Sincere advice for the Liberal Party of Canada

To my friends in the Liberal Party, it’s been a rough few years hasn’t it? A bitter family feud between the Martins and the Chretiens made Hatfield vs. McCoy look like the Brady Bunch vs. the Partridge Family and the accidental election of a third-rate leader bent on control and unnameable to caucus advice has lead to your worst popular vote share in your party’s long history. The NDP is resurgent and the Greens have become a temporary home for your base as they recoiled with shame as the party of Trudeau, Pearson and Laurier became the party of the clueless, the ambitious and the corrupt. True, you may have truly found your basement of support this election, but the foundation is cracked and some nice red paint and roses won’t cover the mold.

From the time of Trudeau, your party has had an unhealthy fixation on personality over policy, indeed style over substance. Turner and Dion were short hiccups for your party but Martin’s tragically ironic countless priorities and Chretien’s empty record (not going into Iraq is not the same as real constructive accomplishment) will, unfortunately for your partisans, provide a high enough dose of the addictive drug that is power. In Stephane Dion, the aberration is not solely based on his failure to obtain power, it is also rooted in his attempt to introduce a bold policy and for you this provided terrible symptoms of withdrawal.

And, now you sit at a familiar crossroads that looks like December 2006. Nothing has progressed. Indeed, you are arguably further behind now that Canadians have reaffirmed what was at first a flirtation with a Harper-led Conservative government but one that now has a firm legitimacy in the minds of the electorate. Is your hunger and perceived entitlement to power enough for you to latch onto the peripheral distraction of personality, or is it time to figure out what your party stands for?

Just minutes after Mr. Dion conceded defeat on election night, the knives came out. In truth, you’ve never in recent Liberal history had a more honest and sincere politician lead your party. Unfortunately for you, any ruthlessness of his political instinct focused inward on your caucus that he could barely control rather than outwards towards Stephen Harper in not only a policy-based direction, but along a shrewd political path to remove him from that top office that you covet.

But then again, for at least my lifetime, your party has been about power despite policy. Yet the political landscape has changed and as you charge and foolishly dismiss your right-wing opponents as ideologues, they come to the arena ready to do battle, and they fundamentally do so with ideas.

For a party that has reached the depths of intellectual bankruptcy, the tendency is to attack on the unsubstantial, on a raft of policies that do not exist in a hidden agenda, and on fear of the unknown. To be sure, such tactics were employed by the Conservatives as they fought to retain power, yet they did so on a strong foundation of their ideas that you decry as ideology.

In Dion, you finally had a leader who stood for more than fear, you had a leader who stood for an idea. Dion’s Green Shift policy was a real though flawed plan, with the policy benefit of bridging the ideologies — at least on the surface and despite the increased spending — of fiscal conservatism and environmental protectionism. Given the right leader and the proper political circumstances, the plan could have been a winner for a Liberal government in waiting. Blessed with a charming silver-tongued salesman of a leader, your transition team would have been aiding with the formation of a cabinet this week, instead you hit rock bottom on leadership and you’re about to go back to the cold comfort of a slick huckster without a product to sell.

The Liberal Party of Canada needed a Conservative majority more than the Conservative Party did. At first glance, you seem to be keeping the Tories close to but short of real power. In truth, the advantage here is Harper’s. The Prime Minister will keep a penniless Liberal Party on the verge of electoral war, as you prepare most of your efforts on election readiness rather than policy development and an exhaustive thorough leadership search. In the next few months, you will be rushed in selecting a leader and preparing for the next campaign. Saddled with financial debt and a deficit of policy, your Liberal Party is a starved beast; vicious and hungry but unfit for the long game.

Political pundits of all stripes have said that minority governments are now the norm. With four parties in the House of Commons, three of which are on the left, Canadians — depending on their view — are either blessed or condemned by this fortuitous circumstance or frustrating stalemate. On this, where you stand is where you sit and for Harper and his caucus that comfortably crowds the government benches, he has minority advantage and you will bleed without opportunity to heal.

