Monday, October 20, 2008

I am done with the Liberal Party of Canada

I always thought Liberals were different. I always thought they were smart enough to avoid falling into the same trap the political right did after the virtual destruction of the Progressive Conservative Party in 1993. I always thought they were smart enough not to need to go through that kind of experience to renew itself and make itself stronger.

I was wrong.

It is now obvious that the Liberal Party of Canada is going to have to spend some time in the political wilderness in order to shed itself of the egotistical, power hungry dickheads and selfish yahoos that are always attracted to a political party that spends a long time in power. You see, once many of these folks realize that they will not even get close to the levers of power for a very long time they abandon the party, leaving the ones that truely care about the country and the Party behind to actually build something.

The resignation of Mr. Dion has just made all of that a virtual certainty. There is no way any new leader is going to be able to win an election in 12-18 months. He and the Party will lack the money, organization, policies and personal appeal amongst Canadians to win the next election. As well, although the next leader will probably pick up a few extra seats, which will be spun as a victory of sorts, Mr. Harper will pick up more and achieve his majority government. A third times the charm situation.

I want no part of that for the simple reason that it could be avoided. I will let you read my previous posts to see why I believe that.

Many have stated that Mr. Dion was at the helm for a very bad defeat for the Liberals. I am certain that more than a few former Progressive Conservatives are wondering what the hell they are talking about. As well, what the Liberals lack in quantity they more than make up for in quality. Imagine if all of that talent could be harnessed to launch an all out, coordinated attack on the one-man government of the Conservatives during what is looking more and more like one of the worst economic slowdowns in a century. Eventually, they would reduce Mr. Harper to a quivering oil spot on the floor of the House of Commons. Instead, much of that talent is going to be distracted from Mr. Harper and trying to win the leadership of the Liberal Party letting Mr. Harper off the hook.

I can now see the scenario where the Conservatives will be in power for a very long time. They are going to win the next election and they have a very good chance of winning a majority. By the time that term is up the worst of the recession will be over and it is conceivable that grateful Canadians will give them another majority for bringing them through that recession. The end result is it is conceivable that the Conservative term in office could eclipse the last Liberal term in office.

And for those who thing I may be overstating it I would suggest that the folks on the right probably did not expect the Liberals to remain in power for nine more very long years after the 1997 election. After all, the Liberals had their 20 seat majority reduced to a 5 seat majority and the political right seemed to be on the ascendency. They were really shocked in 2000 when Jean Chretien increased his majority by 12 seats.

I am still a liberal but I want no part of a Liberal Party that is under the thumb of folks who care more about their own ambitions than the country. I may return to helping the Liberal Party after the Party finally sheds these bozos but then again by then Stephen Harper will be tearing down what Liberals spent more than a century building and it will be the Liberal Party that will let them do it because they could not get their shit together. It is a toss-up as to whether I will be able to forgive the Liberals for letting that happen.


Blogger Anonymous said...

You're leaving the Party because you think the Party is hijacked by political opportunists? Or because the Party will lose? I don't think you should be a member of any political party because by the looks of it, you seem to be exactly what you're preaching against, an opportunist.


October 20, 2008 8:17 PM  
Blogger Dante said...

I think you need to start a new party and get John Turner to lead it.

October 20, 2008 9:08 PM  
Blogger Aaron said...

I share your disillusionment and I think it is going to get really ugly within the party (well it already is but now it will be all out in the open) and on Liblogs. Alot of insults are going to be traded amongst people who should rather be working together.
I don't really want to be a part of that. On the other hand, when the honest people like you tune out, the dishonest win. In other words, we can at least try to keep Harper from getting unfettered power until the blowhards in our own party get winded.

But on the whole I agree with your analysis. It sucks what's happening.

October 20, 2008 9:25 PM  
Blogger sharonapple88 said...

Ottlib... I feel exactly the same way you do. Some people want to see this as a victory, but is it? Another damn internal fight right when the economy's in a downturn and more than anything else a strong opposition is needed.

