05.08.2011 06:54 AM

In today’s Sun: Damned if I can figure it out

What does it mean?

In the hours after the political earthquake hit on Monday night, Canadian pundits, pollsters and politicos quietly slid into chairs, turned on their computers, and stared — blankly — at the blinking cursor thing.

Wordless. Flummoxed. Terrified.

What the hell just happened? A Reform Party-in-disguise capturing a majority? A socialist party, comprised of vacationing students and America-hating conspiracy theorists, making up the official opposition? The (formerly) most successful political machine in Western democracy, reduced to a rudderless rump?

How?

90 Comments

  1. Jennifer Bunting says:

    I live in Eastern Ontario, in the only dot of red (Kingston and the Islands). In my opinion, the only reason we were able to get Ted Hsu elected was the local disgust with the Conservative Government over the demise of the prison farms. Mr. Kinsella muses that Canada voted against the Liberals. Out on the rural hustings I am hearing that many did not vote AGAINST anyone but FOR Stephen Harper, “because he lowered taxes”. (This is a myth, a slight of hand, but it appears to have paid off.) Also, everybody enjoyed seeing him play the piano. The long gun registry was also an issue, altho’ the late lamented Larry McCormick used to hang on to his constituency anyway, because folks liked him so much. The Conservative attack ads (which started before an election was called — is that legal?) had an impact. Most people around me believe that Michael Ignatieff is not Canadian. They claim did not vote AGAINST the Liberals but could not see themselves voting FOR a non-Canadian leader. Disappointing.

    • JStanton says:

      … and that’s why this bout of over-analysis is pointless The LPC was gutted because most people are stupid, or they act as though they were. But this is true of people everywhere and always. That’s why winning at politics is an art, not a science. Those that win understand the electorate are not in fact rational actors; rather, they are simple folk to be led or pushed to where they are required to be.

      The notion by Mr. Harper’s supporters that he has reduced taxes, while in fact he has spent frivolously more borrowed money that anyone in history, or that Mr. Ignatieff is not Canadian, demonstrates perfectly that these people are not only stupid, but especially so – because, in this country of universal access to education and information, they actually make a choice to remain un-informed… or they are simply too stupid to understand how stupid they are.

      Conservatives said they wanted more responsible financial management – Mr. Harper did the opposite. They said they wanted more responsible, accessible and transparent government, and again, Mr. Harper did the opposite. They said they wanted civility and honor in parliament, and Mr. Harper kept doing the opposite, until, in an historic turn of events, his government was stripped from him, by parliament, as was their constitutional duty.

      And then, given what they know of Mr. Harper, they then allow him to form a new government, so that he can give them more of what they don’t want.

      Like I said…stupid, stupid, stupid.

      .

      • nastyboy says:

        And Liberal wonder why they’re the third party.

        • Rick T. says:

          And until they figure it out, they will remain the third part!

          • Hollywood says:

            Not necessarily. The Green Party might find some gardeners to run in 2015 so they can sweep Quebec, thus relegating the Liberal Party to 4th party status.

        • JStanton says:

          …ok, I’ll try again.

          He lied to you and cheated you for 5 years Jethro. Why do you think anything’s going to change?

          It’s like being an abused wife. The cops don’t understand why you don’t press charges after years of abuse, to end it. All you are thinking is that it’s your fault for not being understanding, and that this time he’s going to change for sure. But he isn’t. An abuser is an abuser. It’s his nature, and he’s not going to change. And every time you encourage him, he gets worse.

          .

          • nastyboy says:

            Yeah, most people who are losing arguments resort to name calling and calling people stupid.

    • Africon says:

      “The Conservative attack ads (which started before an election was called — is that legal?) had an impact.”
      Yes dear, apparently just as legal as it is to have a pro Liberal taxpayer funded CBC systematically bash and minimize anything “conservative”.

      “Most people around me believe that Michael Ignatieff is not Canadian.”