What should you do? How to stop the ouroborosian process of urgency followed by poor results followed by urgency, disaster, debt and self-consumption? Break the cycle yourself and go into self-imposed exile. Typical wisdom suggests that governments defeat themselves and you are certainly not in a position to play the futile role of the ignorant to this rule. The Conservative Party found its genesis after a right-of-centre period of introspection, autolytic destruction, and the reformation of policies, communications and politics. Indeed, the Reform Party helped break down the big-C Conservative institution, return it to the crucible of the movement and temper it with a grassroots approach to policy. Reform didn’t destroy conservatism, it helped it get its soul back. My Liberal friends, you need to leave the political arena, and start a process to rediscover what it is that you stand for. The Conservative Party is rooted in the conservative movement whereas the Liberal movement, if it exists, is rooted in the Liberal Party. If Canadians are to give your party a serious look and return it to power, it must rebuild its foundation first.

Comments

comments

  • Soccermom

    Three years is not nearly long enough for these goons to be out of power. They need at least twice that.

  • Liz J

    Excellent post Stephen. Spot on.

  • Rick

    Nice!!!!
    You are entirely correct. Liberals have been about themselves and the Party for much too long and some Canadians are getting it. Now they have a bigger problem in that they thought that they've been infiltrated by the Left in the form of Rae and Trudeau and many others and when I say Left I mean whacko.
    I think the Conservatives need to strongly focus on the Center with the accent on the Right of. I know that some Conservatives may have a problem with that however that is the only way it will work in Canada right now.
    We need to educate people back to traditional values if we want to win this cultural war and we need to get back into areas that the Socialists are occupying to do this such as Education. We need more Conservative educators etc. That's where you will build your base. That's what the Socialists have done.

  • Brian

    So true.

    But along with the Liberals some of the Liberal-left MSM could also take note of the downfall of the Liberal party.

    The MSM in general seems to be in complete denial about what has occurred in this election.

    One example was Craig Oliver during the CTV election coverage. At least he was not foaming at the mouth when discussing the Conservatives , but the absolute vindictive hatred was clearly in his tone. If I were CTV management I would be seriously questioning his ability to function.

  • http://blog.ederek.net dbo789

    I agree. The liberals, unfortunately, have made a transition from a party based on policy, to a party based on power. The last 13 years have molded the egos of the party elite to assume that it is the Liberal's right to lead the country, and that has to be reversed before the Liberals govern again. The NDP, Greens, Bloc, while I disagree with the policies of them all, don't seem to have this ego problem the liberals do.

  • Liz J

    Watching CTV Question Period today, Justin Trudeau was very impressive, he has a good handle on what's going on with the LPC. He has a realistic outlook on matters as well. He certainly appears very level headed.
    It's not Justin who has the wacky ideas, it's the wacky media.

  • http://uncommonsensecanada.blogspot.com/ Thucydides

    I suspect the damage is far deeper than you suggest, and the Liberal party might join the Progressive Party, the CCF and the Progressive Conservatives as a topic for historians to study rather than as a viable political party.

    I suspect that the Prime Minister may be considering asking select Liberal members to cross the floor on a temporary or permanent basis under the guise of creating a national unity cabinet to deal with the global financial crisis. (Members of the BQ and NDP may also be invited, an amazing political coup if it comes off).

    Even if this isn't in the cards, Liberal voters are no longer held in place by brokerage party politics; if you are interested in the environment, there is a real environmental party to vote for. If you are a Progressive, there is a real progressive party, while the so called business wing of the Liberal party might find a more suitable home with the CPC. The long term effect of this is hard to gauge, but I would guess the NDP would absorb the Progressive wing of the Liberal Party and retain the “brand name” (perhaps as the Liberal Democratic Party), while the more radical socialists split from the new party and reform as the “Social Democratic Party of Canada”.

    This still leaves four parties in the political arena (CPC, Liberal Democrats, SDP and Greens), but they will be much more clearly defined, and the Liberal Democrats will be a much more clearly centerist party.

