Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Whatever happened to the character and integrity of the Liberal Party?

An appalling story surfaced last week about pedestrians and motorists who ignored an elderly man who had been hit by a car in Hartford, Connecticut. To see or hear the story provoked instant disbelief because it assaulted directly the part inside all of us that screams “that’s not right. People should have helped!”

The very same qualities of character, integrity and moral decency that we expect of the people we pass on the street are precisely the qualities we look for in people in public life. We expect politicians to make the right decisions on the basis of what they've told us they believe in; not how it can help them politically.

Sadly, very little of that character, integrity and moral decency was on display in the vote on Stephen Harper’s budget last night. Liberal MPs who had been elected to fight Harper’s agenda once more abstained so it would pass. Liberal MPs who said they agreed with the NDP that the immigration changes were wrong and would politicize the immigration process abstained so they would pass.

The reason: Liberals are afraid of what might happen to them in an election. Politics ahead of principle. Standing on the sidelines instead of entering the fray.

Whenever that election comes Canadians will have a choice between Stephen Harper’s Conservatives and Jack Layton’s NDP – now the only other federal party that can be counted on to stand up for the things it believes in.

Again, as a public service, Canada’s number one equine-themed politics blog provides the names of the 79 Liberal MPs who failed didn’t stand up against the Harper agenda they promised to protect their constituents from:

Omar Alghabra (Mississauga—Erindale)
Larry Bagnell (Yukon)
Sue Barnes (London West)
Colleen Beaumier (Brampton West)
Don Bell (North Vancouver)
Carolyn Bennett (St. Paul's)
Raymond Bonin (Nickel Belt)
Ken Boshcoff (Thunder Bay—Rainy River)
Scott Brison (Kings—Hants)
Bonnie Brown (Oakville)
Gerry Byrne (Humber—St. Barbe—Baie Verte)
John Cannis (Scarborough Centre)
Raymond Chan (Richmond)
Denis Coderre (Bourassa)
Irwin Cotler (Mount Royal)
Roy Cullen (Etobicoke North)
Rodger Cuzner (Cape Breton—Canso)
Jean-Claude D'Amours (Madawaska—Restigouche)
Ujjal Dosanjh (Vancouver South)
Ken Dryden (York Centre)
Wayne Easter (Malpeque)
Mark Eyking (Sydney—Victoria)
Hedy Fry (Vancouver Centre)
John Godfrey (Don Valley West)
Ralph Goodale (Wascana)
Martha Hall Findlay (Willowdale)
Mark Holland (Ajax—Pickering)
Charles Hubbard (Miramichi)
Michael Ignatieff (Etobicoke—Lakeshore)
Marlene Jennings (Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine)
Susan Kadis (Thornhill)
Nancy Karetak-Lindell (Nunavut)
Tina Keeper (Churchill)
Dominic LeBlanc (Beauséjour)
Lawrence MacAulay (Cardigan)
Diane Marleau (Sudbury)
Keith Martin (Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca)
Paul Martin (LaSalle—Émard)
Bill Matthews (Random—Burin—St. George's)
John McCallum (Markham—Unionville)
David McGuinty (Ottawa South)
Joe McGuire (Egmont)
John McKay (Scarborough—Guildwood)
Brian Murphy (Moncton—Riverview—Dieppe)
Shawn Murphy (Charlottetown)
Joyce Murray (Vancouver Quadra)
Anita Neville (Winnipeg South Centre)
Massimo Pacetti (Saint-Léonard—Saint-Michel)
Bernard Patry (Pierrefonds—Dollard)
Glen Pearson (London North Centre)
Marcel Proulx (Hull—Aylmer)
Bob Rae (Toronto Centre)
Yasmin Ratansi (Don Valley East)
Karen Redman (Kitchener Centre)
Geoff Regan (Halifax West)
Pablo Rodriguez (Honoré-Mercier)
Anthony Rota (Nipissing—Timiskaming)
Todd Russell (Labrador)
Michael Savage (Dartmouth—Cole Harbour)
Francis Scarpaleggia (Lac-Saint-Louis)
Andy Scott (Fredericton)
Judy Sgro (York West)
Mario Silva (Davenport)
Raymond Simard (Saint Boniface)
Scott Simms (Bonavista—Gander—Grand Falls—Windsor)
Lloyd St. Amand (Brant)
Brent St. Denis (Algoma—Manitoulin—Kapuskasing)
Paul Steckle (Huron—Bruce)
Belinda Stronach (Newmarket—Aurora)
Paul Szabo (Mississauga South)
Lui Temelkovski (Oak Ridges—Markham)
Robert Thibault (West Nova)
Alan Tonks (York South—Weston)
Garth Turner (Halton)
Roger Valley (Kenora)
Tom Wappel (Scarborough Southwest)
Bryon Wilfert (Richmond Hill)
Borys Wrzesnewskyj (Etobicoke Centre)
Paul Zed (Saint John)


Jaytoo said...

"The Liberals are afraid of what might happen during an election" -- and utterly unwilling to do their job as official opposition -- the job that Canadian voters gave them.

They're like uppity employees who never actually get any work done. You know the kind. They devote their days to schmoozing for shortcuts into upper management -- their birthright! Until they get their butts fired once people see what's going on.

Malcolm+ said...

Blogging Horse, for the first time I utterly diagree with youtr post.

Your post - and in particular the title - presumes that the Liberative Party has (or at least has recently had) character and integrity.

The last Liberative with character was Lester Pearson - and he's long dead.

The last Liberative with integrity was Chubby Power - and he's long dead as well.