A centrist party that has lost its centre

Paul Wells on Dalton McGuinty stepping down and the Liberal party’s climb ahead

by Paul Wells

Chris Young

Dalton McGuinty remains such a gifted political performer that when Ontario’s premier announced his retirement from politics, throat catching, eyes misting, it was easy to forget the context.

The context is that two recent polls put his Ontario Liberal party in third place, about 15 points behind the opposition NDP and Conservatives. McGuinty’s energy minister, Chris Bentley, stands accused by opposition MPPs of being in contempt of the legislature over an apparent failure to disclose all of the reasoning behind the cancellation of two gas-fired energy plants. There was talk of adding McGuinty and the government house leader to the list of Liberals facing contempt motions.

McGuinty won three elections in a row, but with less of a pop every time. To say the least, he had no guarantee of winning the next. It is a familiar trajectory for Liberals in Canada these days. The question is whether it can be reversed.

Let us get the good news for Canada’s assorted Liberal parties out of the way quickly. Today, parties carrying the Liberal name continue to govern in Canada’s largest and third-largest provinces by population, Ontario and British Columbia, as well as the smallest, Prince Edward Island.

Okay, we’re done with the good news. Liberals in Ontario and B.C. could hardly have a more tenuous hold on power. Both have been down in the polls so long that it looks like up to them. B.C. Premier Christy Clark speculates now and then about jettisoning her party’s name, which is a bit confusing anyway because the B.C. Liberals are a centre-right coalition that little resembles the federal party.

Liberals do form the official opposition in Quebec, Newfoundland and Labrador, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. But given the steady drumbeat of salacious revelations from a commission of inquiry about the financing of Jean Charest’s former government in Quebec, it is unlikely the Liberals would do as well today as they did in September’s election.

Liberal parties are in third place in Alberta, Manitoba and the Yukon, the only territory where members of the legislature have party affiliations. In Saskatchewan in the last election the provincial Liberals didn’t even win one vote in 100.

In federal politics, the Liberals have lost seats and vote share in each of the last four elections. If they lose much more support they will start to owe votes to the other parties.

The federal Liberals’ problems began long before the current slump, Carleton University journalism prof Paul Adams argues in his new book Power Trap. “Arguably the Liberal party has been in decline since the 1950s,” he writes, “and there has been no ‘natural governing party’ since.” The federal Liberals have had no real presence in the Prairie West in a half-century. They have not won a majority of Quebec seats since 1980. Since 2004, when a united Conservative party put an end to the vote-splitting that produced a decade-long near-monopoly of Liberal seats in Ontario, the Liberals have lost another bucket of Ontario seats each time they went to bat.

Stephen Harper’s Conservatives reliably depict the Liberals as high-taxing statists who cannot imagine leaving a dollar in your pocket when they could spend it on daycare or a fancy census instead. Intriguingly, Adams argues nearly the opposite: that the Liberals’ long-standing “progressive impulses” were “quietly muted in a largely collaborative project” between Jean Chrétien and Paul Martin during the almost nine years Martin served in Chrétien’s cabinet.

The Liberals’ 1993 Red Book included promises to renegotiate NAFTA, to boost immigration levels and to create 50,000 daycare spaces. None was implemented. To Adams (whose book argues, probably in vain, for a Liberal-NDP merger), the result was that the Liberals blew their credibility as defenders of activist government.

“As you stare at the wreckage of what was arguably the most successful party in the history of the democratic world, there are various explanations for its utter demagnetization in 2011,” Adams writes. “Some of them were very long-term. But one of them, surely, must have been its wilful refusal to differentiate its policies from those of the Conservatives.”

Well, which is it? Are the Liberals incurable tax-and-spenders or are they a pale copy of the Conservatives? In the jurisdictions where Liberal disease is most advanced—Saskatchewan and Manitoba for many years, and increasingly now at the federal level—it’s both. The great danger for a centrist party is that it will forget how to argue persuasively for a centre.

None of these trends is necessarily irreversible. Canadian political history rarely moves in straight lines for long. But the decline of Liberal parties across most of the West, Liberal-branded crises in all of the three largest provinces and the federal party’s enduring slump all suggest a robust trend.