  • Bill D. Cat

    Type your comment here The conservative Party is rooted in the conservative movement whereas the Liberal movement, if it exists, is rooted in the Liberal Party.

    Money .

  • http://therightitswhereitsat.blogspot.com/ The Right

    The Liberal Party of Canada is also the party of arrogance. I don't know what my Liberal friends would say if the Conservatives kept saying that they are the “government in waiting.” Oh yea they would say something like this “Arrogance” and they would be right. Mr.Dion has called Mr.Harper a quitter for letting be known that if he (Mr.Harper) would have lost the election that he would leave federal politics.

    Mr.Dion on the other hand said that win or lose that he would want to stay on as leader of the Liberal Party. Now if the rumors are true Mr.Dion is about to announce Monday afternoon that he is resigning. I just wonder what my Liberal friends are going to say if this should happen. Does anyone really think that they are going to call Mr.Dion a quitter? Let me guess “Not A Chance.” But I digress. Great post Mr.Taylor has always.

  • Beer and Popcorn

    Interesting post Stephen- and I think bang on – but from their actions so far as far as I can tell the folks in charge across the street just don't see it. And I think the longer they are blind to this – the more damage they are going to do to what is left of their party.

    Something seems very different to me this time. Some friends and family who I would have thought never would have voted blue did so last election (and I live in Toronto!). Some of the hardest core Liberals I know, while they liked and respected Dion, have stopped speaking up for the actions of their party. I think that the addition of guys like Bob Rae, the link and deal with Elizabeth May, the power of the left wing of the party in guys like Kennedy, the fact that the usual thugs (Volpe, Minna, Jimmy K, etc etc) are blending together to form an unpalatable brew to most Canadians.

    The biggest fraction I see in the Liberal party is between the Toronto gang of Liberals and the Liberals in the rest of Canada. The focus this election to me seemed to focuss on getting re-elected despite the party and didn't travel with the company message at all. The Toronto gang of Liberals seem totally disconnected with the party – very little discussion of the Green Shift, virtually no mention of Dion, focussing totally on past leaders (Creten, even Paul Martin!), speaking on behalf of the party and focussing on ancient history. Also, there was a level of desperation I have never seen, including some outright lies at the debating table, which might pull the wool over the electorate for one election but will not carry for future elections – even in Toronto. They just put their election machine to work and managed to hold on. But – the Toronto Liberals showed virtually no interest in the national issues, and vice versa – national voters showed very little interest in the Liberals.

    The other thing that is going to hurt the Liberals in Toronto is the Star – they are actually getting some new writing blood who have relectly had a very balanced view of Harper (Chantal Hebert, Angelo P) – and if we can ever create an environment in Toronto where it is socially acceptable to put a blue sign up on your lawn – it will be big trouble.

    I think that they think a new leader and the same old redbook of lies and they will be right back in, while – once in – the playbook calls for the same old of furthering the interests of their party at the expense of Canada. However, I agree that the party is broken and continuing to look in the rear view mirror with a new leader is only going to increase the rate of the slide.

  • jad

    And now it seems they can't even choose an INTERIm leader without a fight.

    According to CTV, Goodale joins McCallum as interim leader contender.http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20081019/liberals_leaders_081019/20081019?hub=TopStories

  • bill

    Does anyone have a handle on what the actual financial situation of the LPC is?

    Isn't it possible that the Liberal party may disappear for insolvency, rather than relevance issues?

  • Phil Hauser

    The Liberal Party of Canada is so closely linke to the very history of the nation of Canada in the 20th century that it is hard to fathom it is dead.

    I think it is on life supprot and I agree that the people in charge simply do not get that they a) lost and b) were in no way succesful in stopping the Harper majority. They seem unable to even accept that If the Bloc and Parti Quebecois had succeeeded in separation the results of this election are a very strong conservative majority. Without a scared electorate in Ontario Chretien would have sat on only one majority government, his first.

