Monday, September 17, 2007

Will the Liberals hand Stephen Harper a majority?

On the existing evidence I would say the answer is yes.

The reason is simple. They are not united. That has become increasingly apparent as the fallout of the Outrement by-election unfolds. The fissures in the party are becoming wider and more obvious and in all likelihood it will just get worse.

In all honesty I believe the reason for this is there are a significant number of Liberals out there with their heads so far up their asses they could give themselves root canals. (Assuming they knew how to do so in the first place.)

Liberals of all people should realize the price of disunity. It was the disunity on the right that made the Chretien era a virtual golden age for Liberal fortunes. If it was not for that disunity the Chretien era probably would have ended in 2000.

Then there are those supporters of the losing leadership candidates from last December. It has become increasingly obvious that many of them have not been able to accept the result.

Some of these folks have a hard time with it because they truly believe that their guy would do a better job. My advice to you is to get over it, you lost. That is how it is sometimes. Then there are those who supported their candidate because they thought they would get a nice back-room job with the Party along with influence when it won the next election. Dream on. If Stephane Dion is replaced just a short time after he won the leadership the Liberals have no hope of winning the next general election as whatever credibility they have will be in tatters. So you folks are looking forward to at least 5 years before the Liberals will even have A CHANCE of winning an election, and such a victory will certainly not be guaranteed. My guess is many of you who are in this group are not interested in putting your careers on hold for that length of time or longer.

Then there is the meme that Stephane Dion is not a leader. I would remind everybody that it was the Conservatives who first made this assertion and the media took up the call. Such was bad enough as it started to stick with those Canadians that do not live and breath politics on a daily basis. However, the Conservative advertizements that started that whole ball rolling were supposed to be a prelude to an election. When that election did not come to pass the damage should have faded. Unfortunately, Liberals began to buy that line as well. Say what you will about Conservatives they would not be caught dead buying into a line about them put forward by the Liberals.

The irony in all of this is the Conservatives are vulnerable.
  • They have not connected with the Canadian public in any meaningful way.
  • They are on the wrong side of the issues with regard to Afghanistan and the environment.
  • They have virtually ignored the hollowing out of Central Canadian industry, with its resulting job losses. (That is around 180 seats right there folks.)
  • They have broken some high profile election promises.
  • They put 20 seats in play, 12 Conservative seats in Saskatchewan and 8 in the Maritimes, with their breaking of the Atlantic Accords.
  • They have had some high profile run-ins with Elections Canada about highly suspect election spending practices.

In short, when the next election rolls around Canadians may be seriously looking at alternatives to the Conservatives. Unfortunately, a disjointed Liberal Party will not be a viable alternative for most and they will probably go for the Party that looks united and coherent.

Or to put it another way, regardless of their unease with the Conservatives Canadians will not vote for an alternative that is disjointed, incoherent and disunited. They will hold their nose, vote for the Party that seems to have its shit together and hope for the best.

You know if it were not for the fact Stephen Harper would be PM of a majority government I would have no problem with the Liberals wondering the political wilderness for the next half decade or so. There is nothing like spending long periods of time in the opposition for getting rid of the dead wood and hangers on in a political party. What is usually left over are those folks who are dedicated to the Party and its ideals.

Unfortunately, I do not think Canada can afford a Harper majority government so the Liberals are going to have to get their act together very quickly if Canadians hope to avoid such a fate.

And I will openly state right now that if the Liberals do not get past their navel gazing very soon they will not be able to count on my vote during the next election.

2 Comments:

Blogger James said...

Nice piece.

September 17, 2007 7:17 PM  
Blogger Miles Lunn said...

We need people like you to give them a good shake up. Perhaps we need to remember why we lost and likewise why in the past we have been so successful. While the Conservatives have usually been plagued with infighting, we have been united behind our leaders. Lets unite now and we can still win the next election, instead of fighting each other and handing Harper another win on a silver platter.

September 17, 2007 10:34 PM  

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