Tuesday, March 23, 2010

It’s all gone quiet over here (and the last word on Canada's Liberals)

Astute observers of the internet in general, and equine-themed politics blogs in particular, will have noticed an eerie silence from this site of late.

Canadian politics has rarely been as interesting as it is now. Minority governments have treated Canadians to greater transparency of their legislative process (when the legislature is permitted to meet that is) and given more relief between the parties’ approaches to issues and impasses.

But while there is more to write about than ever, there seems to be less and less time to write – at least anything worth reading that is. And as the very first post to this site said, the problem with blogs is quality. Do your research, make tight arguments, avoid the ad hominum and with any luck, you will write the kind of blog you would want to read. But in short, if you aren’t trying, don’t try.

All to say that for the next little at least, it’s all going to get a whole lot quieter around here.

But instead of leaving it like this, let’s leave it like this …

The Liberal Party of Canada will never be an alternative to the Conservatives, precisely because so many Liberals agree with Stephen Harper.

The evidence of this is legion, but the most recent is right here.

Today the Ignatieff Liberals pushed the biggest, ugliest, loudest, hot-buttoniest political hot-button Canadian politics has to offer on the right / left divide … and members of the Liberal caucus pushed it right back.

In their attempt to entrap the Conservatives on abortion, the Liberals exposed their own two-facedness on this touchstone issue of social conservativism when John McKay, Paul Szabo, and Dan McTeague voted against their party’s motion, while other right-wing Liberals Albina Guarnieri, Gurbax Malhi and Derek Lee abstained.

This isn’t the first example of Liberals pretending to stand for something only to show they stand for the opposite; it is only the latest.

Today, if you want women to have the right to choose, there are Liberal MPs for that. But if you want abortion outlawed and returned to back alleys, there are Liberal MPs for that too.

If you are in favour of public health care, there are Liberal MPs for that. But if you want private for profit delivery, there are Liberal MPs for that too.

Does this sound like a party that is an alternative to Stephen Harper?

This Red/Blue convergence is borne from the fact that the modern federal Liberal Party, bereft of leadership, has taken the aggregation of interests to the bizarre extreme of aggregating opposite interests and calling it a party.

The sum of it is that there is no greater unity of opinion on any issue in the Liberal Party of Canada than you would expect to find on a city bus. The difference is, at least the people on the bus know where they are headed.

So, just like they have years ago in Saskatchewan, Manitoba, British Columbia, and most recently Nova Scotia, Canadians looking for a change from the old politics will look past the tired and confused Liberals, to Jack Layton’s New Democrats. The change will come.

"Courage, my friends; 'tis not too late to build a better world." - T.C. Douglas