    While Canada burned the Nero like Liberals fiddled along. Dividing the right and the left while occupying a fragile centre. Embracing Kyoto but doing nothing to meet our targets. Avoiding war in Iraq but putting together the current mission in Afghanistan. They taxed us to hell to create a social safety net and ignored our productivity and economic fundamentals. They treated us like serfs and stole our money, never once have they said sorry.

    I think it is quite remarkable that the conservatives became relevant as quickly as it did. With really only a few months to prepare it managed to stop the Paul Martin jugernaut dead in it's track. This was the guy who was supposed to win seats in Alberta, 200 seats across the country. If he was that good, I can only imagine that Ignatieff or Rae will probably win all 308. After all they managed 76 with a complete idiot in charge!

    Hell since Frank McKenna is the only leader I know of that one ALL the seats in an election I can only imagine what he would do for an encore? Maybe he'll win all 308 and have a second liberal candidate place runner up in every riding.

    I can only imagine how lucky we will all be to have that great liberal brand looking after us.

    Now here is reality.

    Ignatieff is the thinker, a cerebral type, his crap doesn't even stink. He was recruited to run not nominated by the grass roots, He is a dual citizen who is viewed by many as an elitist. He isn't that well liked by the party though he does have MP support because and only because they think he can win. Doesn't sound much like the guy that is going going gone now does it?

    Bob Rae, Gerard Kennedy, nearly any other MP candidate are all so far left the NDP will be able to call them extreme. Great leaders for the greater Toronto party of Canada once the Liberals have folded if they are stupid enough to elect either one of them.

    The LIberal party stands at a precipice, it must decide if it is relevant HOW to remain relevant.

    The party can rebuild but it seems hard to imagine them coming to power if the conservatives keep sensible.

  • Phil Hauser

    https://www.liberal.ca/join_e.aspx

    If every conservative voter went to this link and requested a form mailed out to join the liberal party (no payment required) we could probably assist the bastards in going broker sooner.

  • Hoarfrost

    To Thucydides: re “…Cross The Floor…”
    It has been my thought for some time that the Liberal Party has moved too far left for many in the Liberal Party to be very comfortable in their current political positioning. I, myself, was once a Liberal and I joined the unite the right movement to find a proper place for myself. Prior to the last election iI removed myself from active participation in local politics because I felt that my objective was established in the current Conservative Party which is positioned nicely in the centre where the old Liberals once were.

    It has been my feeling that right wing Liberals ought to consider moving in with us. It is their natural home. The socialists and the rich entitled classes can move left as they see fit. The Liberals are no longer the party of power. Baring some unforseen circumstance this may by the dying breathe of the Liberal Party as we know it.

    Further detail to be kept as part of our hidden agenda.

  • mark

    Steve this is possibly you best post i have ever read. well done solder on.

  • Jeff Davidson

    it’s very amusing to hear the head of a political arm of the CPoC give advice to anyone about the reckless pursuit of power at any cost.

    despite a relentless attack campaign at the most honest and sincere leader on offer during the last election, harper has failed yet again to garner the trust needed for a serious mandate.

    dion’s failed campaign was all about policy. your party offered precious little in that department. in the end, harper won because of dion and in spite of himself.

    with quebec lying in ruins for conservatives and ontario merely on loan, perhaps some soul searching is in order for conservatives. i’d save the advice. it was neither sincere or honest.

  • Observant

    Zero Credibility Liberals

    If you think about it, nobody in the federal Liberal party has much credibility nowadays .. not Iggy, not BobRae, not anybody … because nobody wants to listen to Liberal LOSERS, except the desperate MSM who now fear the demise of their beloved Liberals … and will try to resuscitate them with kindness and succour while administering nastiness to those Conservative bullies.

    Yes .. it’s wise that PM Harper avoid that bunch of MSM malcontents and miscreants who only promulgate gossip and fearmongering to the masses.

    Cursed are the MSM for they are the messengers of Liberal goebbelian propaganda …!!!!

  • Christoph

    God God this is arguably the most terrible web design I have ever seen.

  • Christoph

    This is a spot-on post. But… are the Liberals able to realize it? Maybe Ignatief, but that’s it on the immediately visible leadership horizon.

