Wednesday, January 23, 2013

When the Liberals Jettison Liberalism

Thomas Walkom has a point.   Why are today's Liberals so detached from liberalism?’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 right.
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 mind).
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.


susansmith said...

putty party - that was funny MoS.

The Mound of Sound said...

Always happy to please, Jan.

Linda said...

Morning Mos; If only they would re-connect with our Liberal history, maybe Mr. Trudeau the 2nd could learn from his father, who had alot to do with the (anti)asbestos industry, back in the day.

The Mound of Sound said...

Hi Linda. Sadly they show little interest in the past. As for J. Trudeau, I've said from the outset he was all Margaret and no Pierre. He keeps confirming that supposition with every passing day. Pierre's natural heir was lost to us several years ago, swept by an avalanche into the depths of an alpine lake in southeastern B.C.

Linda said...

Could he, (Justin) not learn? And the others as well; maybe Mr. Cauchon? Don't any of them embrace Liberalism?

The Mound of Sound said...

Yes, Linda, there is just one in the contenders' ranks. She's Vancouver's Joyce Murray and she specifically separates herself from the pack in wanting to restore progressivism to the Liberal Party. When I read her platform I'm reminded of the party I supported for forty years, a party that no longer is.

It's not just the leadership that has ditched liberalism. The party membership is favouring these leaders who are all the front runners. It's the members as much as their leaders who are the downfall of the Liberal Party. To them the Liberal Party is about acquiring and holding onto power in its own right. That's why the Canadian public has washed its hands of them.