Thomas Walkom has a point. Why are today's Liberals so detached from liberalism?
...it’s not clear what the Liberals represent any more. They would like
voters to think of them as the non-Conservatives — the alternative to
Stephen Harper... But are they?
Paul Adams, an astute political observer writing in iPolitics,
argues that the federal Liberals have transformed themselves into the
old Progressive Conservatives, socially progressive but fiscally to the
I’d go further. I reckon the old PCs of Joe Clark would find federal Liberal leadership candidate Martha Hall Findlay’s talk of dismantling farm marketing boards a bit too right-wing for their tastes
Similarly, Liberal front runner Justin Trudeau’s enthusiastic embrace of the Alberta oilsands would
probably be seen as a tad naive by the Red Tories of former Ontario
premier Bill Davis, most of whom believed that strong business required
equally strong regulation.
As a party, the Liberals haven’t had a new idea since the 1980s.
Individual party members have (Stéphane Dion’s green shift comes to
But the party, as a whole never signed onto Dion’s environmental agenda. Nor has it signed onto anything else.
We have a pretty good idea of where the Conservatives of Harper and
Hudak stand. Harper’s Conservatives like guns, don’t like criminals,
hate environmental regulation and would prefer a tax cut to a social
program any day. Hudak’s Ontario Tories have no use for welfare
recipients and labour unions.
The new NDP, while more slippery than it once was, still takes positions on fundamental issues like taxes and climate change.
But the Liberals? Who knows?
Who are they? If they suddenly disappeared from the face of the earth, would anyone notice?
Maybe it would be better if the LPC simply changed its name to something appropriate to its vacuous politics. Maybe they should call it the Putty Party of Canada. But right now to continue with the old name is a disgrace to liberalism.