Monday, September 24, 2007

Beyond Dion: The old Liberal Party faces the changing politics

A week after the federal by-elections in Quebec which saw the historic election of NDP MP Thomas Mulcair in the long-held Liberal bastion of Outremont, the Liberal Party is showing the strains of a new and uneasy self-awareness.

That unease is evidenced by the fact that Liberals are blaming everyone for their miserable showing last Monday: Michael Ignatieff, Jean Charest, Paul Martin, the Bloc Quebecois, Jack Layton . . . etc. It's just as it was with their loss in the last election: it couldn't be that they had run a series of bad governments and Canadians had tired of them, it had to be someone else's fault.

As this Montreal Gazette article begins to suggest, politics in Canada is growing up but the Liberal Party remains clinging to old dynamics -- old dynamics that ensured that the Liberal Party could win elections by saying what it wasn’t, rather than arguing for and living up to what it actually is.

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