Friday, June 11, 2010

Miss Havisham?

Some interesting comments from Margaret Wente and Jonathan Kay on the shinking grit ship.
Wente thinks the grits are like an aging spinster, unable to accept that they were left at the alter.
We won’t be untouched. If Greece or Hungary go down, we’ll feel the pain. Our major trading partner is forever swamped in debt. We too have been living beyond our means, as we shall soon find out. Yet the Liberals don’t seem to notice that anything has changed. The great postwar era of nanny states and ever-expanding entitlements is gone for good, but they don’t have anything to say about that. They’re like Miss Havisham, trapped in her decaying mansion, fixated on the past, where nothing ever changes and the clock stopped 20 years ago. And so they fool around with merger talk, because they have no clue what else to do.

While Jonathan Kay thinks it's their hubris that has ultimately made them unable to progress. Again like Miss Havisham stuck in some grand moment of the past.

Grafstein is hardly alone. There are many others like him scattered around Ottawa, Montreal, Toronto and points in between — veteran Liberal grandees who simply could never imagine voting for any other party. For these people, the Liberal Party isn’t a set of people and policies, it’s a cherished flag you salute.

This Liberal fetish for self-veneration has been around so long in this country that we have lost track of how weird it is. When justifying their party affiliation, Conservatives, NDP, Bloc Québécois and even Greens typically will recite a set of reasonably specific policy positions and values. The same is true, in the United States, of Democrats and Republicans. With Liberals, on the other hand, you tend to get empty clichés and historical references built around the tautology that the Liberals are great because they are the party of greatness.

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