04.10.2012 04:36 PM

Den Tandt’s suggestions for a new Liberalism

Worth a read.


  1. Tim Sullivan says:

    Some of this would require a constitutional amendment. I’m sure Canadians do not have a taste for that anymore, and for a long time. If the constitution is opened, the Senate will have to be discussed, reformed or whatever. Yikes!

    The Liberals already have the open MJ-use policy as of their last convention. I’m sure someone’s head would pop off if prostitution was legalized, but premier-to-be Smith will just have to deal with progress, principled health-related and revenue generating policy-making.

    The Liberals could also consider a new, legal drug injection site, maybe in Ottawa or Montreal. That might separate the Dipper regional wheat from the socialist chaff.

    Then a young, politically-attractive leader to put it all into place. There is no suggestion in the article about what really generates political success — the leader! Mark Carney and General Andrew Leslie should be considered, among the plentiful caucus who can take over for a while. As much as I like and preferred Bob Rae in the past (sorry Warren), I fear his continued presence at the helm without declaring one way or the other what his intensions are is keeping leadership heels too cool. Although I like him as leader, he may not have the 8-12 yrs required to get the party to majority.

    “Accountability” and “common sense” have been debased by conservatives. However, there can be a stab at reformed Parliamentary accountability added to the policy mix. In addition to or instead of a balanced budget law, each bill should have attached to it a cost estimate although not each bill should be a confidence matter with that provision as an appendix.

  2. Chris P says:

    Very well stated – thanks for bringing this to our attention. I think if you haven’t. Done so already all liberals should read this as well http://www.thenation.com/article/164071/calling-all-liberals-its-time-fight

  3. james Smith says:

    Oh good, a column making the point the LPC should become 100% the party of Neo Liberalism. The same dogma that brought us the crash of 2007 and in general a recipe for geezers like me to withdraw my 30+ years of support/money/activism & look for a new political home.
    I held my tongue for most of the 90’s because I reluctantly accepted the Martin Medicine, & continued to do my bit. (I still think we went too far & didn’t make amends) Our payoff? PM as PM, gee how well did that work? (Read not at all thanks.)
    So the LPC is dead in rural Canada, because of the gun registry, fine, whatever. Make all firearms illegal then we don’ t need a registry. BTW how many seats does Urban Canada have again?
    Let the captains of toxic tar make our enviro policy? Really good idea, let me know how that works out after the next mass wildlife kill or if a link is proven to disease down stream from the Tar Sands. Then tell me how good your GMO taco chips taste when all the Corn/Canola/Soya etc needs 10x’s the amount of agent orange to kill weeds & human health starts to suffer from god knows what from eating this junk.
    LPC has been a success because we have stood up for the little guy & avoided dogma. The codswallop in the attached story sounds like dogma standing up for the big guys.

  4. Cameron Prymak says:

    An interesting way to think about positioning but I’d rethink the idea of enacting a balanced budget law no matter the economic conditions of the day. Seems anti-Liberal in some ways and wrong-headed to reduce expenditures when GDP and economic activity are slumping. Isn’t cutting our way to prosperity an idea from the Tea Party?

    I always thought governments follow Keynesian policy because they have the ability to tax and spend, quite different from a household budget and with due guidance can manage themselves out of deficit situations. Granted the guidance and discipline are inconsistent. So if we’re looking to resolve that issue while highlighting differences from NDP/Conservatives then I’d favour, in no particular order:

    – a no Lobbyist law, (no offence to Daisy ;))
    – set a maximum limit for financial contributions to political parties, including no donations by corporations/unions/special political groups etc.
    – introduce proportional representation

    • Tim Sullivan says:

      A balanced budget law does not mean government has to cut programs. It can mean it can cut tax expenditures too, and outright increase taxes. I’m no fan of balanced budget legislation. It always seems to be program cutting. The problem with that kind of act is that governments do not respect them. Harper does not respect his own fixed election date law, imposed and demanded by no one but him. The prospect of raising taxes, or setting the federal consumption tax to a point to balance the budget may increase discipline. Anyone who proposes new spending has to say where the money comes from.

      Proportional representation does not add any benefit, improve representation, or increase accountability at all. It is just a way to guarantee minority government.

      A blanket outlaw of lobbyists means interest groups, stakeholders and citizens cannot provide input into government decision-making.

      We already have limits on contributions and prohibitions against corporate contributions. You have Liberals to thank for that already.

  5. Pat says:

    The spirit of this article is exactly what I’ve been pushing for years – fiscally conservative, socially accepting, guardian of both rights and freedoms.

    • The Doctor says:

      Well, it sounds like you and James Smith up there need to iron out a few differences 🙂

      • pat says:

        James is just a Trudeau liberal. The historic origins of the LPC are much more along the lines of the article…

        • The Doctor says:

          I agree. But Trudeau Liberals seem to think that the universe was created in 1968, and that somehow 1993-2003 didn’t happen, etc. etc.

  6. Michael says:

    That read like a Conservative wet dream.

  7. Mulletaur says:

    No, it wasn’t.

  8. Elisabeth Lindsay says:

    Boy oh boy Warren, you have really flushed out the wicky-wacks here.

  9. Dan says:

    I’m a New Democrat and a lot of this stuff sounds appealing to me.

    That means it’s far too principled for the Liberal party to ever pursue it.

  10. Daisee says:

    ‘A blanket outlaw of lobbyists means interest groups, stakeholders and citizens cannot provide input into government decision-making.’ Worth repeating since that’s been the Liberal mantra when in power.

  11. bluegreenblogger says:

    Funny thing, I read that article, and then popped over here to see if anybody had twigged to it….
    The intent of the article is just what I have been saying for several years, and thinking for nearly a decade. To see some of the earlier commentators talking about adopting this plank, or that one for the platform really misses the big picture. Platform planks are tactics. Defining oneself is strategic. Defining Liberalism is the trick, not nailing more planks onto the platform. If and when the Liberal Party stands up and says it like they mean it that Individual Liberties are a core value of the Liberal Party, then they can illustrate the point with Marijuana legalisation, and as many free choice planks as you like. The thing is that people like me need to be able to believe that it isn’t just another quick grab for a few votes. You need to establish yourselves as the Party with liberal core values, and I mean classical liberalism. Somewhere about halfway through that process, myself, and a whole lot of other political activists will stop saying ‘you should’ and start saying ‘we will’.

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