Monday, October 15, 2007

Paging the Liberal platform committee...

Came across this article on Public Eye Online from a few weeks ago. It’s an interview with Liberal MP Dominic LeBlanc, vice-chair of the party’s policy and platform committee, in which he promises the party’s platform would be ready in time for Harper’s speech from the throne…which, of course, is happening Tuesday.

In the interview, LeBlanc hints at a few likely areas of focus, such as health care, post secondary education, working families, child poverty, senior citizens, sustainable development and, of course climate change. I’ll welcome renewed attention to child poverty, as it’s an issue Dion talked about during the leadership campaign but hasn’t much since. Also, I’d be interested to see what they have on post secondary education, as when I interviewed Dion during the campaign he wasn’t keen on wading too heavily into an area of provincial jurisdiction.

I was particularly pleased to read this from LeBlanc:

… a national election platform can't answer every problem and speak to every regional issue. We have to come up with a number of coherent, cohesive national themes that reflect concrete policy proposals that can be understood by the vast majority of Canadians. Previous platforms - when the Liberals were in government - tended to look like Throne Speeches or federal budgets. A Liberal Party campaigning from opposition needs to realize that we're not tied to every department of finance memo that was ever sent around three years ago.

Hear, hear, Dominic. While a five priorities approach a la Steve Harper is simplistic and inadequate, the Paul Martin one million priorities approach leaves you appearing directionless and pleases no one. A middle ground is needed, and a focused platform guided by an overarching vision for the country is key.

After the GG delivers Harper’s throne speech tomorrow, I hope Stephane Dion and the LPC will be front and centre with the fruit of LeBlanc, Bob Rae, and the rest of the platform committee’s labours. Let’s put aside the strategy and the back and forth for a bit, and let Canadians judge us, and the Conservatives, on our ideas. Because I think, in that arena, we have the potential to really excel.

Recommend this Post on Progressive Bloggers

No comments: