--> Getting It Right: What else is wrong with the Liberal Party?

Friday, February 03, 2006

What else is wrong with the Liberal Party?

If it wasn’t for the billions of wasted tax dollars, the millions stolen from taxpayers to subsidize party operations and the lack of concern for working people in our country, I’d almost feel sorry for the Federal Liberals.

On the heels of their electoral loss on the 23rd, news coverage this week was dominated by big-name Liberal after big-name Liberal gracefully declining the privilege of painting a big red “L” on their foreheads and facing a bitter electorate.

They all had lovely excuses, of course: family, balance, financial obligations.

But none of them stated the obvious. The Liberals are in deep, deep trouble and these elder statesmen had no interest in being the Kim Campbell for the Red set.

The Liberal party has enormous challenges facing it. It carries a huge debt – estimated between $20 and $30 million dollars – almost a dollar for every Canadian. It has a Gomery-sized hangover from the Chretien years and the party faced scandal after scandal in the dying days of their mandate.

Not to mention the pitched brother-vs-brother battle between Chretien and Martin that left excellent Liberal organizers on the side-lines after Martin’s crew took over riding associations and provincial organizations.

Just ask Sheila Copps and Herb Dhaliwal how they feel about the techniques employed by Paul Martin’s acolytes if you are looking for the mythical united Liberal team.

The party knows it can’t choose a leader who served as a Cabinet Minister anytime in the last 12 years of Liberal Government because of that lingering aroma of rot left in voter’s nostrils.

At the same time, organizers are finding leadership a tough sell to provincial leaders resting on their political laurels.

Does Bob Rae or Ken Dryden or Michael Ignatieff or, as I heard chuckled about in a downtown lunch spot yesterday, Hedy Fry, really have the royal jelly to rebuild a directionless and shaky Liberal team?

And then, yesterday Agusta-Westland, an aerospace manufacturer, announced yesterday that it is suing the government for a billion dollars, citing Liberal MPs interfered in the Sea-King replacement helicopter tender process.

I’m not allowed to make this stuff up, you know.

The Liberals must be relived that they waited until after voting day to file suit but one has to wonder if the big three of McKenna, Tobin and Manley had advance notice of the lawsuit. Especially since McKenna neatly resigned as US ambassador and then, suddenly, decided that Federal politics wasn’t his cup of tea.

Mostly, I suspect that the brand name front-runners thought about the challenge and the balance sheet, considered the other nasty Liberal secrets that will be exposed by the new government, weighed the cost to their personal and professional reputations and decided, wisely, to take a pass this time round the ring.

The question is: what else do they know that we don’t about the state of the Liberal Party of Canada?

As seen today in 24 Hours Daily.

3 Comments:

At 11:28 AM, Anonymous Sean P. of Vancouver-Quadra said...

Well,

We don't know, this last weekend of official Liberal Party rule in Canada, the extent of the rot within that party, so...

...I'm going to give them the benefit of the doubt, and trust that they will rebuild within the next 12-18 months, and will become a force that Harper will have a difficult time dealing with.

We must never take the Liberal Party for granted, and its mass appeal across the country. So far, the Grits have an absolute lock on most of the seats in urban Canada....Harper must clearly, and with as little error as possible, win the support of Urban Canada.

Personally, I can't stand the idea of a national day care program; but if that is what hurt the CPCs last month in Toronto, Vancouver, and Montreal, I think the issue should be revisited!

We will not know the extent as to how divided and broke the Liberal Party is for a few months.....Harper, by that time, could have made a complete ass of himself.....Or he could have proven himself beyond any exptectation.

 
At 2:39 PM, Anonymous Larry said...

A good read on Conservative leader-Stephen Harper is in Feb.03/06 National Post newspaper Pg.A15 column-To Stephen,from Deborah.

 
At 1:04 AM, Anonymous Michael C said...

"The party knows it can’t choose a leader who served as a Cabinet Minister anytime in the last 12 years of Liberal Government because of that lingering aroma of rot left in voter’s nostrils."

Eh... seems Steven Harper thinks the place for some of that "rot" is his cabinet.

I find it amazing that after all the vicious personal attacks on Belinda Stronach for crossing the floor, allegedly because she'd been bought at the price of a cabinet post (if she really changed sides for the price of a cabinet post, then why was she so obviously happy last election night, with that cabinet post slipping into the past after a few months and her ex-party gaining power?), the very first thing the Conservatives do when they get into power is give a Liberal a cabinet post for crossing the floor.

"Personally, I can't stand the idea of a national day care program; but if that is what hurt the CPCs last month in Toronto, Vancouver, and Montreal, I think the issue should be revisited!"

Here's a suggestion of what NOT to do: don't buy MP's. Especially if you're running on a platform that stresses things like electoral reform and political accountability. I was cynical about their sincerity before they bought Emerson, now...

Incidentally, I like their day care idea, I just can't stomach their positions on gays and the environment.

As for the three Liberal "barons" who decided not to run, two were ex-provincial premiers - look up the track record of ex-provincial premiers as wanna-be PM's, it's 0-for-several since 1900 - and the third was briefly Jean Chretien's heir apparant. Not the guy for healing the divisions in the party and representing a change from the ancien regime.

I can't believe I'm defending the *Liberals*!

 

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