  • http://streetadvisorconsulting.blogspot.com markalanwhittle

    The root of all evil for the Liberal Party of Canada is money, or the lack of it as the case may be.

    If Dion is really throwing in the towel he should sit as an Independant member of Parliament. He would be free to vote for the view of the constituents who elected him in his electoral district on every issue tabled in the House of Commons.

    If someone else chooses to lash themselves to the wheel of the Good Ship Liberal as she crashes into the rocks, Dion will still be in the House as a back bencher while the rest of his crew are the Official Opposition.

    If I was Dion I would hang in there and make sure that the sails are trimmed and the proper sacrafices made to ensure Canadians are protected from economic harm.

  • East of Eden

    I cannot help but think that the deceptive selling of the Green Shift (income tax rebate but no talk on the cost) really hurt the party. Add to that the Halton CPAC deception and we had a real confirmation of Liberal propensity for lying. Then, top it off with the deal with Elizabeth May and the recipe for disaster was complete. In all my life, I have never seen a party stoop so low and run such a dirty campaign. Then, Garth Turner’s attacks on Lisa Raitt added yet another black mark and I think people sat up and noticed that this “fighting for democracy” was just a huge load of balderdash. The Liberal party needs to spend a decade ridding itself of the corrupt power brokers within itself. The fact that guys like Volpe are still around speaks volumes.

    Harper has shown himself to be an excellent strategist. Any party which would increase the GST would be in huge trouble, despite economists’ cries that it is not a good way to stimulate the economy. Joe Average, like myself, appreciates any tax reduction – no matter how much (a huge reduction would be the best, of course). Harper backed the opposition parties into a corner in his victory dialogue – he looks forward to working with all parties to the betterment of our country. Any party which opposes him will, therefore, be working against Canada’s well-being. I doubt very much if the Libs will ever acknowledge that Harper is smart – too smart for them – and that he really can lead our country.

  • Dean

    Stephen great column. Brian, I agree with you as well. The MSM has to recognize the fact their political views are not middle of the ground but left of centre. I believe people are now taking what they see and hear on TV with a grain of salt and not blindly accepting what Lloyd and Peter say as the gospel. As for Craig Oliver…you didn't fool anyone with your election coverage. Next election grab some Liberal campaign buttons and go door-to-door with your message. You have no busy being on TV pretending to be a journalist.

  • East of Eden

    Why would Stephen want to wait four years to collect his winnings?

  • Malcolm

    One of the curious things was that, in the last two weeks of the campaign, the Liberals were using the same tactics against the NDP that they have used against the Conservatives in recent years. “They're ideologues and extremists with a dangerous agenda.” Ironically, this meant that the last minute appeal to NDP voters – “we share your values, no, really, we do” – meant that their lifesaving tactic was no longer effective.

    For the past 70 years or so, the Liberal Party has avoided having ideas of its own. Instead, they have stolen from either your party or mine whichever of our two parties ideas seemed popular at the time – medicare from us in the 60s, corporate tax cuts from you in the 90s and 00s.

    But a political party can run on vacuum and momentum for only so long. The Liberal brand is nearly spent.

    (BTW, from the headline to the middle of para 2, the first several letters of each line are blocked by graphics on my screen. I don't know if that problem is unique to my computer or my isp, but I thought you'd like to know.)

  • http://jamesbowie.blogspot.com James Bowie

    Hey Steve, $100 says Harper never wins another election. You game?

  • MikeW

    Good analysis Stephen, if I may add one thought, one of the great strenghts of the Con party was its adoption of Reform idea of one member one vote and grassroots development of policy. The other parties are are elite and centrist. Leadership conventions and policy developed by the party elites. Fund raising does not come from this. The other item I wish Cons had adopted was binding referenda, this would more than anything bring people back into the political process and stop the decline in voter numbers.

  • realistpragmatist

    Were you even born when Trudeau was Prime Minister?