      I’d suggest that you revisit the quality of the “people around you” that can be so easily duped by Ads that never stated such a thing.

  2. Craig Chamberlain says:

    “In a country as big and as diverse as this one, it’s truly dumb to say one meaning explains everything” (except of course when it does…)
    L Theorem

  3. Liz J says:

    Look back no further than Chretien tossing money to buy votes in Quebec and Martin backstabbing him for over a decade to get a job he coveted. He got the job and had no idea what to do with it. Chretien had the last laugh on Martin, the people of Canada got the last laugh on the LPC. From where I sit, the Liberals will need to take some time and get it right, something they don’t seem to yet realize.

  4. Craig Chamberlain says:

    WANTED: ONE SIMPLE, DEFINING MESSAGE THAT TRANSCENDS THE NOISE OF THE DAY (But is confirmed by it!)

    Liberals need to pick one simple message and repeat it everywhere, everytime they can between now and the next federal election — one that goes deeper than the controversies of the day, but one that is regularly confirmed by them.

    To my thinking, that message should be: The other parties are too ideological to govern Canada.

    Because they are. Time will show it. And factions in their membership will require it to be so.

    • The other George says:

      I agree Craig

      I think the Liberals should announce right now and stay “on message” that they are the defenders of Public Health Care. They will strengthen and ensure that we maintain a Canadian-style health care system where everyone, no matter what their social or economic background will be able to get the health care they need. Folded in with that, is a commitment to seniors health and housing.

      The demographics are pushing us into this direction and will even more so four years from now. Announce it now and “Own It” so that it is practically indistinguishable with the Liberal Party of Canada. Invoke the meme that Tommy Douglas invented Canadian Health Care, and the Liberal Party of Canada will save it.

    • Hollywood says:

      The lack of Liberal ideology will be hard to sell as a positive feature. Your argument reminds me of that CBC Vote Compass which said you were a Liberal if you were undecided on every issue. Third parties have to have a stance which distinguishes them from the first two options.

      • Craig Chamberlain says:

        OK.

        Any suggestions?

        • Hollywood says:

          In another thread on here I borrowed some Reform Party ideas and added fighting the carbon tax / cap-and-trade BS. Free votes, EEE sentae, perks and pensions, etc.

          And what about Indian Affairs? Not a word on that but there’s a percolating issue out west.

  5. Bill M. says:

    What does it mean?

    When Alberta candidates don’t show up and they get elected? When Quebec NDP candidates never set foot in a riding and get elected?

    I have a pretty good idea what it means.

  6. Bill Dever says:

    The majority of Canadians wanted to vote Liberal, but after a neutral performance in the debates, they held their noses and either held the party line or they slide over briefly and voted NDP. The party needs a rebuilding, take a lesson thumping that Diefenbaker’s P.C.’s…re-align rebuild and find your Mitchell Sharp’s. Stop bemoaning your lot in life in public and with gritted teeth provide Canadians with choice and reflect their collective vision. Understand that the base is changed, the vision is changed. The most successful political machine in the Western Hemisphere was built on the cohesive alignment of Canadian Catholics, Visible minorities and left leaning members of the Family Compact. Don’t ask yourself who or what is the Liberal Party of Canada, ask yourself who are Canadians and mold yourself to that vision.

    The Conservatives did not win the election, the Liberal Party in their arrogance and lack of determined focus lost it. Look for a leader with courage. Look for a leader who inspires. The present day Liberals were built on the backs of man who stared down the cowardice of tribalism and the self absorbed violence that often accompanies it. Reclaim the banner of “The Just Society”. Become Patriots first and Liberals second.

    “I would have to point out in the strongest terms the autocracy of the Liberal structure and the cowardice of its members. I have never seen in all my examination of politics so degrading a spectacle as that of all these Liberals turning their coats in unison with their Chief, when they saw the chance to take power.”

