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.