Friday, September 16, 2005

Quote of the (Fri)day

It goes to Scott Brison, who I talked briefly with last night as he made a surprise appearance at a Young Liberal function I crashed pre-Domus (free beer!) to welcome Reg Alcock on his visit to Halifax. It goes a long way toward explaining how Liberals imagine themselves - and how they have successfully positioned themselves over the coveted "center":
"We're the only party that can defend the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the
Canadian Taxpayer."
Beautiful (and revealing) in its simplicity, non? The left will howl that the Liberals drag their feet terribly in implementing our principled, progressive ideals (where was Paul Martin, M.P., when some of these key Charter-related votes came up in the House) while Conservatives will mock the very notion that Liberals have been responsible handlers of taxpayer monies.

Still, this powerful notion lingers. The single greatest failing of the NDP is that they still can't convince a super-centrist like Jeffrey Simpson that they would be responsible guardians of the Treasury. That column that basically laughs at them appears every election. That's one of the reasons I'll drift Green - they get it. You can be pragmatically left-wing and believe deficits are crucial. Let's address it explicitly. Until Layton does, his party will always be marginal.

Conversely, the Tories - at least, in the public's perception (which is everything) - are seen as threatening progressive rights. Anger. Fear. Back to the old days - of discrimination, abortion, capital punishment, etc... Until they address that, forget government. Most bloggers on the right know this, and were ashamed to watch Harper go to the wall to prevent the "devastating effects" of same-sex marriage. In ten years, polysci students will look back at that as the most bone-headed maneuver in recent Canadian political history.

Opposition parties need to accept that the Liberals have a natural, default advantage. Accept the cliches as a given. To form a government, you need to beat THEM - you have to stop complaining about how everything seems skewed in their favour at a generic level. Ties go to who we have grown comfortable with. So just go out, be smarter/faster/better, and win. The country, and the Liberal party, will be better for it in the long term.


Post a Comment

<< Home