Friday, June 4, 2010

Rae or Iffy, Who is the Leader of the Liberal Party?

One wonders these days. The Liberal party is adrift and who knows who's really leading the party. Tim Powers is musing about this as are many lately. You have the Rae camp and the Iffy camp. I don't think anyone in that party knows what in the heck is going on. Confusion and chaos is what the Liberals are all about right now. They are united on one issue though, that is power. It's how to get there that's the problem for them. The fact is they don't have any leadership in that party right now.

They need to decide who and/or what they want. An election could happen at any time and will very well get trounced again. Who is going to vote for a party that wants to govern the country that can't even govern itself? Beautiful!

Btw, they still haven't paid off their leadership debts from 2006. Don't think they can be trusted with the country's finances if they can't pay off their own debts either.

Is The Libs Only Hope A Coalition?

Liberals are at a conundrum. They were once touted as "Canada's Natural Governing Party." Not so anymore. They have more or less become a rump of Toronto and Montreal. They are no longer the party of the past where they were strong in virtually every part of the country. They are a party divided, don't know what they stand for and they have a leader who was anointed that hasn't been able to bring back the party out of it's slump and can't connect with the voters.

Chantal Hebert compares this Liberal party and their leader with the PC's and Kim Campbell of the early nineties.
If Ignatieff is to be compared to any of the leaders running in 1993, it would be Kim Campbell, a leader selected because she represented a clean break with the unpopular recent Tory past but who simply could not sustain a three-pronged attack at the hands of three more seasoned opponents.
As post-1993 events demonstrated, leadership was not the main Tory problem. In Campbell’s wake, Jean Charest and Joe Clark also failed to steer the Progressive Conservative ship out of the backwaters of opposition. It had simply lost too many sails to make it to the open sea on its own wind and the Liberals today are increasingly in the same predicament.
There have been more and more musings of a coalition/merger with the NDP everyday. Barbara Yaffe thinks that a coalition for the Libs is not the answer to their problem.
But a coalition is not the answer to the Liberals' problems.
Unlike the Tories and Alliance parties, which shared the same roots, Liberals have never walked in lockstep philosophically with New Democrats.
There's every reason to believe an opportunistic joint venture would be too fractious to survive.
Liberals have been sufficiently strong to form government in the past and they'll be sufficiently strong to do it again.
What they need to do is fairly straightforward.
They must give Canadians good reasons to support them over the Harper Conservatives.
Since the party lost power in early 2006, they've done a rotten job in this regard.
Which suggests they don't deserve to form government, with or without a manipulative boost from the NDP
Yaffe is right in the sense that the merger between the PCs and the Alliance was just a family reuniting. That's why there is a stable party today that is able to govern quite competently. That would not be the case with the Libs and the Dippers, it would be very fractious. Then if you factor in the Bloc, it would be a total disaster. The country would end up in horrible shape.

What are the Libs to do? It looks like at least in the foreseeable future they can't win an election on their own. Do they team up with the NDP and potentially the Bloc? Do they conceed the next election to the Conservatives and take their time to rebuild from the bottom up. Their problem isn't just with leadership, it's a deeper problem. It will take years to rebuild and reinvent themselves. Then they could challenge the Tories again.

Either way, no matter what course the Libs take, it will be interesting days ahead. While the Libs are deciding what to do, I can see the Conservatives continue governing for quite awhile yet. Next election voters will clearly see that the Libs no matter what configuration will not be ready to take back the reins of power and as Yaffe points out, don't deserve it.

The whole coalition talk speaks of desperation from some Libs and the Libluvin media. The next election will no doubt be a fun one. Bring it on!