The centre in crisis

Bob Rae draws lessons from the U.S. debt crisis.

The deep partisanship that has marked the crisis in the United States Congress has some lessons for Canadians.  Polarisation is not the “new normal,” as New Democrats and Conservatives are preaching.  It corrodes the body politic and takes us away from the simple truth that most people want a moderate, intelligent politics that’s based on facts, evidence, good values and compromise … we need to understand that most goals in politics, as they are in hockey or soccer, are scored from the centre.  That’s where the action is, and that’s where most Canadians are. But not the dead centre where it’s safety first and always ‘on the one hand and the other hand,’ but rather an action-filled, resilient, and lively centre that is not afraid of ideas, debate, and looking at issues afresh.  And that’s where the Liberal Party needs to be as well.




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The centre in crisis

  1. Yup, radical centrist….that’s me

    • Is there a t shirt?

      • LOL maybe that black one with the milky way on it, and an arrow saying ‘you are here’….and you see this little dot.

        • Sounds way too subtle for the times we’re living in.

  2. A few days ago on Twitter, Rae lumped together Harper, Hudak, and Ford, calling them a “three-man Tea Party wrecking crew”.  Clearly this is evidence that Bob Rae has eschewed “deep partisanship” in favour of moderate, intelligent nuance.

    • Your idea of being balanced is that no one is ever to say a bad word about Cons. LOL

    • Fighting for the centre requires calling out the errors of the far right and far left.

      • Including name-calling.  Because that’s so principled and moderate.

        • Cons have the monopoly on that

          • Apparently you’ve never heard of Heather Mallick.

            For starters.

          • I’ll see your Heather Mallick, and raise you Margaret Wente

            For starters.

            Now you want to stick to political parties….and try Con attack ads?

        • Ah yes, I forgot about the double standard – Cons throw slime balls, others should turn the other cheek.  We know how that worked out, don’t expect any more of it.

          • Really?  You’re going to blame the conservative attack strategy for the liberals past two flubs of an election campaign.  The first of which had an unpopular platform (though i will give you that Dion had decorum – but decorum alone is not enough).  The second of which had little substance (yes there was a platform, but it didn’t really seem to get much talk time) and was saddled with their performance of the last parliament of continuously chasing the next pseudoscandal (hardly the high road).

            Perhaps worrying about the substance of their own campaign would suit the liberals well.  A lot easier to deflect attack ads when you have something to deflect TO.

    • Good to see you keeping up to your usual high standard of commenting on the substance of what’s spoken and avoiding the ad hominem argument.

      Oh wait.. 

  3. Rae is a joke, no one is listening to him, other than our Liberal supporting msm of course. Radical centre my arse, Rae is much a socialist as he has always been. Centre is not a fixed point between Con and NDP, it constantly moves.

    Liberal Party of Pearson/Trudeau brought facism to Canada. Liberal Party completely lost their way in late 1960s and we now have three reactionary parties and no liberal party. 
    I want Liberal Party to die slow death, which it is, or rediscover roots and return to proper liberalism. 

    I am liberal/libertarian and would like a major party to vote for. Reactionaries already have two parties to support – Con or NDP – can we please have at least one liberal party? 

    Liberal ~ favorable to progress or reform, as in political or religious affairs.

    Conservative~ disposed to preserve existing conditions, institutions, etc., or to restore traditional ones, and to  limit change.

    Fascism ~ Everything within the state, nothing outside the state, nothing against the state. 

    Orwell ~ As with the Christian religion, the worst advertisement for Socialism is its adherents.

    • TGIF for Tony again

  4. Bob Rae is right for once. Problem is should be in the centre. Not the scandal-prone Liberals.  The Cons move to the centre is perceptible, as is the NDP.

  5. in real politik nobody is anymore in the left, in the centre or in the right if mr. rae doesn’t understand that simple fact go and take care of  your grandkids

  6. As usual, Bob Rae is dead wrong.

    • How so?

      • In many ways, but to make it easier, point form:

        Most people are not left/right on every issue.
        Many people (most) would call themselves either one or the other.
        The idea that ‘compromise’ is the best way to do everything as the ‘end all be all’ of politics. (ie. I want to go north, you want to go south, so we end up going west or east.) What has actually been happening is that things go one way for a time, and then another way for a time.
        He seems to think that the ‘polarization’ in the states is:
        new
        bad
        not happening in Canada
        He also seems to think that the US has been very much ‘middle of the road’ on issues for the last while. The truth is, ever since ‘the great deal’, it has been very much left of center.

        Basically, Rae was just trying to spin what is happening in the states as wrong, and then seem to want people to believe that in Canada, we are better off with the Libs, so that it doesn’t happen here.

        Sorry to be so brief, but I gotta go.

  7. Crisis pregnancy centres are also called pregnancy resource centres. They are mainly established by the pro-life lot which is found in the church community mainly. These centres play a critical role in helping young confused girls choose an option other than abortion. They are non-profit organisations that get their support from friends of goodwill and other donors. In the United States, there are so many such centres and the top ones include Care Net and Heartbeat International. Counselling underpins the activities of staff found at these centres. Many volunteers will work with all manner of girls giving them the needed support.

    • Which has what to do with anything??

      • I think he missed a couple of classes in Trolling school.

        • LOL yeah, subtlety is not his strong suit

  8. If the US had our electoral system, the debt ceiling debate would be a non-issue, because one party would almost certainly have a majority government. Moreover, in its current incarnation as a third party, the Liberal party aggravates polarization, by keeping centrist voters away from the Tories and NDP. If the Liberal party folded tonight, both the NDP and Conservatives would move to the centre in order to scoop up Liberal votes.*

    *I’m not saying two-party systems are inherently centrist. They aren’t in the US because you have primaries, and because party discipline is weak (party leaders tend to prefer to move their party to the centre, because they care about winning elections, whereas individual members have diverse preferences). 

    • I see quotation marks, but I don’t know who you are quoting.

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