I like to consider myself a small 'c' Conservative and was happy to see Stephen Harper elected with a majority.
That being said I believe that the country is desperate for the rebirth and relaunch of a Liberal Party to act as a counterweight to the more and more dogmatic and narrow agenda driven Conservatives, who seem to be emboldened by the lack of opposition.
With a vacum created in the political center and left of center, it's no surprise that the country has turned to the NDP as the only credible opposition to the Conservative juggernaut, something that scares me as much as a runaway Stephen Harper.
So what the heck are the Liberals waiting for?
|Jean Chretien-Helmet Backwards, but forward thinking?|
Time seems to be running out and there doesn't seem to be anyone in the Liberal party, the least bit concerned.
I firmly believe that between Harper and Mulcair, a great many Canadians, perhaps even a majority, are now looking for a kinder and gentler version of the two dogmatists, someone who won't bash Quebec or Alberta, a leader and a party that will represent Canadians from coast to coast.
In the meantime, the Liberals are content to go through the motions, openly admitting that they are treading water in anticipation of a new leadership convention after a period of rebuilding.
The problem is that there doesn't appear to be much rebuilding going on..
Even worse, is the insipid Bob Rae, the 'temporary' leader that represents the old guard, everything that was rejected by Canadians in the last election.
I honestly don't understand how the Liberal base tolerates such mediocrity at the top, a leader that is bound like Moses to wander through the opposition benches for forty years.
Where are the political strategists, have they also fled the party or are they being constrained as I fear, by the Bob Rae forces who are stalling as long as they can, until the party has nothing left at all, giving him a chance at permanent leadership?
At any rate, if the Liberals are to survive, they need to stop acting like losers and project an image of confidence, instead of the aura that surrounds the party now, that of a bunch of sadsacks going through the motions.
Solution? Your editor is never short of advice...
Get rid of Bob Rae, an albatross that represents not leadership, but losership.
|Marc Garneau- The Right Stuff|
To that end, no better candidate appears than Montreal's Marc Garneau, an ex astronaut that proudly wore the Canadian flag on his arm.
"Born in February 1949 in Quebec City, Canada. He received his early education in Quebec City and Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu in Quebec and in London, England. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering Physics from the Royal Military College of Kingston in 1970, and a Doctorate in Electrical Engineering from the Imperial College of Science and Technology, London, England, in 1973. He attended the Canadian Forces Command and Staff College of Toronto in 1982-1983. Read the rest of his biography, you will be impressed!Handsome and flawlessly bilingual, his election as a leader would preserve the fine Liberal Party tradition of alternating leadership between anglophones and francophones.
Mr. Garneau is the right choice to rebuild the party, he doesn't have to create or sell a comprehensive national policy, he has to project an image that the Liberals have returned as the party of national unity, a force of inclusion, not exclusion and a party where dogmatic left and right wing policies are not welcome.
It isn't a hard message to sell, I think many Canadians are ripe for the picking, especially in southern Ontario, where the voter's decision to support the Conservatives in the last election is one that many have come to regret.
Here is where Mr. Garneau can easily sell himself and his party as a solid alternative to the politics of the extreme, as practiced by Harper and Mulcair.
Mr. Garneau also has the right stuff to regain a base in Quebec, his integrity and reputation will help Quebecers forget the humiliation of the Sponsorship scandal.
For the majority of Quebecers, a return to the Liberals can happen, it is just a question of some healing time and a new and trustworthy leader.
For the ROC, even in the West, I believe that Garneau is an acceptable leader, considering his history as an astronaut with unimpeachable bone fides as a loyal Canadian.
A good "Frenchie" so to speak....ahem.
It's time for the Liberals to sell themselves for what they always were, a middle of the road party that serves the interests of all Canadians without pitting one region off against another.
As I said from the onset, I'm not a supporter, but as a strategist, I would encourage the Liberals to play on their strengths.
It's time to remind voters that it was the Liberals under Jean Chretien (no intellectual giant) that balanced the budget, unlike the present Conservatives who have blown the wad despite a false reputation as prudent fiscalists.
It was the Liberals that avoided the catastrophe of involvement in the war in Iraq, standing up to the unrelenting pressure of the Americans.
It's true that they got us involved in Afghanistan, but that was a NATO issue, which meant that not sending troops would mean abandoning NATO itself, something no government could have undertaken at the time.
If the Liberals are to be a force once again in Canadian politics, it's time to act now.
Like a bottle of wine, there is such a thing as being over-aged.
A new leader with an impeccable record of integrity and service to this country, coupled with a simple message of inclusion rather than confrontation, is the ticket to success
The road to salvation is sometimes uncomplicated, taking the first step and making the commitment to follow through is the hard part.
The Liberal Party has a choice.....move forward or die.