Saturday, June 16, 2012

Andrew Coyne on the grits

A lament for Coyne's party. The grits want Le petit foul mouthed dauphin. That would suit the Tories just fine. Matt Gurney is right. Bob Rae is a serious man, and as a serious man could see the leadership of the Liberal Party is no place for serious men. Whatever other factors went into his decision not to run for leader, surely among them must have been a frank judgment that he could not win. A party that is preparing to throw itself at Justin Trudeau is not a serious party. Can the Liberal Party survive? Of course it can. But there is every possibility it won’t. Those who still see the necessity of a third national party in Canadian politics (fourth, counting the Greens) would do well to start contingency planning for that event. Survival in its present form would require the party to reinvent itself to a quite extraordinary degree. Indeed, as I’ve written before, it would have to redefine what it means to be a centrist party. This is not so much because the centre of Canadian politics has disappeared — the much-discussed polarization — as that it has been occupied. The Conservatives, whatever their recent initiatives, are well to the left of where they were a decade ago, while the NDP had moved some considerable way to the right even before it chose Tom Mulcair as its leader. To make space for itself on this landscape, then, the Liberal Party would have to show an unaccustomed boldness and sureness of purpose: a willingness to go where the other parties would not go, but where expert opinion and the national interest would advise, whether this placed it on the right or the left on any given issue. That would be its stamp, its brand: the bold party, the tell it like it is party, the party that did the right thing. The problem with this advice, I now realize, is that it’s a fantasy. There’s just no evidence the party is in anything like that frame of mind, or is likely to be. The premise, that a party with nothing to lose would be liberated to take risks, would seem to have been disproven.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Canadians accept that our system allows a party with less than 40 per cent of the popular vote to govern as a majority. We accept this on the assumption that the government will respect Parliament’s role as representing all Canadians, not simply those who voted for the party in power.

Respecting Parliament’s role means timely disclosure of all information necessary for an informed assessment of proposed legislation, both by MPs and the public at large, and the allotment of sufficient time for such legislation to be properly examined and debated.

What we should not accept is the sort of government that treats Parliament as an inconvenience to be ignored or marginalized in the interests of promoting an agenda – much of it not previously made public – through the use of closure and “one size fits all” omnibus bills. Heading a minority government, Stephen Harper used what tools he had to stifle Parliament – prorogation, withholding information, sidestepping committees. Now that he enjoys a majority, it seems he has dropped any pretence of respect for, or interest in, Parliament.

Canada is a parliamentary democracy. Without a properly functioning parliament, there can be no real democracy. Canadians should be very concerned by this assault on our basic values.

Anonymous said...

Funny, Trudeau is "foul mouthed" but Levant is the hero of the right wing blogosphere for his obscene rant. I guess your moral correctness depends on which party you support.

joseph said...

The next leader of the party will be measured by the following to be seen if they are legit.

1- that they are elected not coronated.
2- that the rule of alternation is adhered to, which is going to be very difficult if point one is adhered to. By the way its a franco-phone turn(read quebec native son) to be leader.
3- that they clearly state if they are for or against merging with the NDP.

If the next leader is being fawned over excesively by pundits and media to the point of being the inevitable leader, the coronation is hard to deny.
If the next leader doesn't satisfy the rule of alternation, they can kiss the Quebec vote (whatever they had left) goodbye.
If points one and two are violated the last one means to survive a merger is the only means of survival.

Sucks to be them

Anonymous said...

I am so tired of the whiny loser that go on and on about the end of democracy such as Nonny #1. The CPC are doing nothing new and nothing that the Liberals were not entitled to do and for the most part did not do in the past. It sucks to lose but you don't have to be a sore loser about it. Try doing something other than hyperbolic rantings, e.g. some thoughtful policies might help, because if what we are seeing is the best that you have, then the only thing that you can expect is more of the same - loserville, population: you.

If you don't like the Westminster system of parliament, you have a good example of the alternative in action this weekend in Greece. The proportional representation system in Greece will demonstrate how the hodgepodge coalitions that the system creates cannot deal with any hard issues let alone crises. No thanks. I like someone that gets a solid plurality having the ball and being able to run with it so that you know who to credit and who to blame. There is a reason that Britain has not had to have a revolution for about 350 years or that in the time that in the time that the USA has been in existence, Frances has had five republics, with a couple emperors sprinkled in.

Anonymous said...

Why do you bother with Andrew Coyne? (or any other columnists for that matter?)

They are simply a useless bunch of elitists who's viewpoints are completely predictable.

I Support Lord Black