    Pierre Elliott Trudeau As a CCF member taking issue with the federal Liberal Party. Cite libre (April 1963)

    • With this statement:

      The majority of Canadians wanted to vote Liberal

      … you are fully embracing the same arrogance you condem later in your piece.

      • BillD says:

        People naturally want to reach for the middle ground,no matter who stands there….I don’t think the Liberal party deserved the confidence of Canadians, and I want the party as a whole to embrace the concept of serving a Canadian collective ideal, but I can see how you could interprete what I wrote that way

    • Craig Chamberlain says:

      (With the Conservatives ahead in the polls from the outset and having the advantage that goes along with be the sitting government, it was Harper’s election to lose. Not sure if this is consistent with your view that the Conservatives didn’t win but rather, the Liberals lost. Also, I a, not sure about your assumptions about where the Liberal vote landed.)

    • nastyboy says:

      “The majority of Canadians wanted to vote Liberal”

      What do you base that on?

    • Iris Mclean says:

      To quote David Suzuki: “There are three kinds of people. Those who understand numbers, and those who don’t.”

  7. Nuna D. Above says:

    Bill Dever mentions the Liberals being strong with Canadian Catholics. During the election, the Toronto Star ran a story that said 50 percent of Catholics now vote Conservative. The article said that was a huge increase from even 5 years ago.
    Does anyone in the Liberal party ever wonder if the Conservative “controversies” over funding abortions in Africa, or “bimbo eruptions” during elections are carefully planned to let Catholics know pro-life people are welcome in the Conservative party?
    The Liberals went left on abortion and lost many Catholics. Liberals went left on same-sex marriage and lost many conservative visible minorities. They went left on Israel, with MPs joining in the faddish Israel bashing, and lost many Jewish voters.
    Mabye the country is polarizing between a left and a right party, and the left-wing Liberals will have to join the NDP as they won’t get power on their own.

  8. Joe says:

    Preston Manning once described a political party/movement as an iceberg. The visible part is the political party. The majority of it remains hidden in the marketplace of ideas and ideals. The Conservatives now have this figured out and PMSH is able to lead because of the ideas and ideals that are becoming more and more widely accepted. The Liberal party on the other hand has devolved into a mad grab for power and little else. Its ideas became stale dated back in the days of PET and have not been renewed since. If politics is like an iceberg the Liberals are like the skim of ice that forms over a puddle during a cool night. Its bright and sparkly but has no substance or strength.

  9. Patrick Hamilton says:

    I would hope that whoever is chosen leader(hopefully based on his/her electability, political street creds, their ability to inspire, and their willingness to roll up their shirtsleeves) as opposed to annointing a “messiah”,

    the first order of business will be to defend them against or deflect the hatchet job that was used so successfully by the Cons against Mr. Ignatieff, and prior to that M. Dion and Mr. Martin, and

    which most certainly will be used again by them(Cons not often eager to think outside the box) We must ensure that we have the funds available to do so.

    How one goes about that I will leave to the professionals(Mr. Kinsella?), but it seems to me we can have the best organization, the best platform, and the best leader, but it will mean squat if the

    Cons are able to use their siege tactics successfully yet again.

    • Patrick Hamilton says:

      I almost forgot…..please, lets use the KISS principle when spelling out our platform……”Learning passport” and “Family Pack”(which reminded me of nothing more than a bulk buy of “No

      Name” goods at your local Superstore) may sound clever, but why use buzz words when simply stating clearly and succinctly what our platform contains will get through to the average electorate.

      Oh and one other thing….. http://cdn.liberal.ca/files/2010/05/change-commission-report.pdf

      • Craig Chamberlain says:

        Amen to not looking for a Messiah. Which to me means “no” to our Trudeau, at least for now.