When they get in a tight spot, Liberals like to present themselves as the only moderate solution in a field of radicals. Justin Trudeau did it again when he announced his leadership candidacy. It is a spiel that reflects Liberals’ enduring wish for an imaginary fight that would be easy to win instead of the one they’re in. In fact, Liberals’ problems would vanish if the other parties would oblige them by behaving as ideologues. Conservative and social-democratic parties have sharply moderated their messages. There is no longer anything the NDP wants to nationalize, and the party likes to brag that it has delivered more balanced budgets where it has formed governments than Liberals have. Meanwhile, Stephen Harper repeatedly votes against his own backbenchers when they propose measures that would reopen the abortion debate. If Harper and Tom Mulcair were wild-eyed freaks, there would be acres of room for a centrist party. They aren’t, so there isn’t.

In fact, if the country’s assorted Liberal parties are in the mood for advice from the “department of easier said than done,” they should waste no more time seeking to present themselves as the middle ground between extremes. Instead they should find some extreme worth defending. What social end is so important that it’s worth taxing to achieve? What fights are worth fighting?

The decline of Liberal parties in Canada produces a kind of optical illusion. The centre isn’t disappearing, it is becoming crowded. Nothing about the Liberal name ensures the endurance of Liberal parties. Loyalty will not save them. Wit and heart will, or nothing will.




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A centrist party that has lost its centre

  1. Pauil Adams falls into the same trap as others who latch onto an idea and the set about finding evidence to support it. The first problem with that is that no matter what the idea is, one can find some evidence to make it sound plausible. The second problem is that one tends to ignore much evidence that points in the opposite direction.
    The Liberals were fine as long as they positioned themselves in the centre and were able sell that to the majority of voters. The problem was that the LIberals both federally and provincially moved to the right. the NDP has move toward the centre. The Conservatives are still far right but have falsely presented themselves as being a little to the right. A good selling job.

    • I’m going to venture a wild guess that you are of the left.

      • It is a fact that the Liberals have moved to the right-of-center over the past 20 years and the NDP has moved to the center of the political spectrum.

        According to the Political Compass, during the last election, the NDP was 10% left; the Liberals 30% right; the Conservatives 70% right.

        (100% left is communism: full government control over the economy; 100% right is free-market libertarianism: no government involvement in the economy.)

        http://www.politicalcompass.org/canada2011

        • Any nonpartisan would have to agree.

          • Yes, just because political parties shift their position in the economic spectrum doesn’t mean the spectrum itself shifts…

  2. Liberalism is nothing more than a slow road to Socialism and electing Jr to the leadership will do nothing except throw the party back to the 70s

    • Conservatism is nothing more than a slow road to Fascism and electing Harper to continue the leadership will do nothing except throw the party back to 50s

      Hey look. I can play the baseless assertion game too!

      The difference between us is I’m smart enough not to believe in it.

      • Very nice. I like the originality of your thought process.
        All that intelligence and the ability to reproduce. Pretty scary combination.

    • Untrue. You’re making a couple of assumptions that are untrue:

      a) Liberalism is, yes, alike to socialism, but the Liberals of the day are conservative.

      b) “Jr.” is nothing like his father from the 70s, rather he is like his mother and much less of a socialist than his father. His father was an NDPer.

      • And said Liberalism is the same as your perception. Nothing more. I wish the best for this country. Harper is the man.

  3. “If Harper and Tom Mulcair were wild-eyed freaks, there would be acres of room for a centrist party. They aren’t, so there isn’t.”

    The error here is when Paul presents Harper as a centrist moderate. He in fact has a right wing agenda — he’s just too smart to say so. slowly, with as little fanfare (and attention) as possible he’ll implement that agenda one omnibus bill at a time until one day the somnolent electorate will wake up and wonder where Canada went.

    • Yea, the secret right wing agenda… And he’s been in power how long now? Looks more like he’s implementing a secret center-left-wing agenda, thus making the Libs redundant.

      • It’s not a secret right-wing agenda. You do read the news… right?

        • You mean it’s not a secret that it’s a right-wing agenda.

    • I agree. Turns out that in Canada, all you have to do to be called a centrist is to show ambivalence in attacking same sex marriage and women’s right to choose on abortion.

