Musings —05.04.2011 06:48 AM—
- I spent a lot of yesterday talking to Liberal friends. Most of them were quite fine, thank you very much – and a surprising number were upbeat, because they said that the long-overdue revamping of the Liberal Party of Canada can now begin in earnest, with new blood, new ideas, new approaches. Personally, I feel the same: unless the Lord takes me home, I want to be part of the rebuilding process, and take a shot at running again. I’m an Alberta Liberal: I don’t freak out when my party gets hammered, you know? Anyway, columns like this and this are premature/off the mark, to say the least. Lots of obituaries were written when the Conservative Party was reduced to two seats in November 1993, and they ended up doing not badly in 2006 and beyond.
- Cognitive dissonance is right. Maher, per always, nails it here. Let’s perform my little test again: do you know the name of the president of the Conservative Party of Canada? Recall anything he/she has ever said? Exactly. Party presidents should raise money, and leave the talking to the elected people. This party president in particular. (And, by the by: why doesn’t he do what his leader did, yesterday? Liberals are asking that, too.)
- Speaking of resignations: Ignatieff did the honourable thing, yesterday; he didn’t mince words, he took responsibility, and he quit. As noted, Apps should, too, for his role in this fiasco. And, if the voters hadn’t resolved the question first, quite a few of us would be today demanding changes for Ignatieff’s Chief of Staff (who was ultimately responsible for the maladroit strategy that got us here); his so-called “Chief Operating Officer” (who was supposed to ensure we had election/organizational readiness, and didn’t); his policy director (who put together the platform that nobody, Liberals included, found either compelling or saleable); and his unilingual and comms-inexperienced Director of Communications (who should have never, ever been made Director of Communications). I wish all of them the best of luck, however, in their future political endeavours.
- Alternation? Chris’ column today is worth a read, as always, but the provincial Grits I know – unlike their cousins – are very, very (very) ready for the October 2011 election. What’s more, there is a simple political reality that is always at play in Canadian politics, one the Ontario
ProgressiveConservatives need to heed: Ontarians don’t like one party running the whole show. Thus, Chretien begat Harris, Mulroney begat Peterson, and so on and so on. Here’s the elevator conversation, one you’ll be hearing lots of times in Ontario in coming months: “The Cons run the GTA, and the country. Do you want the same party running Ontario, too?”
- Case in point: Health care, again the number one issue in Ontario and the nation. Harper talked about the coming health care battle in his election night speech, and with reporters afterwards. Ballot-type question: “Who do you want protecting health care at the bargaining table with Harper? McGuinty? Or Timmy Hudak, who shut down nearly 30 hospitals, fired thousands of nurses, and last month cancelled his policy convention – where his health care plan was supposed to be revealed – to accommodate his federal boss?”
- Lopinski’s Observations: My Ontario Liberal war room colleague Bob Lopinski came up with a brilliant assessment of the post-election coverage, yesterday. Like him, I found that (a) no pundit or pollster really saw it coming and (b) they’re all sort-of making it up as they go along. Thus, Bob’s take, which you can clip and save:
“I do really wish there was more science in political science.
This is what I have gleaned from the early analysis:
- Voters are moving left, unless they are moving right.
- Incumbency is bad, unless you were re-elected.
- Voters want change AND even more of the same.
- On-the-ground organization and sophisticated micro-targeting work, unless you are a bar-maid canvassing in Las Vegas.
- The separatists are preparing to ramp up their campaigns, and as a first step have left the Canadian House of Commons.”
UPDATE: And Gardner, on the same subject, here.