  10. jack says:

    Bill Dever is mostly right. Canadians were desparately seekinga harper alternative. The fcat that very young MP’s, some of which had never been in the ridings they ran in, demonstrate that very loudly. The Libs were positioned well in the first two weeks. the election was really boring then, no issues, no interest. Then came the tweet……the challenge for a debate. The response from Ignatieff “Anytime anywhere”. then harper backed off. NOW there was interest. It was almost like an old fashioned duel. People wanted a opne on one debate. that couldn’t happen so it was then announced that there would be 6 minutes of one on one debating. Even WK said “ignatieff would wipe the floor with harper”. The result…..4 million people watching the debate. One hates to say that people made a decision on that night, but guess what, 4 million people at once is the ONLY way to get your message out in a short election window. Well, Ignatieff did not wipe the floor with anyone. In fact, to most he looked downright awful. The big duel fizzled and immediately everyone started to look for another alternative. The electorate was smart enough to know that they had to go wioth one party if they wanted to oust Harper. BUt many in Ontario feared an NDP government. Bob Rae is a huge anvil around the necks of the libs, rightly or wrongly, but he is to ontario what the NEP still is to Alberta.

    It really is that simple. The debate lost it. It wasn’t issues or democracy or whatever. It was people desparately seeking a leader they wanted instead of Harper. Unless, for some, it was the ndp…then they voted for Harper. Attack ads were efeftive also but they were second compared to the debate.

    The libs had a shot but when you make a bold challenge to a duel, you have to realize its all or nothing. It seems some arrogance got in the way of preparation.

    So what now? If anything we know now that the leader is key. As someone not in any inner circle I would say its time for some wholesale changes. Chretien nattering about a merger is ridiculous. Even Broadbent has shown his true colors now. As soon as he got a whiff of some power he bailed on any merger. And a merger shows such weakness its also a sign of people giving up. The libs need strong confidant leadership. Any mention of merger shows a huge lack of confidence. Start with that and people will come back to the libs. They just need a good reason.

  11. Harith says:

    Here’s how: Michael Ignatieff.

  12. Al in Cranbrook says:

    My tips for renewing your party, FWIW.

    Quit talking about spending someone else’s wealth, and start talking about ways to ENABLE generation of wealth.

    Worried about funding the looming burden on our healthcare system? Then, instead of dreaming up new ways to tax wealth and create more inefficient and parasitical bureaucracies, find ways to increase the wealth of the both the individual and the thus the nation in order to pay for it. And get out of the way of innovation in delivering services for no more good reason than paying homage to abstract ideology/doctrine that are at best obsolete and anchored in another time that has few parallels nor relevance in the present.

    Worried about the environment? Then, instead of dreaming up bureaucracies full of people who don’t have a clue in hell about anything aside from grinding ideological axes and making sure their bureaucracy survives for another paycheque, find ways to facilitate efficiencies through innovation and invention by those people who know what the hell they’re doing. More often than not, this doesn’t mean subsidization, but rather elimination of roadblocks, red tape, and inhibitors to the creation of wealth.

    IOW…

    Quit harping on ideology, and start talking about what works to empower the greatest number of people, instead of pandering to special interests and the latest fad crisis du jour. Quit trying to twist the world into knots in order to fit neatly within ideological pretexts, and instead start dealing with the world and human nature as it actually is!

    Quit deferring to “experts”. People increasingly are getting sick and f**king tired of being told by experts how to live, that the world is coming to some cataclysmic end, and that the common man is pretty much an ignorant jerk who can’t be trusted for anything. Meanwhile, they look around at a world that’s been run by “experts”, particularly in governments, and they see one big bloody disaster after another. More to the point, they see “experts” getting stinking rich of the backs of the average Joe, with damn little worthwhile to show for any of it. Just about every blessed time a Liberal/Lefty starts a debate, he/she starts with “the experts say”…which immediately gets those little bubbles to floating in circles over Joe Lunchbucket’s head.

