Friday, December 04, 2015
We Know It's Going to Get a Bit Ugly Soon. Sooner Than We Might Have Wished.
The Liberals are on top and the opposition parties will very soon come gunning for them. It's called Parliamentary democracy and a new day is upon us.
During the Harper 'Age of Darkness', self-styled Progressives of the 'anything left of Harper Conservative' stripe reached an uncomfortable and often ignored truce to concentrate on toppling Beelzebub. It's only too bad that they didn't do that of their own volition just one election earlier. Harper would never have won his majority absent Layton's determined attack on Ignatieff - all to score, for one term, the cherished spot of Loyal Opposition.
It's good to keep these realities in mind as our former, albeit somewhat frosty, friends turn on the ABC government they still think ought to have been theirs.
I'm a Green but, to you Reds, I say this. In going ahead with your agenda, which so many Canadians embrace, remember you're sailing alone. The biggest challenge will remain from the Conservatives, Canada's neo-Republican party.
It's not them you need to fear, however. It's the New Democrats. If Layton and Mulcair have proven anything, it's that today's NDP will never allow principle to thwart their quest for power. They've shown that they would do whatever it took for a result even if it meant Harper ruled with a false majority to the sustained and possibly indelible detriment of the country.
They're pissed off. After they abandoned the Left and became indecently center-right, Justin and the Libs reclaimed the center and flooded into the Left. Mulcair was left sitting there with his pecker in his hand as he watched his party's support bleed out.
We may be embarking on a return of old-school Liberalism. The opposition parties are physically wounded and in a vacuum politically. The divisions are no longer in the arc of the center. It's well to the Right of that, exactly where the NDP should not be.
To get decisively left of the Liberals today would be to abandon any aspirations beyond the old NDP of yesteryear. Just at the worst moment, they chose to abandon questing for power from the Left. In many ways that's what we need today more than ever but the NDP chose to follow another direction.
This thing is going to become ugly. The old school Tories will be fighting for the heart and soul of Conservatism. The dominant Reform crowd were pretty nasty during Harper's reign. I know that Harper intimidated dissent within the PC contingent.
Some of those old school Conservatives voted for Trudeau in the last election. Others gave the polls a pass. Their party understands this. What I've been told is that the Party has heard that some of these former Tory stalwarts won't be back until the PC faction is again in control. And this rift won't impair the Cons as Parliament goes through this term? Wait and see.
A similar keel-righting ordeal awaits the NDP. The Leftist 'heart and soul' of the party had been essentially silenced as first Layton and then Mulcair sought to transform the party into a copy of Blair's Labour. They had before them all the ills that emerged from the Blairification of the Labour Party, but they wanted the NDP to follow suit regardless.
This Parliament may wind up unique in the amount of political energy and capital on the part of both opposition parties expended on in-house jousting. Some senior Tories seem to dread the event, asking that the leadership contest be postponed far into the future. The New Dems also don't seem to have much appetite for scathing self-examination.
Interesting times await just ahead.