      That done, you a centrist. You are now free to implement a radical libertarian policy agenda including the gutting of environmental legislation, selectively dismantling public institutions that address inequalities and social injustices in society, eliminate all the ones that document or talk about this stuff, pursue a hard-right agenda internationally featuring our traditional (?) allies Israel and China, etc, etc.

      Democracy will still be allowed every 4 years or so, but if you can again micro-manage support from a quarter of the adult population using legal and illegal means, you can then use your wimpering helpless majority in parliament to push forward even more enabling omnibus legislation weakening social equity and justice in Canada and the infrastructure that supports them. Yee haw, like Stephen Harper, you’d *still* be called centrist in Canada. just as long as you remain ambivalent about, and inactive on, same sex marriage and women’s right to choose.

    • He has the wrong-wing agenda.

  4. Some various, tenuously-interconnected thoughts on this…

    The decline of the Liberals is definitely a trend, but it might represent an ebb-and-flow rather than a decline and (eventual) fall. As you say, the NDP and Conservatives have eaten into Liberal support by moderating their messages. That’s fine… but that’s also where discontent within those ‘left’ and ‘right’ parties can fester. I’ve heard more than a little grumbling among small-c conservatives on various comment boards complaining about the Conservatives not being conservative enough. I’m sure Harper tried the patience of so-cons with this abortion business. Wasn’t this kind of discontent how the Reform Party got started?

    Competence is an issue, too. I think the federal Liberals are still feeling the effects of the sponsorship scandal, which displayed at best incompetence and at worst crookedness, and those Liberals that have come after haven’t done a good job of presenting themselves as a competent alternative to the Conservatives. (I think it’s a safe bet the provincial Liberals in Ontario are about to run into the same problem). It isn’t ideology that’s driving most voters, they just don’t want crooks and morons handling their money.

    As far as the ‘Liberal’ brand in other provinces… that’s a trend I don’t find too compelling. After all, especially in Quebec and BC, federal Liberals and provincial Liberals are often two different animals. And, you could argue that the Progressive Conservatives in Alberta have adopted a very Liberal-like approach (or else you wouldn’t see the Wildrose Party emerging).

    I guess my feeling is, the Liberal Party as an entity could be in trouble, but centrist policies and government will, far more often than not, hold sway. You might not have a big-L Liberal government, but chances are the government’s gonna act like one, more or less, or it’s not gonna last long. That might not be good news for card-carrying, loyal Liberals, or for those on the far left and far right of the spectrum, but for the average Canadian with no party loyalty, that’s probably just fine.

    • “You might not have a big-L Liberal government, but chances are the government’s gonna act like one, more or less, or it’s not gonna last long.”

      You do realize that is only true if you define big-L Liberal government as the centre no matter where public opinion lies on the political spectrum. You’ve defined Liberal in such a way that it is impossible to fail. The problem with Liberals is even they can’t coherently define what they are and their policy goals.

      • No, the Liberals can fail. Crappy campaigns and scandals will do that. I just think when it comes to the actual governance of the country (or province), you’re not going to have too much drift from the centre.

        • Just govern competently and decently is still a pretty good recipe for a long political life. It never ceases to amaze me how few politicians stick to the programme, whatever their party badge.

      • You missed the drift Cassandra, but its ok.

    • Very sensible analysis…stop it, you’re making me fell inadequate. It would have saved me a lot of effort if i had come here and simply clicked you up.

  5. The obvious answer is that the Liberals should concentrate on promoting federalism, and opposing Quebec nationalism in all its forms. It’s a portfolio that the other two parties are vulnerable on – especially the NDP, which under the guidance of Mulcair has been thoroughly infiltrated by Quebec separatists. However, the Conservatives too have a lot of holdovers from the Mulroney/Bouchard days, and demonstrate tacit acceptance of pro-separatist policies from then that they have yet to disavow.

    If only the Liberals would mount a strong campaign pointing this out and countering separatist hate-propaganda against Canada (especially separatist myths about the way the Liberals patriated the Constitution), they might get somewhere.

    • Agree, but didn’t Justin Trudeau threaten to join the separatist cause?

    • Dream on Vancouerois I know where you were born. Run along, you’re days are done in politics being from Quebec, wake the heck up. This country is sick of your thinking.