    Start talking about rights and freedoms that the vast majority of people are concerned about, such as the right to own property, the right to walk down our streets without fear, the right to self-defense, and the right to be treated equally under the law. People are fed up to their gills with endless bleeding over the rights of criminals, while the rights of victims, and the rights of the public to peace and security don’t seem to be worth a damn to anyone, but especially the “justice” system.

    Let the NDP, with their socialist ideological twaddle, play to that dwindling crowd! Left to their own devices, they will default to it every time, and it will get them nowhere.

    Voters didn’t desert the LPC. The LPC deserted them! It’s gotten so that, every time a Liberal has something to say, it’s about a) creating yet another wasteful bureaucracy that will last a kabillion years and guaranteed to suck yet still more wealth by the billions out of the common man’s jeans, b) focusing on some dreadful pessimistic crap dreamed up by yet more “experts”, c) handing out kabillions to said “experts” to save the world from ourselves, and d) verbally s**t all over those who dare to disagree with them and their sacred to the point of holiness little pet ideologies.

    Again, scrap the ideological garbage, and start focusing on what actually works, particularly with regard to generating the wealth that ultimately is required to pay for all that good stuff that makes life easier for everyone. Quit dividing the world into rich and poor, and start talking about the common interests of ALL people!

    My two cents.

    • The other George says:

      I will sort-of agree with Al in Cranbrook with some caveats. With regards to healtcare, I lived in Scandinavia for a number of years and experienced their hybrid Public-Private model. I also lived in the ‘States and experienced their for-profit model. Basically, the Scandinavian hybrid model was better than the American for profit model, but the Canadian public model, in terms of universal care delivery and in terms of economics, was measurably better.

      On more thing, which may irk Quebec voters. Get off the Climate Change/Global Warming/Climate Disruption kick. People are getting on the the idea that a) it ain’t happening b) it may be happening but not our fault c) it may be happening, a little bit our fault but we cant fix it ’cause we don’t want to live in cave/huts/teepees anymore. More importantly, it sounds and smells like a b.s. tax grab scheme. Just ask anyone who doesn’t “do” lattes here in BC.

      • Al in Cranbrook says:

        Will add this…

        Quit talking about what’s best for the “Liberal Party”, and start talking about what’s best for Canadians! Get off this “the Liberal Party is best for Canadians just because we say so” shtick.

        Good point on the AGW thing George. That there’s “climate change” is a given! There always has been, and there always will be. It’s cyclical, just like every other aspect of nature, from the Sun, and even the whole damn galaxy, on down to you name it! All the activities of the human race contribute about 5% of the total CO2 that enters the atmosphere at any given time. And Canadians contribute a paltry 2% of that 5%. AGW is a heap of narcissistic crap conjured up for no more good reasons than exploiting fear for profits…HUGE profits…padding careers, and peddling ideological agendas on the backs thereof. What’s criminal about it is the diversion of resources away from things we can actually do something about, such as pollution, as well as crippling the potential for economic opportunity/wealth to be extended to and/or generated by those who need and want it the most! The one thing that is certain to raze the world’s forests to the ground like no other cause is poverty! Our global environment is better off today than at any time in the last two centuries due to the spread of economic prosperity, rather than in spite thereof. Innovation and invention wrought entirely through private initiative to improve efficiencies and open new markets has been instrumental in increasing food production in orders of magnitude, thereby freeing up time to allow people to pursue something better than merely survival. Where standards of living improve through economic activity, birth rates drop, in large part because a) women don’t have to have as many kids as possible in order to see one or two of them survive to adulthood, and b) because women increasingly have opportunities to do other things with their lives than just bear children full time. One of the very worst impediments to economic activity is the driving up of energy costs that in turn deprives those who need it the most of a chance to better their own circumstances…even if it just means availability of on demand heat and light in their homes 24/7/365, something we take for granted of which green freaks, given half a chance, would deprive half the population of world. It’s ideological lunacy in the extreme, and of no small consequence to literally billions of people!!!

