Monday, April 17, 2006

Liberals Lurching Left

Ok so Bob Rae is going to announce he is running for the leadership of the Liberal Party next week.

That means another centre-left candidate.

Already Liberal leadership hopeful, Michael Ignatieff has said he wants to move the party to the left as well.

What’s going on here?

Do the Liberals really think the way to win the next election is to further embrace socialism?

Here’s the reality: Trudeau-style socialism is as good as dead. Capitalism – of some sort – is the wave of the future.

Any political party that thinks it can win election by calling for massive social spending programs or with higher taxes or by kissing up to union bosses will only doom itself to extinction.

The Liberals should know this.

In fact, throughout the 1990s they successfully sold themselves as good fiscal managers.

If they change their tune now it will mean Stephen Harper and the Tories will be in power a long, long time.

5 comments:

Miles Lunn said...

I am not so sure they will move to the left. Michael Ignatieff says he wants to plant the party on the centre-left, but I think he seems to be referring to the American centre-left rather than the Canadian one. Still moving to the left I cannot see benefitting them in the long-run. It might help them win the next election since there is a large portion of the population that does still buy into the big government argument, but once they again see its failures, I think they will turn on them. Besides the Liberals are generally pretty good at reading the public mood, so I somehow don't think the next leader will be a lefty.

Dr. Strangelove said...

I suppose if they want to consolidate their base in the People's Republic of Toronto, this is a useful strategy.

Anyway, whatever direction they want to move the party is fine, as long as they define it in advance as opposed to our last PM who shot right but tried to play his off wing shortly after becoming team captain. It's always nice for the voter to have clear choices.

But when you're the party of the muddy-middle and you lose your rudder, you're at the mercy of the wind and the waves. Something tells me the only thing that will decide which direction the Liberals end up going will be the one where the weather vane is pointing. Isn't that how they've always navigated in the past?

Miles Lunn said...

Off course the Liberals will go where public opinion is leaning. The problem is they lost support on both their flanks. The Conservatives tore off their right flank, while the NDP tore off their left flank, so they votes to gain on both sides assuming they don't lose more on the other side. I would say the 416 leans left, but the 905 probably leans more to the right even if it went Liberal, since this same area was where Mike Harris was able to get his greatest levels of support. Also it is not just Toronto, but also Vancouver, Montreal, and a good chunk of Atlantic Canada went predominately Liberal.

Dr. Strangelove said...

Miles, are you not disturbed by your opening sentence? If this is such an obvious expectation of the Liberal party, why on god's green earth should anyone vote for them?

They're supposed to be leadership not followership candidates.

Regardless, as Gerry points out, the future isn't to the left. The country has been fiscally right of centre for some time. When Martin went left on us, preparation for the Liberal post-mortem went into high-gear.

Miles Lunn said...

I don't think the future in what is right for our country is to the left. But as for the public, it is difficult to know for sure. There are more lefties than those on the right wish to admit while there are more right wingers than those on the left wish to admit. The reality is a lot depends on the leader. If it is an average leader, then no, but if it is someone with a lot of charisma like Trudeau had it is possible. I despise the man and his policies, but I think a person like him could sell quite well with Canadians.