Thursday, June 22, 2006

Opposition, and ending the cycle of stupidity

I was going to write a post about the dismal performance the Liberals have turned in as an opposition party, but instead I’ll just direct you over to Behind the Headlines as I agree with pretty much everything Zac said.

On a semi-related note, while we do have a lot of work to do, as Warren Kinsella said in a (mostly) great post yesterday reports of the death of the Liberal party have been greatly exaggerated.

However, while Warren is mostly bang-on there are a few points he makes that are far from it, and illustrate the problems we still have to overcome within the party:

The Martin period was an aberration - but, ultimately, seasonal and arguably necessary. Like cicadas, Liberals turn every twenty years or so to political disasters (eg. Turner, Martin), get reminded why out-of-touch, out-of-work business executives make lousy leaders, and then get back to finding real Liberals... I'm not going anywhere near the LPC until the Martinite thugs are exiled to Serbia or, ideally, Mars…the Martinite elements in the Liberal Party, whose names are interchangeable with "losing,"…

I guess he just couldn’t resist a few more shots. And I had such high hopes after the love-in a few months back. Anyway, whether Warren wants to be involved or not is his prerogative, but his rehashing of the Chretien/Martin feud is sad. We need to move past this.

Even though I was rather amused when he accused me of being a “Board Member” over on the defunct Comments Please board during the campaign, the fact is I had already made my break with the Martinites and it was long in coming. Their tactics were brutal and divisive, their campaign strategy incompetent and their attempt at governing, well, let’s just say it was unfortunate.

So does that make them the devils incarnate? No. If they had all went as a group to one candidate I’d be wary, but that didn’t happen. Members of all camps are working together for all candidates. Wounds are being healed, because we’re all Liberals.

No one is innocent in this feud. I’m no historian (well, that was my major, but there was no course in LPC Drama and Intrigue) but my understanding is this goes at least back to the Trudeau era, if not further. Turner beats Chretien for the leadership (ref. Warren’s “out-of-work business executives make lousy leaders” comment), Turner loses two elections while feeling Chretien’s people are constantly undermining his leadership. Chretien then beats Martin for the leadership after Turner quits, and Martin keeps on organizing for the next one, and/or constantly undermines him, depending on your perspective, with many of Turner’s old supporters now backing Martin and carrying on the old fight against the guy they view as ruining their guy’s tenure.

The point being no one is as clean as the virgin snow here. While they each have their flaws, I like both Jean and Paul.
But it is time for the cycle of stupidity to stop. I'm sick to death of it, and hearing about Chretienites and Martinites. Are we going to wage this asinine war within the Liberal Party for another 20 years? I surely hope not. It’s time to look to the future, not refight the battles of the past.

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bigcitylib said...

But Kinsella is right about who the losers are in this business. The "war" should end with the Martinites surrender.

Budd Campbell said...

"Scott Reid, John Duffy, Herle, Caderio, Watton (Dryden sucks!) etc etc, get 5-7 years of envelope licking and fetching coffee for their betters and than the war can be considered over."

Obviously, there are some in the Liberal Party who are not prepared to learn any real lessons whatsoever.

NDP MP Pat Martin said it best when talking about the Volpe child donor scandal. The rules on financing have changed, so like an errant dog the Liberals are found "digging under the fence". They were spoiled by years of easy business money which has now disappeared, and they are desperate to bring back the good old days. Worse still, they are terrified of the impact of another reduction in the allowable individual donation amount to $1000.

They even say they may have to delay the Leadership Convention, since the $995 delegate fee will put some people over the limit.

You add to this the party's huge $30 million debt and you begin to see the real picture that polarslam could only see part of. It's not just the Martin chronies who are going to be licking envelopes, it's the entire Liberal Party, for ten to twenty years before they can fight another election in sound financial and organizational shape.

Jeff said...

I'm sad to see my plea for sanity has falled on mainly deaf ears. I would hope that the days of scarlet letters were over.

If I could paraphrase my mother for a moment: "I don't care who started it,we need to finish it!"