    • jack says:

      The comment is worth two cents. in just two years, harper has added 90 billion to the debt. that is not generating wealth. in fact, he has cut so much revenue that there is a structural deficit. someone has to pay that back and it will take away from the wealth of many for decades to come. add that Canadian personal debt is now higher than personal debt in the US and you can see a perfect storm building. by the time you and harper.realize this stuff, wewill be in huge trouble. harper does everything on his ideology. but harper will have to own these problems now. its too bad we will.have to pay.
      .

      • Africon says:

        Rubbish, it was the left that yelled and screamed for SH to bail out the Auto industry and spend billions on a Stimulus package – are you denying this ?

        Do you “own” the mess that the great Liberal Trudeau left us ?

        1968-69 $19,416 Billion Trudeau
        1969-70 19,277 0
        1970-71 20,293 +1 billion
        1971-72 22,079 +2 billion
        1972-73 23,980 +2 billion
        1973-74 26,191 +2 billion
        1974-75 28,416 +2 billion
        1975-76 34,621 +6 billion
        1976-77 41,517 +7 billion
        1977-78 52,396 +11 billion
        1978-79 65,425 +13 billion
        1979-80 77,392 +12 billion – Trudeau
        1980-81 91,948 +13 billion
        1981-82 107,622 +16 billion
        1982-83 136,672 +19 billion
        1983-84 169,549 +33 billion

        Trudeau era added $139 Billion to Nat Debt
        Expanded Debt by factor of NINE
        Later Mulroney dealing with very high interest rates increased our debt by a factor of 3.

        • jack says:

          Haha. Nice try with the numbers. So trudeau added about 139 billion and then mulroney added about 300 billion according to your numbers. Now over five years harper will add about 200 billion. And it will be more. Already today we ate seeing numbers today showing Canadian consumers not spending. Since consumers are the biggest part of the economy, tough times ate coming. And the emperor will have no cllothes.

          • The Doctor says:

            I don’t always agree with Gord, but . . . what Gord said. It slays me how many people don’t understand debt and deficit-to-GDP ratios.

  13. jay says:

    Another thing The Lopinski Theorem is telling us is that what pundits are currently saying about the next election is probably wrong too–unless it isn’t.

  14. Greg says:

    I would say a clue lies in your descriptions of the other parties. Obviously, your perception varies with that of the voters. Maybe that is the problem with the Liberal Party.

  15. R says:

    They hold area and candidate and election since 2009 and they were ready and when they announce to go for election

    only person was ready was coservative and other two were are not quit ready

    but I think that is not quit right

    NDP and conservative before hand ready to dump the liberal and made ndp intentionally in replace with liberal

    again all seats join venture of ndp and conservative was clear

    dump the liberal and made anybody who plan to vote liberal to ndp

    at out of join venture of intenionally of ndp and conservative

    conservative gain majoirty of seat
    ndp take opposition and higher seat and more income for Layton before his pension plan come in 4 years after layton is 60 now

    good time for him to get his pension within 4 years or so.

    all was with plan

    it was shocked with liberal and missing all seats was neglected by Ignatife and Mr. Rae

    I do not think Mr. rae is good person to lead liberal at all now

    http://vote.this.org/layton-says-harper-floated-conservative-ndp-b
    I think join venture of bloqua and lyaton with conservative work now

    http://votejohnrichardson.wordpress.com/2011/04/23/jack-layton-may-propel-the-harper-conservatives-to-a-majority/

    Rae bring Ignaitiff from US to may help Harper gain majority if he do some job for him too who knows

    ignatieff ignore his job his seat and all missing days in job and he was ready to go simple job for his retirement in UofT
    all may be Obama American Iganatiff who came to save Harper majority

    all above can be assumption and my not all true

    main point is if you are in party can joinventure or merge or mix but public must know it not behind secret door

    http://www.google.ca/#hl=en&biw=763&bih=414&sa=X&ei=x-fGTdCAFcTa0QHq3ICTCA&ved=0CBoQvwUoAQ&q=2009+and+2010+layton+and+harper+meeting+to+join+their+party&spell=1&fp=d5a02b5789ab0b58

    liberal older fashion business and be too nice while public are not too nice and picky over every word to get questioning is cause liberal lost
    they were picky over each words not main issue

  16. Mandos says:

    There are two things that happened:

    1. The Conservatives for historical reasons—the reasons that propelled Reform—have had a lock on a large number of seats in the Western party of the country. They merely had to keep rolling the dice to get the small additional margin in order to win a majority government. It was inevitable given that Western seat lock.

