Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Appealing To Our Better Angels

It is hard to predict the future of the Liberal Party of Canada. Richard Gwyn wrote yesterday that Bob Rae's decision to not seek the party leadership  has made it possible --  the first time in a long time -- for the Liberal Party to choose a genuinely new leader.

But, more importantly, Gwyn  highlighted the advantages that Liberalism has as a political philosophy. The problem with conservatism is that it thrives on darkness:

The problem may reside in conservatism’s character. Inherently, it’s a pessimistic creed. Conservatives are skeptical about the possibility of improving human nature. This may well be realistic, but its political consequence is that while Conservatives can certainly offer efficiency, they have great difficulty in offering hope.

Liberalism itself (as opposed to the Liberal party) is inherently optimistic. This may well be a naive belief. But hope, or the vision thing, comes easily to liberal-minded Liberals.

The Conservative Party is led by a man who personifies conservatism -- pinched, mean spirited and arrogant. He brings out the worst in us. The Liberals must chose a leader who personifies liberalism -- optimistic, generous and deidicated to equality.

We need a leader who will appeal to our better angels. The search is on.


Anonymous said...

You know, as I look at the Age of Erosion implemented by the Liberals, gutting our social services while lower corporate taxes, I don't see the concept of equality at play. The interests of the citizen where sacrificed to the interest of the corporation. That wasn't liberalism. Liberalism was supposed to make adjustments to the marketplace to keep it fair for individuals. That didn't happen, and I dont see anyone picking up that thread of text book liberalism, except the NDP. Canada's liberals walked on the conservative side of the line, and are stuck there. Social justice wont come without economic justice, and the liberals in Canada just wont go there. If they could, the NDP and the Libs coalition would have defeated Harper ages ago.

Papa Gross Biker said...

The Liberals need a leader with a winning personality, an uncommon degree of practical political skills, and a long-term vision for the Country which offers something of value to all, or to most Canadians. And one more thing: he or she must be master of the instant "put down". Remind you of anyone?

Owen Gray said...

I believe your analysis is essentially correct, Anon.

There have always been Red Tories and Blue Liberals. In the last election, the Blue Liberals sided with Harper. And they may have doomed the party.

If the Liberal Party has any future, it will have to move to the left. That won't be easy, with the NDP occupying that side of the political divide.

If the party is to survive, it will have to recapture the optimism which Liberals used to stand for -- Trudeau's Just Society -- not just occupy the middle.

Owen Gray said...

Yes it does,Papa -- and I suspect that's why some people are looking to Justin.

Back in 2008 I favoured Bob Rae precisely for those reasons. But the Liberals missed their chance; and Rae's time has passed.

At the moment, I don't see anyone with that skill set.

Anonymous said...

The worst part is that while Stevie the alpha wonder dog said in his winter of 96/97 essay coauthored with prof/mr flanagan that it would be better for coalition governments to run parliament than a one party "benign dictatorship" rule, taken from fat-head's own essay?

here: http://www.scribd.com/doc/51938443/Stephen-Harper-and-Tom-Flanagan-Our-Benign-Dictatorship-Next-City-Winter-1996-97

Now that we have a man that dedicated himself to learning about Canadian politics as a scholar and knows how to divide and conquer we are in trouble, his literal word is now law. And he knows it, he is a very dangerous fellow...

During the 2011 election he said coalitions were "evil."

Now in order to divide and conquer he is willing to form an "evil" "coalition" ya you heard it coalition with PQ, (Parti Québécois), because he knows with out Quebec's votes HE WILL FALL!

Quebec's people are not that dumb, Steve you failed you first quarter grade on all levels!

I give you an F- heck no I give you a big round zero!

Harper I'm going to love watching you fall from grace:)

Love Mogs:)

Anonymous said...

And I meant to add that that is precisely what harp and flan planned force the opposition to become one so that we have US style 2 party rule which in my humble opinion is blather-wacky and a suicidal deal for Canadians but it does maximize their agenda:

"During their periods of maximum collaboration Harper and Flanagan have been described as “intellectual soul mates, philosophical soul mates.” A darker view of the relationship has pictured Flanagan as “a modern-day Rasputin manipulating a leader 16 years his junior.”[lix] Together Harper and Flanagan have co-authored a number of essays. In 2004 Marci MacDonald wrote a very rich account of Flanagan entitled “The Man Behind Stephen Harper.” In that essay MacDonald advanced the thesis that much of the output of Harper and Flanagan and the other participants in the Calgary School has been directed at “wiping out the quirky bilateral differences that are stumbling blocks to [Canada’s] seamless integration into the United States.”[lx]"



So there you have it a corporate controlled Canada merging seamlessly in to the big brother excited states>

Owen Gray said...

Apparently Harper has fooled a lot of Canadians, Mogs.

But he can't do it forever.

Owen Gray said...

It certainly appears that Harper's defense policy is one of "seamless integration" with American defense policy, Mogs.

Anonymous said...

1. Canadians ask the Canadian Federal Government for a clear, permanent exemption for all Canadians from the Canada-European Union (EU) Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA); Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP): or any other agreements with foreign or corporate powers; including but not limited to the International Monetary Fund (IMF); World Bank (WB); World Trade Organization (WTO)
2. Canadians ask the Federal Government to protect the autonomous powers of the individual Canadians - to create local jobs, protect the environment, and provide services and programs as they see fit for the local environment – free from any restrictions to those powers in the above named
3. Canadians further ask the Federal Government to exempt us from corporate powers and we encourage and support the end to global corporate tyranny.

Owen Gray said...

The only way for Canadians to obtain these objectives, Anon, is for voters to toss the Conservatives out of office.

As long as Stephen Harper rules the roost, these requests will never be heard.