  • http://www.stephentaylor.ca stephentaylor

    Trudeau was Prime Minister when I was born.

  • The Champ

    My goodness, Dion is the gift that just keeps on giving (that will be a horrible cliche very soon but i got it in first) I almost think he's a closet conservative.. THANK YOU DION YOU ARE THE BEST:)

  • Liz J

    Dion is staying until a new leader is chosen! He's blaming the Conservative ads for his defeat!

  • Daryl

    Oliver is well past his due date. Why they don’t put him out to pasture is beyond me.

  • sir john a.

    Excellent diagnosis, Dr. Taylor.

    The Liberals are too caught up in their own history, hubris, and entitlement to understand what you're saying here, but it is absolutely correct.

    Frankly, I'd be worried as a Conservative if the Liberals were talking about this type of thing; rebuilding and rebranding without focusing on winning back power as soon as possible. The fact that guys like Warren Kinsella are already putting $1,000 on a Liberal victory next go around based on a new and faceless leader shows these guys just don't get it.

    The Liberal Party is a mess. They have been wholly rejected by just about every bloc of voters in this country. The young disenfranchised have gone to the NDP, the young and ideological have gone to the Greens, the Conservatives absolutely own the suburban middle class and the rural vote, and the Bloc still wins the soft nationalists in Quebec. All they have left is the effete Toronto and Montreal urbanites, and they're only good for about 50-60 seats.

    As long as Liberals continue to believe their fate lies in the party leadership, Stephen Harper will be PM for as long as he damn well wants to be.

  • East of Eden

    I just hopped over to the Star to see the article. What a shameful disgrace this guy is. To blame the Conservative ads for his defeat is truly disgusting. You know who he sounds like the way he blames the Conservatives for his troubles? Take a wild guess. There is one other Liberal (albeit the result of crossing the floor) who refuses to see himself having any sort of faults. Talk about birds of a feather. Does this guy have no pride? Does he have any testosterone floating in his blood vessels? With all due respect to you ladies out there, he reminds me of a simpering little high-maintenance belle wannabe. What a petulant little mama’s boy. “It’s unfair, mama. That mean old Stephen made fun of me. He told the truth about my stupid ideas and everybody hates me, now. Mama, what are cojones? Can the go to a store and buy some?”

    Man, Dion is such a loser. He is digging himself in deeper and deeper. What he fails to acknowledge is that the Libs invented smear campaigns – twice now they have run campaigns based on smears and Harper won – TWICE.

    Now, on another plane, it is really Harper’s fault that Dion lost. Harper proved that Dion is weak and ineffectual. Harper proved that the green shift was a monumental tax grab that would increase our cost of living significantly. Harper proved that he can answer questions in both official languages and that Dion is incapable of…well…everything, including answering questions. Harper showed us a real plan and Dion showed us…uh…er…does anybody know of anything concrete that Dion showed us? No? Oh well, moving right along…Harper showed us a decisive man who can actually put on his own shoes without his wife showing him how. Harper has a track record of results and Dion has…uh…er…um…ahem…errm…abstaining on everything. Dang, that Harper is sure scary – to Liberals, that is.

    God Bless Stephen Harper.

  • bob

    So who is on the hook for Dion’s yet-unpaid leadership campaign debt?

  • Richard

    nice work.
    and I’m not alone in my assessment, you’re featured on NNW.

  • xpdoug

    Looks like Dion is blaming his defeat on the lies and liers of the Conservative party and not on the sad job he did as a campaigner. As I see it, Harper was interpreting the price increase of all things carbon-based as a “tax” (rightly so) and thus accusing Dion of being a tax raiser. Because Dion didn't want to characterise his Green Shift as a “tax” increase on carbon it pretty much made what Harper was saying a “lie”. In my humble opinion, when the government takes new money from people's pockets that it hadn't taken before…. well, gosh darn it, that is an increase in taxes. (If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, etc….)
    I tried to explain to my Liberal friends that if they are in a low income tax bracket, it means the miniscule tax break they would get would be much less than the increase in carbon tax they would have to pay. Some could see that but some stubbornly refuse to see it. Now they are saying, ha ha, Harper's going to be forced to run a deficit and THEN we'll REALLY get him for being a lier. I guess we'll find out, won't we?