    2. The Quebec voter is interested in visionary, ideally left-wing politics, and the Bloc failed to deliver it this time. So they went for the NDP.

    Now that the Great Animus that propelled Reform has finally reached its climax fruition—as it inevitably would—we’ll see just how much its voters, who voted for it partly out of emotional reasons (nothing inherently wrong with that) really like it. I suspect we’ll now see, either in the next election or the one after, opportunities for political alternatives to form in the West, including on the left-wing side.

    The question is who will be poised to take advantage of this moment. The NDP or the Liberals? I am not betting on the latter…because the NDP already has a more credible Western presence. Politics is not static and neither is the Cons lock on the West.

    • Rick T. says:

      The Liberal and NDP will never have a lock on Alberta. Another Right wing party maybe, but not the Left. Alberatans do not like Sales Taxes especially Provincial ones.

      • Mandos says:

        It’s not a “lock” that is required, simply breaking up the near-monopoly at the federal level. BTW the left is generally opposed to sales taxes on ideological grounds. It’s mainstream neoliberal economics that favours them. Also winning larger parts of Sask., BC, Manitoba will be enough.

      • Craig Chamberlain says:

        NEVER say never.

    • Michael says:

      In addition, we keep hearing how the political epicentre of the country is shifting westward due to an increase population and economic power.

      But it is inevitable that some of the population shift from east to west will bring with it some of the progressive ideologies with it.

      • Hollywood says:

        New political ideas move from west to east, whether from the left or right. CCF/NDP, Reform Party, medicare, public insurance, the Progressives/United Farmers parties, etc. Nothing ever comes from the east, it seems.

      • Mandos says:

        I suspect your experience may not be a scientific sample. I know lots of Alberta and Sask leftists, including people who went there—I was born there to immigrants and have continuing personal ties. I know people who’ve gone there for work and retained their cynical eye. Some people do get caught up in the great (and really dated) NEP angst. With a crypto-Reform federal government, it’s going to be harder to sustain the angst.

        The other side is that petro-states and oilarchies do tend toward being right wing, because they have a source of “natural welfare” through resource-extraction, so the unsustainability of right-wing attitudes only ever hits them in the face very late, especially since they benefit from some of the negative externalities of resource extraction. Like Saudi Arabia and the Gulf petro-states. It comes crashing down suddenly—who buys whale oil?—but crashing down it does.

  17. bruce the painter says:

    Does no one else see that the Cons have co-opted Liberal policy? I thought they were against abortion and gay rights etc. They are the highest spending government in Canadian history. If I am right, Harper’s greatest acheivement is that he governs from the left while still convincing his base that he shares their “right” ideals. In that way he is not going to be vulnerable to any centrist threat. That’s why it is unfortunate that many Liberals are suggesting that we rush to occupy the center of the political spectrum. The only way to call Harper’s bluff is to reach a workable agreement with the NDP. In the next election, we must gain seats and the NDP must lose seats. Then the two parties will be on a more equal footing and thus be more accessible to a merger. If anyone “important” in the Liberal party is reading this, please understand that there is an overwhelming grass root impetus building, which seeks to unite the left. It is not going away. Surely this election defeat proves that the old way of doing things serves only to hasten the demise of the party you purport to love. To deny this fact is to betray yourself as well as Liberalism in general. Who has the guts to lead us there? Because if we do get there, we will be swept into power forcefully and indefinitely.

