Monday, June 14, 2010

Has the Liberal Party Become a Desert for Progressives?

Have progressive Liberals become about as welcome in their party as Dennis Kucinich is to the Democrats? No matter how solid their arguments, no matter how urgent their pleas, within the Liberal Party no one is listening.

There's hardly anything even remotely progressive about Michael Ignatieff and his ideas. I guess "ideas" is the appropriate word because it would be exaggeration bordering on hyperbole to call them vision.

From the Tar Sands to a militarized foreign policy devoid of balance and nuance to an obvious indifference to the environment to being Harper's water boy in Parliament, I can't think of one compelling reason why any progressive would support the IgLibs, henceforth to be referred to as the Conservative-Lite Party of Canada (CLPC).

I know from what others have told me that a lot of us feel caught in a political limbo, no longer willing to back the CLPC but having no appetite for the doctrinaire NDP either. Maybe what we need is a new party, one that merges what once was the Liberal's centre-left with open-minded, moderate Dippers. Dedicated IgLibs will doubtless scream "heretic" and "traitor." They'll cast accusations of dissenters "only helping Harper". Their argument, however, is a tired rehash of the "lesser of two evils" and I'm not up for playing that game.

Sure a new party might be the kiss of death for the CLPC but so what? They've been virtually comatose on every major issue ever since Ignatieff took the reins. They throw down the gauntlet and then run from the fight, over and over and over again. They throw up useless bromides and platitudes to conceal the greasy footprints of their vote pandering.

Both the NDP and the LPC have a touch of radicalism, the Dippers on the far left and the LPC on the conservative right and I figure that those elements are holding both of them back. Real political strength lies in the centre which happens to be where Canada has found most of its greatest leaders. Separate the wheat from the chaff. Ditch the far left. Ditch the far right. Build a new entity in the centre/centre-left, the natural home of progressives. Why do names like Axworthy and Romanow keep flooding into my mind?


I know, I know. It was only a couple of days ago that I dismissed the idea of a political merger of the NDP and Liberals. But what I'm talking about isn't just a merger. It's a house cleaning by both, shedding of skins. Let the NDP continue as the home of the far left. Let the LPC sail on as the CLPC until it reaches the very edge of the earth. He may be an abomination but Stephen Harper has done one good thing - he's laid out a roadmap that could be followed to create a united progressive party.


Anonymous said...

Oh give it a rest and stop your whining.

Just how far left to you think Liberals should be? Hopefully, not a far as the NDP.

Anonymous said...

Short answer: Absolutely.

Problem? What's the solution when no one in Canada will stand for progressive issues?

The Mound of Sound said...

Anon 1:07, I'm not whining. I'm complaining and voicing the same very legitimate complaints held by a lot of people. If you read the post and are remotely sentient you'll know that I don't think the Libs should be as far left as the NDP. I made that plain except, perhaps, to you. I've also given specific examples of where Iggy has taken the LPC much too far to the right, departing outright from traditional Liberal values. I'm not a strong Chretien supporter but it's apparent he too knows the difference. I think what you need is to pull your head out of your ass.

Anonymous said...

Poor Anon.
Either a connie or a liberal Kool-Aid drinker.

The Liberals, under Iggy, are a totally inept party that has no direction, no vision and no effective leader.

Iggy cannot even capitalize on all of Harper's mistakes, mismanagement and abuses.

There is still not a solution to the detainee issue and Iggy is letting Harper assfuck him.

This is only one issue amongst a multitude that Iggy has been ineffective to the point of being a definitive hindrance to Canada's future.

To me, it's not a question of left or right - more of being progressive. And, unlike Connies who seem to espouse fascism, more freedoms, less governments, less government welfare to corporations is being progressive.

Cliff said...

Hardly news. I addressed this subject here.

The NDP won't be merging with the Libs for much the same reason people don't usually chain themselves to the railing of a sinking ship. Coalitions are a different thing and far too much conflation of the two very different ideas has been happening lately.

To wit: we'd rather follow the long established history of minority Lib/NDP governments by demanding concessions (like public healthcare and pensions) after an election rather than bartering them away before one.

The Mound of Sound said...

Didn't know this was "news" Cliff, new or old. I thought I was giving my opinion. Sorry if that confused you.

Don't get too uppity, my friend. The Dippers have tanked before and they'll tank again. You're pretty close to your zenith now and you owe that to the dismal performance of the Libs just as Harper owes his success, meagre as it is, to them.

Okie said...

Ah, I've arrived in time to throw a little salt on the welts from the laying on of the Cat O Nine.

In keeping, Iggnatieff issued a strongly worded condemnation of Iran today on the anniversary of it's last election (well sort of)

"“These are more than just stark reminders of the brutal repression of Ahmadinejad’s regime; they are the troubling signs of an intransigent government refusing to address the very question of its legitimacy."

Yet was all but silent on the illegal Isreali raid on the flotilla and the deaths of the activists. Like a kid whistling past a graveyard was he..

Anonymous said...

It's a lot easier to for Iggy to demonize a regime because he knows that he can't do anything about it then actually stand up for human right vis-a-vis our so-called ally Israel... And he would not want to piss-off the pro-Israel-right-or-wrong Liberals that seem to have taken over what was once a nuanced foreign policy view.