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.