another blog entry. Point is, at this point there's no way of knowing. It's just premature speculation to feed the newscycle because, while we're apparently a dead party walking, it seems we still sell newspapers.

When they stop caring, maybe I'll be a little more concerned. In the meantime, Liberal membership across the country is rising and grassroots members are meeting to discuss fixing our party. I guess they didn't get the memo.

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1 comment:

kirbycairo said...

What do you mean, "who knew?"