  6. It’s usually easier to define the problem than identify the solutions. And Mr. Wells has done so, quite entertainingly. Gottabesaid’s point is somewhat comforting, except that it infers a two-party system in Canada. The inevitable polarization and electoral swings between fuzzy left and fuzzy right are not a pretty sight. Still, I’m with Churchill — better to squabble over this than whether we will be killed by missiles fired by our own government!

    • Sounds like you have it right.

  7. I consider myself a centrist Keynesian liberal. What I don’t like about the Liberal party is that over the past 20 years they have become the Mulroney progressive conservative party: neo-con lite. Considering I was opposed to Mulroney back then, why would I want to vote for him now?

    I think the Liberal party has fallen into irrelevance because centrist voters got sick of being conned by them. They promise day care spaces and deliver failed corporate tax cuts.

    The Liberals should not fool themselves into believing they are the centrist choice between the far left and the far right. Mulcair is right in the center of the political spectrum and Harper is doing everything he can to pretend his is a moderate conservative.

    So the Liberals will need to crowd out one party and contrast themselves from the other. If they choose not to it might be done for them: Layton did a good job portraying Ignatieff as just another Harper last election…

    • Agree in the main. Although to be fair to the libs it was their intention to veer left after Mulroney, but then reality ran them over in the form of the national debt. Really, they did the right thing in wrestling it down[ although we can argue all day about the way they went about it] They had no choice. Unfortunately they never really got off the centre right tack again afterwards. If he hadn’t been such a jerk i sometimes wonder where Martin would have taken the country – surely not down exactly the same road as Harper? Since he was a jerk, maybe it wouldn’t have mattered?

      • It was absurd for the Liberals to produce $14B surpluses. Instead of making the big decisions themselves on how to allocate the resources, they gave that responsibility to Harper who wasted it on a GST tax cut economists hated.

        The Liberals also built up a $40B EI surplus ($54B by 2008.) Harper came along and created an EI account separate from the budget. But instead of putting the $54B he only put in $2B, robbing workers of $52B (it soon after went into a $14B deficit.) Again their dithering ended up bad for Canadians.

        The Liberals have also become the party of big corporate tax cuts that have failed in every objective they set out to accomplish: boost productivity, encourage private investment in R&D, “create jobs.”

        They can be forgiven for mistaking Milton Friedman for evidence-based policy; but not any longer…

        • Blaming the libs for giving Harper permission to blow the surplus is silly, same for the gst cuts. You can generally only be held accountable for the time you’re there. The EI stuff was indefensible, i agree.
          But give credit where it is due. Martin did wrestle the debt down. Sadly the libs gave in to the temptation to keep the surpluses overflowing because it was a handy slush fund. Although Martin did institute a very large across the board tax cut around that time.

          • Silly my balls. The Liberals handed Harper a $14B surplus and he blew it within two years. A responsible government would’ve put the better resources to better use — like fulfilling at least some of their “red book” full of empty promises. I doubt I’m the only one who sees things that way. Last time I check the Liberals lost the centrist vote to the NDP in a humiliating defeat…

            BTW, a responsible government runs a small surplus in good times and a small deficit in bad. It is utterly irresponsible to waste tens of billions of taxpayer dollars paying down debt in a few short years. Again, that just gave Harper the opportunity to blow it all. In the end Canadians ended up with squat. At least the Liberals went down in flames for their foolish effort…

          • ” It is utterly irresponsible to waste tens of billions of taxpayer dollars paying down debt in a few short years.”

            Sorry Ron but you are going to have to work harder than that to convince me you haven’t gone from silly to sillier. Mostly i agree with much you post but there’s nothing wrong with trying to maintain a balance between paying down debt[ as opposed to say cutting CIT] and investing in the country. I’m onside to the degree i wish they had chosen more social investment[ yes rebuilding the military too]that broadly benefited the whole country, or simply return the money to Canadians in the form of more broad based tax cuts. But you must have 2020 hindsight, because i doubt the libs spent much time worrying what Harper would do with the surplus. Remember that up to the adcam farce hardly any credible pundit in the country thought that Harper could beat Martin at a game of checkers leave alone in an election.