  • hollinm

    Very good column Stephen and sound advice. However, typical of Liberals they think it is their God given right to govern Canada. They will search out a huckter like Iggy or Rae who will talk bafflegab but there will be little done to rejuvenate the party. They will continue on the road to self destruction because when the next election comes along they will not have done their homework and will still have many of the same problems that plague them today.
    Watching John McCallum on CTV's Question Period I was struck by the fact that within several words McCallum called the Conservatives dishonest and went on in his usual idiotic way. If this is a sign of humility on the part of the Liberal party then Canadians are dreaming in technicolour. Same old, same old.
    Will they leave the political area and start the process to rediscover? I doubt it. Their arrogance and hubris will not allow that to happen.

  • Iain

    If you are familiar with Trudeau's bio, you will know that when he was looking to get into politics he considered himself more in line with the NDP than the Liberals, but with the Liberals he could get in power. I doubt this is not an uncommon consideration for those that run for office as Liberals. You don't go into politics with any of the other parties thinking that.

  • Ti-Guy

    No one needs your advice, you queer. Come out, already.

    ..and wash your hair the next time time you’re on teevee. I could smell the sebum through the monitor.

    Love, Ti-Guy.

  • Ti-Guy

    No one needs your advice, you queer. Come out, already.

    ..and wash your hair the next time time you’re on teevee. I could smell the sebum through the monitor.

    Love, Ti-Guy.

  • Terry

    It is very enligthening to read the comments here. It was only 15 short years ago that the Tories were basically wiped off the electoral map.

    They were resurrected by a western right winger named Preston Manning and then had the misfortune to continue their lost arrogance by naming a leader who listens to no one but his own inner team. If people call that grass roots democracy this country is surely in trouble.

    The Liberals have their problems for sure. They will recover and once they do will win elections once again. They are still the only party to have survived intact since confederation

    Running elections and pre elections on negative ads and personal attacks does nothing for this country and that is all the Tories can now claim as their heritage. Dion was a decent leader and had some very good ideas on governence and is a passionate Canadian with no hard and fast ideology running through his veins. He believes in a fair fight also based on ideas and not negative personal attack ads and refused to get into that game at his own peril.

    Your party could not increase its % of the popular vote, lost actual votes, and have not enaged Canadians in any meaningful way. Don't let your own arrogance get in the way. Dump Harper and get some real democracy in your party or it will go down the tubes once again.

  • Liz J

    Any guess as to how many Blue Liberals will toddle across the floor to join the Conservatives?

  • Observant

    Liberal caucus knives will come out on Thursday because the Liberal MPs cannot possibly give Dion their vote of confidence in his leadership until May '09 … that would be politically ludicrous..!!!

    Dion is a failed leader, he failed to prepare the party, he failed to lead in the election, and now he is failing to understand that he is not wanted anywhere near the Liberal party.

    Dion must vanish … this week, because he stinks with defeat and insanity … !!!!!

  • Soccermom

    I think we should stop giving them good advice.

    Joe Volpe for Leader!

  • Beer and Popcorn

    Terry – full credit for posting on here after your credibility has taken such a hit after all your pre-election predictions and taunting, but now's not the time to be a sore looser.

    The facts are that almost a million fewer voters voted for the Liberal$ this election and your party has been reduced from national status to the equivalent of the Bloc Toronto. These must be tough for you to face but these are the facts – like them or not.

    Stephen's point was that, partisanship aside, the Liberals have a lot of work to do to even be considered as a serious opposition party, and this is work that has nothing to do with Dion's leadership or the Conservatives running ads of actual footage of the last leadership convention.

    Harper has said he plans to reach out and work with all parties with his muscular minority gov't – let's see if it can work – if not – the Liberals will likely get their shot again in a few years, but I think that your party has a lot of work to do between now and then if they want to be competitive.