Now I feel naive in saying this... but maybe it would be better to stay in the party, remind the power-hungry idiots of what they'll do and what little they'll accomplish if they keep on shredding it the way they are (it can get worse). I mean if all the people who want a better party leave, it'll just be in the hands of those people, and this bugs me more than anything else. (Yeah, I know, they have control right now... but although they have the upper hand right now, it doesn't mean that they will forever.) It's naive, but there's a Confusius saying that I keep on telling myself, "Better to light one small candle than curse the darkness." We've just got to figure out where that damn candle is.

Anyway, you'll be missed by me at least.

October 20, 2008 9:29 PM  
Blogger ottlib said...


I have been a Liberal supporter since Trudeau was its leader. So, save me the bullshit about my being an opportunist.

The really funny part in all of this is Stephane Dion was not my first choice as leader. He was my third. I had doubts about him from the start but Liberals elected him and now I think they should stick with him and focus on Stephen Harper.

Anybody with liberal and Liberal values should be able to see the logic in that.

Allowing an ambitious, egotistical few to tear apart the Party is not what I am interested in supporting.

October 20, 2008 9:30 PM  
Blogger ottlib said...

Make no mistake, I am still a liberal. I have just decided to ignore the Party as I do not believe it will be able to do what is necessary to keep Mr. Harper's Republicanism in check.

So, I really do not give a damn about the new leadership race. It is irrelevent as far as I am concerned.

Instead, I will be focusing on the government and what it is doing and commenting on it.

Eventually, the folks who are tearing the Liberal Party apart will leave for the reasons stated in my post. At that time I will reassess where I stand with regard to the Party.

As well, just because I have decided to ignore the Party does not mean it will necessarily lose my vote. However, it also means it cannot necessarily count on my vote either.

October 20, 2008 9:36 PM  
Blogger sharonapple88 said...

I'll look forward to seeing your reporting.

Here's hoping that we'll avoid the worst case scenario. :)

October 20, 2008 9:50 PM  
Blogger Aaron said...

I was thinking about deleting my own blog out of frustration at the way they are treating Dion (I would have supported whoever won the last leadership so I am disgusted at the way some are carrying on right now) but what you say makes sense about focussing on the government.

October 20, 2008 10:07 PM  
Blogger Robert McClelland said...

I can now see the scenario where the Conservatives will be in power for a very long time.

That doesn't have to happen.

October 20, 2008 10:28 PM  
Blogger Goldenhawk said...

I'm sorry you feel that way Ottlib. At the very least, I would hope you would stay with the party to help your local candidate, whomever it might be. If good men and women leave now, that will just make it that much harder for the party to be rebuilt. The U.S. saw that eight years ago when just enough people listened to Ralph Nader to enable Bush to be elected. We need the grassroots to help "crash the gate" as Kos says in order to effect change. I hope you reconsider.

October 20, 2008 10:31 PM  
Blogger Anonymous said...

"I had doubts about him from the start but Liberals elected him and now I think they should stick with him and focus on Stephen Harper.

Anybody with liberal and Liberal values should be able to see the logic in that."

What logic? Your argument consists of "I think this way and I'm right." There's no logic in that whatsoever.


October 21, 2008 12:04 AM  
Blogger Demosthenes said...

You cannot wait for the change you want. You have to work for it.

Yes, the treatment of Dion was deplorable. But if there are no voices within the party to deplore it, how will they ever know? They'll find something else to blame for their troubles.

Find another option. Don't quit. If you quit, THEY win.

October 21, 2008 12:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm glad you're not disappearing completely, ottlib. I find your commentary very enlightening on any number of topics.

I find it hard to have much interest in the new leadership "race" as well. I'm disappointed but somewhat relieved Dion is resigning. Much as I admire Dion, I just don't feel he had the right instincts against Harper.

But as far as things going forward, I am more interested in seeing the Liberal party itself get the basics in order - local involvement, fund-raising, ground game, etc. Unless there is revitalization there, it won't matter who is the leader.

I think a great end to Dion's time as leader would be if he can make strides in those areas as he indicated today. I do think he has the right instincts on that, from what he said today.

Anyway, I'm glad you're not disappearing. I hope your pessimism dispels somewhat. I don't believe the situation is as bleak as you fear it is. I really don't. Maybe you do just need a bit of a breather from the intensity of it all, sticking instead to the broader (and important) issues.

October 21, 2008 1:33 AM  

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