  8. The word centrist implies there is a continuum between left and right. Behavioral economist Daniel Kahneman might agree with me this is simplistic. An indication of too much reliance on our system 1 thinking processes, reactive. When our mind goes to this part of the brain our thinking is “conventional, formulaic, and oversimplified conception, opinion, or image”. We are easily manipulated. System 1 thinking is for losers. System 2 thinkers, reasoned, would habitually find that luck is what you do with chance. They would consider themselves lucky. Conservatives are unreasonable. Liberals are not. Conservatives, because they are unreasonable, attract, reward and empower those Robert Hare warns us about in “Snakes in Suits, When Psychopaths go to Work, as belligerents. Liberal tend to repel psychopaths. That is the difference.

  9. I’d like to see the Liberal Party become the champion of real reform to our health care system. That might even get me to come back. None of the other parties has shown the courage to do anything. But I doubt if the group around Justin has that type of gumption.

  10. The Liberals will survive only if there is a perceived need for them. There isn’t. One, Canadian politics has generally moved to the right over the years(especially economically) and all parties have been forced to respond to it. The modern Conservative Party is considerably more right-wing economically then the PC’s ever were(under Diefenbaker, Clark, or Mulroney). The Conservatives would have to move to the left to go back to the 1950′s. It is largely the Reform Party and should really be called that. Also, would the old PC’s have dumped the long gun registry? I think not. Second, Harper has actually been pretty smart in slowly dragging the country to the right. Look at the Conservative Party platforms in 2006, 2008, and 2011. Each one is increasingly more right-leaning. Yet, Harper wins each election with more seats and a larger share of the votes. The party is now to the right of the Conservative Party in Britain(Canada’s conservatives are more like the right-wing British splinter party UKIP). Harper does this by largely avoiding contentious social issues liker abortion. Instead, he emphasizes a mix of libertarian economic policies together with a strong emphasis on law and order. On law and order, he wins public support by calling for tougher sentencing and strengthening laws on self defense(look at some form of castle doctrine being implemented by 2015). In addition, look for Harper to use the issue of reinstating the death penalty as a possible means to win a new majority government. The gun registry ran counter to both Conservative arguments on less government and self defense. Third, the reality of governing provinces like Manitoba, Nova Scotia, and Saskatchewan(plus the NDP failure of Bob Rae in Ontario) has forced the NDP to moderate. They may still promote social justice but they know that economic growth requires a strong private sector. Therefore, they have to create a business friendly environment. Also, union strength is gradually declining in Canada like elsewhere. Fourth, social issues like abortion where opinion polls vary(most Canadians support abortion but want some restrictions) will not come any time soon from the Conservatives. Instead, you will see that pro-life groups will take an increasing activist role(demonstrations, marches, petitions, probably working within nominating riding groups of both NDP and the Conservatives). Has anyone noticed that the Canadian pro-life movement seems to be in the news a lot more(and involved in a lot more public events)? This will be especially difficult under current NDP rules. However, polling would seem to indicate that there is a significant base among the blue collar crowd that favor at least some abortion restrictions. Fifth, the Liberal label has been discredited in every province but PEI. In Quebec, the party is badly screwed by scandal. I will bet that they eventually form some unity movement with the CAQ. In British Columbia, you will see a defeated Liberal Party merge with the Conservatives to form some sort of unite the right party(call it Social Credit like in 1952 or call it Unity). The history shows a unified right B.C. provincial party would be back in power in probably one election cycle(1996 B.C. Liberals get more votes than NDP but lose based on seat ditribution). In Ontario, the Liberals will probably lose the next election. The only question will be whether the NDP becomes a viable party to compete provincewide with the PC’s. Otherwise, expect a long PC reign in Ontario unless they nominate Captain Kangaroo to lead them. Any way that you put it, the Liberals will go the way of the American Whig Party or the Canadian federal PC party.