    B&P

  • Andrew

    Very nice post Steven…I would also add the following note to Liberals, regarding the Leader's image…

    In the 90's the Liberals went crazy attacking Preston Manning's personal character and 'hidden agenda.' Scaring the crap out of whomever would listen during elections. The fact really is Preston Manning as it turns out was increadibly down to earth, caring, smart guy and would have made a great Prime Minister.

    Now the tables are turned and Conservatives are using those same Liberal tactics against them. Forgive me if I don't shed a tear for Dion's crushed image…Karma it seems is still a Bit….well you know ;)…So who's next?

  • East of Eden

    I hate to be cruel but any fool could see that the carbon tax would affect the cost of everything we consume – especially food. Only a fool would fail to see the blatant lie in the green shift: “we will tax polluters and give you a tax break”. The “tax the polluters” conjures up images of big bad factories being taxed. Only a fool would fail to see that the big bad factory would pass its cost on to us. Then the plan went further and said it would tax natural gas. Well, since I use natural gas in my home, that would make me a big bad polluter so the income tax rebate would come to my left hand and the carbon tax on the polluter (me) would take it from my right hand.

    I cannot believe that so many Lib supporters were so foolish as to not see this. The tax break was miniscule. Even if one did not figure out the costs versus the benefits (I asked an actuary friend to figure my cost-benefit ratio and the cost far outweighed the minimal benefit) only a fool would fail to see that the MASSIVE tax rebate would, by virtue of being allegedly revenue neutral would have to be counterbalanced by a MASSIVE cost of living increase. I am no genius but from the get-go, I was suspicious because why would we need a revenue neutral plan when there are more effective measures. As I suspected, it was not revenue neutral for individual Canadians. I estimated that only 60% of what we pay in increased costs would be represented by the tax break. In addition, the tax break was a fixed percentage of our earnings. The increased cost of living was not at all fixed and, therefore, the benefit could range from from a high of 60% to a low of 0%. The whole green shift platform was and is a lie. A bald-faced lie.

  • East of Eden

    I hate to be cruel but any fool could see that the carbon tax would affect the cost of everything we consume – especially food. Only a fool would fail to see the blatant lie in the green shift: “we will tax polluters and give you a tax break”. The “tax the polluters” conjures up images of big bad factories being taxed. Only a fool would fail to see that the big bad factory would pass its cost on to us. Then the plan went further and said it would tax natural gas. Well, since I use natural gas in my home, that would make me a big bad polluter so the income tax rebate would come to my left hand and the carbon tax on the polluter (me) would take it from my right hand.

    I cannot believe that so many Lib supporters were so foolish as to not see this. The tax break was miniscule. Even if one did not figure out the costs versus the benefits (I asked an actuary friend to figure my cost-benefit ratio and the cost far outweighed the minimal benefit) only a fool would fail to see that the MASSIVE tax rebate would, by virtue of being allegedly revenue neutral would have to be counterbalanced by a MASSIVE cost of living increase. I am no genius but from the get-go, I was suspicious because why would we need a revenue neutral plan when there are more effective measures. As I suspected, it was not revenue neutral for individual Canadians. I estimated that only 60% of what we pay in increased costs would be represented by the tax break. In addition, the tax break was a fixed percentage of our earnings. The increased cost of living was not at all fixed and, therefore, the benefit could range from from a high of 60% to a low of 0%. The whole green shift platform was and is a lie. A bald-faced lie.

  • Casual Observer

    The Libs can, before the next election, recover, regroup, and plan to win. The key is
    1) if Frank McKenna wants the job, and if the Liberals are smart enough to give it to him.
    2) If McKenna was chosen, within days the money would start pouring in like they haven't seen in a long, long time. The Libs should dump Dion, and replace him with McKenna immediately -every week Dion stays in there, is hundreds of thousands in badly needed fund-raising. McKenna as leader, and Iggy and Rae given most important Cabinet positions.
    3) The Liberals would have to become a centrist party, because that's what Canada wants now and in the foreseeable future.