  18. Craig Chamberlain says:

    It’s hard not to notice the comments about the Liberal Party’s folly for making assumptions about its base are often made by those making assumptions about their own.

    Especially in and about Alberta.

  19. Steven says:

    And in today’s news, Jack Layton blows off any talk of merger with the LPC on the basis that the LPC is irrelevant and the NDP is the only (sic) alternative to the Conservatives, and cites the LPC voting with the Conservatives on some bills in the last Parliament.

    Like the NDP never did.

    Like Jack wasn’t on his knees at Harper’s door right up to the last minute begging for scraps in return for supporting the Conservatives before the government was voted down.

    Like Jack’s caucus didn’t split their votes on the abolition of the gun registry.

    Arrogant hypocrite!

  20. patrick DeBerg says:

    Liberals of the world here’s what you need to know. We are toast for a very long time. The country has shifted hard left and hard right. The CPC won because of vote splitting. They have the seats but not the votes. Those who were in the middle have moved right, not because we changed our leanings but because that this is the way the right defines you. There is no centre anymore. Here is the real things coming soon. 1.75 per vote for person per party is going away. This hurts the left more than the right. Oil companies and banks have deep pockets. And they are not fond of us. They think we just want to steal their money. They hate taxes but we will still as the middle classes will pay most of them. A joint will land you in prison no matter what your age unless your tory. Jets that really can’t do much and are more money that you can imagine are coming. Truth is the country is getting harder. more mean spirited. Can you blame the Conservatives? A bunch of old cranky old white guys that think everyone is screwing them all the time. Soon they will be plugging the hospitals of the nation with their ” don’t tell me how to live or quit smoking or to stop eating hamburgers stuff.” Let them have private health care if they want it. The record amount of old people shuffling off this mortal coil is about to explode. They will need the money cause their kids want nothing to do with them. Oh they will despair but they learned at the feet of the masters. Like father like son. It’s coming and absolutely nothing can be done about it no matter what you do. It now cannot be stopped. The best that can be done is hold the line in provincial governments if possible. I don’t think that’s possible either. I migh be wrong. But this thing has gone tribal now. See they really really don’t like us. At all. We have somehow taken their opportunities or religion or children or guns or wives or money or any possible thing they can imagine. Truth is they have never been richer, or angrier. Already the attacks on the new kids on the block who have never said a word yet. Slander and belittling and sneering at them even though they have not uttered a word. I hope these new kids are tough for an ugly wave is coming their way. And the pundits can’t help themselves. Its what journalism is now. Here’s the good news. The same chowderheads that ruined Ontario with the Harris team are now in charge. They didn’t have a clue then and they don’t now. Tory policy has always been about lining your pockets. I wish I was a tory bagman for the gravy is now going to flow. I’m going to spend alot more time fishing and hunting in the next four years and tons more time at the lake. Let them forget us. How do you get the Tories into small business? Give them a big one and wait………

    • The Doctor says:

      “A bunch of cranky old white guys”

      News flash: of only cranky old white guys voted Conservative, they wouldn’t have won a single seat, anywhere. Think about it.

  21. Craig Chamberlain says:

    Jack is playing a dangerous game in how his now attempting to own the people who voted for him. His over-reaching will cause the swing voters who voted for him to ask themselves OMG — what did we do?!

  22. Dave in Maple Ridge says:

    I’ll venture an opinion here.

    Libs should get back to the center and back to their roots. What I always liked about the Liberal attitude back when I voted that way, was the respect for personal freedom (not license though). I thnik that has changed.

    Not that its the only personal freedom at stake by any means, but I gotta wonder what part of Harper’s 5 million plus votes were from the gun owning public. It’s a wild ass guess, but I suspect about 2 million.

    Another wild ass guess is that over their years of governance, the Libs eventually pissed off too many people to be voted in again. Count me in on that group too.

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