    • Dan, you make some valid points. Yet, I was thinking that the right has two things that Mulroney didn’t have conservative talk radio and the Sun News network. These organizations may not be as strong as their American counterparts. However, they do serve as rallying points for Conservatives and help them to better articulate their positions to the public. The Liberals sat on their keisters and never really bothered to counter these new mouthpieces. They seemed to be brainwashed with that whole “natural governing party” thing. Second, under Harper, the Conservatives made real efforts(through Jason Kenney) to win votes in immigrant communities. What did the Liberals or NDP do to counter them? It seemed the Liberals were just happy to assume that these communities were forever locked into the Liberal party. Third, the Canadian left in general is being increasingly weakened by the decline of union membership. The numbers are falling sharply in the private sector which is where you really want significant union membership. Where it is going up slightly is in the public sector which can be a public relations nightmare. The public can sympathize with private sector employees challenging big business. However, it is harder with public sector employees. In a democracy, the government is in theory supposed to work for the people. Therefore, the public kind of assumes the role of manager or overseer. This makes them more likely to see public sector demonstrations as actions aimed at their personal financial situation. In turn, they are far less supportive of actions by public sector unions. Finally, you were dead right with Harper. Love him or hate him. The man knows how to play the game of politics like Machivelli. He survives 5 years of minority government while still pushing through agenda items. Who else in Canadian history has pulled that off? He forms a majority government without Quebec. He forms a majority government that is smaller than Mulroney’s 1984 government but actually more stable. Mulroney was elected on a patchwork of soft nationalists in Quebec, right-wingers in western Canada and Red Tories in the areas of Ontario and the Atlantic provinces. Harper’s guys are almost all right-leaning Reform Party lite types. There are no real Red Tories and I don’t see any soft Quebec nationalist types in Harper’s government. This means that he can use them to push his agenda without having to worry about keeping the peace between various factions. Harper has achieved what Manning only dreamed of. A western based conservative party that can win elections and push a right-wing agenda. The man is kind of becoming a Trudeau of the right. Trudeau had 15 years to radically transform Canada. Harper is guaranteed at least 9 years to do the job.The question is can he reach or pass Trudeau’s 15 year reign or influence.

  11. You’ve been talking to Coyne again.

    Almost Shorter Wells[ maybe with a smiley face, at least for the liberal legacy?]
    The liberals are victims of their own success, or if you like the general pan moderation of the Canadian political and social scene.Surely they deserve at least a hearty round of applause before you boo them off the stage?
    I agree that not much remains to continuing to hang on to a model that is broken[ the Chretien/Martin one] – say you’re for social justice and attempt or promise conservative style[ theoretical, cons rarely balance budgets, particularly as they are sliding out the back door] fiscal management at one and the same time, often delivering neither or only one. Find some extremes worth defending ;Identify what fights are worth fighting and pay the price for doing so. Sounds good to me.[ Today in practise that means for me at least the party affinity for sucking up to Bay street...boo Manley...nice guy that he is]
    That’s the theory. It didn’t work so well for Dion and his green shift. Perhaps Dion was merely a bad salesman? Perhaps the liberal party failed to back him up? I don’t know? Dalton made himself the education premier – premier dad, and succeeded. Less so as Mr Green[ for now anyway]
    I’m don’t think your prescription will lead to a return of liberal dominance Paul. But maybe that’s missing the point? In an age of parity amongst political parties who should realistically expect more? Other than get some things right, not too many things wrong and get off stage before they drag you off. let someone else fix the goofs.
    Of course there is always the Harper doctrine available if you should want, Uber loyalty to the pack, discipline, ruthlessness, iron control, strict, even oppressive message control, shamelessness and a determination to use all your power and limit your opponents in the extreme, even if it risks your bringing the temple down on yourself at times.
    Find something worth fighting for, or find something worth fighting for AND make sure you effectively salt the earth for everyone else…i wonder which has the best chance of succeeding or serving as a model for those to come? What a question really. Harperism is still ahead by at least a couple of lengths if not a country mile.

  12. “the result was that the Liberals blew their credibility as defenders of activist government.”

    Almost, but not quite. They made promises they couldn’t ,and in some cases probably shouldn’t, have kept. Actions and the absence of them have consequences over time. It became a pattern and effectively brought about the authors conclusion; it also ceded ground to the NDP to be more than the nations unelectable conscience Surely it speaks to one of the causes of their decline, the latter day tendency to think the brand was fireproof, even in the face of some responsible decisions. Is it such a surprise when you consider the party went from the philosopher and reining sun king – the ultimate activist, to a shot gun marriage/alliance of the ultimate pragmatist/fixer and a banker through and through.
    In any case it is my belief[painful as it is for a long time liberal to admit] that the end of the NGP period is a good thing. Now to make sure Harper pays a price for his hubris as well.

  13. We know that the liberals and ndp will continue to grow government, increase debt…destroy future generations but the so-called “Conservatives’” will do just about the same. During elections, all they do is try to out promise, out spend the other parties…just sickening!

