10.20.2012 10:49 PM

In Sunday’s Sun: kiss our ass, doomsayers

Can Canadian Liberalism survive? Is the party over?

The times are clearly dire, for Canadian Grits. One need only to survey newspaper opinion pages to know this is so.

“(There has been) a new round of media and public speculation about the imminent collapse of Canadian Liberalism,” wrote one respected analyst in the National Post. “The Liberal party (is) dying … the future (will) reveal Canadian national politics as a two-party struggle between the Conservatives and the NDP,” the Post declares in another column.

A Montreal Gazette opinion writer is similarly gloomy. The Liberal Party of Canada is buffeted by “alternate attacks of political depression and paranoia,” he intones. The Liberal brand is “under siege,” it is suggested.

The future is in doubt. “(Liberals are) likely to undergo further factional fighting as prospective contenders try to build support for their future leadership runs,” declares a Maclean’s cover story.

Liberals are “essentially rudderless,” yet another Post columnist writes. “(The Grits) failed to modernize and reposition the Liberal party.”

The columnist quotes a former national director of the Liberals: “The Liberals didn’t know where they were going, and still don’t.”

And so on, and so on. Everywhere you look, it seems, the story is the same. The assessments of Liberal fortunes are similarly dire.

With the federal Liberals in third place and seeking new leadership — and with the Ontario and Quebec Liberal parties effectively leaderless, and facing the prospect of being out of power for a long time to come, perhaps indefinitely — the Liberal party brand seems to be “dying,” as the Post columnist wrote.


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    Arnold says:


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    MoS says:

    What do they expect? They’ve given Canada nothing. There’s no message, no vision. The last flake defined bitumen as the “beating heart of the Canadian economy.” He couldn’t grasp that the heart of our economy is a vital, robust and broad middle class. When Harper prorogued Parliament at the advent of the Great Recession that flake took the time to finish a badly needed book about his maternal lineage instead of rising to the occasion. This isn’t Laurier’s Liberal Party or Pearson’s or Trudeau’s. It’s a shell, nothing more. It doesn’t connect or resonate with the Canadian public, especially the young, because it says nothing to them. At a moment when the country so badly needs leadership to shape our society for the many challenges they will be compelled to face this century, there’s no Liberal willing to look into the future.

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      Michael Bussiere says:

      Actually, I’ve never seen a party connect with youth like the current MP from Cremazie is connecting to youth. Anybody I’ve spoken to under the age of 40 is sincerely exited about the coolest guy they’ve ever seen in politics. A sharp contrast to that robot or Mr. Angry Dude.

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        Michael Bussiere says:

        Make that excited. Damn new progressive lenses (speaking as a non-youth)!

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    Ronald O'Dowd says:


    Canadians, by and large are centrists who tilt either left or right in a given election. Unfortunately for the NDP, they are not social democrats no matter how noble that political category may be. Jack moved the NDP to the center. However, there is still much work left to be done if they hope to relate even further to the centrist minded. They still need to move further toward the center and only a merger can accomplish that.

    Failing that, Canadians will support Harper or grow tired of him. Liberals are the only game in town that can achieve a pan-Canadian win at the polls. As long as the NDP can’t — or won’t — get its act together, Liberals will remain the natural political alternative, particularly in the minds of English-speaking Canadians.

    We’re far from done and not dead yet. Pundits, you have much to learn and we will only be too happy to enlighten you.

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    Jon Evan says:

    Liberalism survives! It is personified by Mr. Harper and the PMO. Mr. Harper governs from the center where the LPC used to be. His stand on abortion, homosexual marriage, gov’t stimulus spending and party control are straight from the days of Mr. Chretien. There is no room left for any other party to occupy the center. So be glad! Liberalism survives but has evolved in these modern days. So live in the present and waste not time on nostalgia!

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      Kev says:

      Warren Kinsella can tell you about the many, many, MANY times Liberal backbenchers voted against government or fellow Liberal measures in the House of Commons.

      How much can that be said of the VoteBot2000 trained seals of the Harper Conservative caucus, the party that used to preach the gospel of Free Votes?

      Whatever other tactics Harper has borrowed from JC, caucus control is NOT one of them.

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        Jon Evan says:

        SH had a respect for how Chretien centralized control in his office, controlled his cabinet and managed his caucus with an iron fist which of course JC learned from his mentor PET. Now, SH has only refined and improved this Liberal Party model of gov’t and made it work for now but kid yourself not the Liberalism model lives and if angry Mulcair should rise to the throne his iron fist would take steep control of the levers of power to the extreme!

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    Ronald O'Dowd says:

    Jon Evan,

    Correct me if I’m wrong but I was under the impression that this Prime Minister practically ate specially ordered Liberal breakfast cereal every day just so he could demonstrate each morning his desire to kill off the Liberal Party of Canada. Harper governs depending on the issue from the center right to further right — think environment and climate change re: the latter category. What this Prime Minister really is happens to be a flag of convenience pragmatist — who sees landmines ahead on social issues and short-term political benefits in adopting temporary stimulus during an economic downturn.

    Where I will agree with you is that Harper has successfully moved the center off to the slight right. Voters were comfortable with that and thus his government’s successive re-election.

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    Elisabeth Lindsay says:

    Prime Minister Harper learned at the feet of Prime Minister Chretien.

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      Tim Sullivan says:

      Hardly at his feet.

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        Elisabeth Lindsay says:

        OK Tim – Across the floor and even through phone calls together, I`ve read.

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