    Remember-The liberals, NDP brought in a lot of this expensive nonsense, bilingualism ( code for forced frenchie, only outside Quebec while Kebec bans our language and history, bills 22, 178, 101…), multiculturalism, the charter, phony rights this, rights that, phony green crap…but the Conservatives have done nothing to repeal any of this crap federally or provincially.

    “Conservatives” have allowed all of these expensive, divisive liberal polices, and departments to remain. How come?

    Don’t just blame Hudak, or Harper, the party stands for nothing folks. Go look at the platform, they won’t touch these issues.

    Unless they come out and tell us what they will cut, how they will reduce and eliminate debt, unless they tell us what lieberal, NDP policies and departments they will cut and/or eliminate, we will not get out and vote any longer. I think its obvious why people are not voting any longer, they have no one to vote for any longer. Where is the detailed platform Conservatives? What really makes you different then the other parties?

    How will you reduce the size of government? What departments will you eliminate? How will you bring down hydro rates? Will you get rid of this phony expensive green nonsense? What non-essential services will you cut? Will you bring in a government hiring freeze? Will you reduce bloated government salaries, pensions, bonuses, perks…??? A salary cap in government? Will you repeal the expensive hiring quota for frenchies in Ontario (bill 8)? Yes this phony bilingual (French) hiring scam is spreading all across the country while they continue wipe out our language and culture in Kebec? This phony french first (bilingual) policy forced upon the province of Ontario illegally by the liberals, no quorum, nice eh? How will you pay down, and pay off this massive debt in Ontario…?

    Unless you say what you will cut, you can’t reduce debt, you can’t pay off debt, things have to be cut. We will not vote for a party that says nothing and does nothing year after year. We will not vote for a liberal light party period. I can’t believe you people haven’t figured this out yet. Go look at the polling results. No more donations!!! Smart, informed, fiscally conservative people are not voting for a reason. We want to vote, but we have no one to vote for.

    Solution? Well only one folks – We need a new party, a new leader willing to deal with the facts, the truth for a change. We need a real fiscally conservative, common sense leader/party…. Things need to be cut, reduced and eliminated in all government. Government is too big, intrusive, and they are accumulating too much debt, year after year after year. That’s right let’s get cutting non essential services, expensive waste, bilingualism, multiculturalism, phony rights departments…the charter, CBC, all this green nonsense, all sorts of big government BS. The future is at stake here and no one is willing to deal with this, how sad, how pathetic, all of you clowns in government and mainstream media.

    The real issue that no-one is talking about is the private sector versus government sector. Government hiring, spending and debt is out of control and has been for decades. This is the great divide in Canada and its getting worse yearly.

    “If a law is unjust, a man is not only right to disobey it; he is obligated to do so.”-Thomas Jefferson

  14. Anybody right of the NDP are….Coalitionists! This blog is dominated by those who support the right-wing-coalition-parties….or so it seems from all the long-winded blogs! Harper is continuing to bring this great country down….spend…spend…spend….and reward his corporate buddies…that seems to be stevie boys solution1

  15. It’s a one-sided rant, that fails to mention before the
    balloons starting losing air on election night, the right-wing noise machine
    sprung into action. Another reaction to
    an NDP victory.

    Gerald Caplan wrote an excellent piece for the Globe in
    October of 2010, in which he says:

    snip snip: Mr. Rae’s
    provincial NDP government faced an unrelenting, brutal four-year onslaught that
    was unprecedented in Canadian history. The attacks came from all sides.

    It is no exaggeration to say hysterical fear-mongering and
    sabotage was the order of the day. Launched within the very first year of the
    new government, the attackers included every manner of business big and small,
    both Canadian and American-owned, almost all private media, the police
    (especially in Toronto), landlords and lobbying/government relations firms.
    Their goal was clear, and they had the money and power to achieve it.

    They were determined to undermine the government every step
    of the way, to frustrate the implementation of its plans and to assure its
    ultimate defeat. In all three goals they were successful. The considerable
    achievements of the government – often forgotten or dismissed –were wrought in
    the face of a deep recession and ferocious obstruction.

    http://pushedleft.blogspot.com/2011/09/fresh-merger-talks-raise-question-is-it.html

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