What just happened? (III) - Macleans.ca

What just happened? (III)


Rob Silver considers.

2011 is nothing like 1993 – and it never was going to be. The country is different, our opponents are vastly different, and the Liberal Party’s voting coalition as it existed in 1993 is different. There is certainly no mass nostalgia from anyone other than the most partisan of Liberals for 1993. It was, seemingly, only us Liberals that remained the same as we had been almost 20-years earlier.


What just happened? (III)

  1. 'These people will seriously consider starting a new party …'

    I certainly hope so, because that's something we definitely need….one for the 21st century, and without the baggage.

    A party for the 95% of Canadians, who like me, aren't a member of any party.

  2. Where does that put the NDP, then?

  3. "the Liberal Party's voting coalition as it existed in 1993 is different"

    The Liberal Party… planning coalitions since 1993.

    For shame.

  4. What does a party "for the 21st Century" look like? How do the policies of this potential party differ from those of any of the current parties?

    if it's a centre-right party, I'd love to hear about it. I'm on the lookout for one of those.

    • Well….you probably wouldn't like it. It has nothing to do with the old left/right politics

      It's more like whack the debt, rebuild the crumbling infrastructure, get as many people as possible into universities, innovate thru R&D, back science to the hilt, invest for any future lean years, modernize the military, fix the GD environment, lower income taxes only, and by a chunk…and boost productivity that way, diversify the entire economy…grab the 21st century…

      • Ah…the Magical Pixie Dust Party!

        Where all your dreams come true and nobody has to pay for it!

        Does everyone get to eat candy all day and all your teeth get capped with gold crowns too?


        • Illiterate people won't be considered as members….sorry.

          • But delusional half wits will be I see.

          • No, you don't qualify either.

            Now stop wasting everyone's time

      • I reasonably followed this until:

        …lower income taxes only…

        Who doesn't recite that mantra? Is it an obligatory rite of passage around here or what?

        • As opposed to the GST…the opposite of what Harper did

  5. Orson, why don't you stop asking me the same silly questions over and over again?

    • What about my question? I'm genuinely interested.

      I hope involves trade with China and India. And perhaps some more social media.

      • Oh…well then maybe you would like it…..it definitely involves trade with China and India…full scale globalization.

        Also yes to social media.

        • Fantastic. Where do I sign?

          • LOL as soon as I find out if anyone is willing to do such a thing, I'll letcha know.

          • Why don't you do it yourself?

            Parties can be built, and can be influential even if they don't immediately form government. Just ask the Reform Party or the Greens, two parties who have risen in the last 20 years to reach the House of Commons.

  6. Funny what part of Silver's analysis Aaron choose not to excerpt:

    "But there was of course more at play than simply our short-term strategy. We made the classic mistake that many losing campaigns make, which is to assume the general public hates your opponent – Stephen Harper in this case – as much as the partisans do."

    And how did the Liberals get trapped inside that bubble, Aaron? Might it have had something to do with the 24/7 Harper-hater echo chamber that journalists like you ran for the past several years?

    Now you get to the lie in the bed that you crapped in. I've got no sympathy for you. But I do feel a bit bad for some of the decent Liberal candidates out there who are having to lie down in that bed with you.

    • Find a blog of your own. Come on here and anonymously attack someone who isn't. Grow up or grow a pair.

      • "Find a blog of your own."

        Well, since Macleans blogs have open comments sections they seem to be asking for…commentary. Unless, of course, only Harper-hater echo-chamber reinforcing commentary is allowed…but I pointed out the problem with that in my comment above, including the problem for Liberals.

        "Come on here and anonymously attack someone who isn't."

        This sentence doesn't make sense, but it seems to be criticizing me for being anonymous. Is that right, "TimesArrow"? As you surely realize, "TimesArrow", most people on here are anonymous, no matter what position they take. If you have a problem with the principle of anonymity that might be legitimate complaint in principle, but then there is no point in focusing your criticism on me. I'm surprised that you can't see the problem with your singling me out for me being anonymous, "TimesArrow".

        "Grow up or grow a pair."

        That's right – no anonymous insults for Mr. "TimesArrow"! He'll have none of that! Actually, he just won't have anything critical of Wherry, obviously. Gotta put another brick into the wall of Wherry's Harper-hater echo chamber. So how's that worked out for you so far, "TimesArrow"?

        • .
          I advise you, after 20+ years of blogs, sites, and bulletin boards, to keep responses to shills and hit-men to a bare minimum. And with the huge cash reserves the Government of Harper will amass, you can expect to see more of this sort, rather than less. They will have deep pockets to pay them with.

        • "Come on here and anonymously attack someone who isn't.. anonymous"…fixed.

          I'm just objecting to you using silly juvenile names to attack someone who isn't.[ anonymous] Why don't you post as an honest citizen if you want to do that? Otherwise you're entitled to your opinion. AW is a big boy. I doubt he cares a fig what you or i think.

  7. That whole article is filled with good advise for the liberal party. I hope they follow it. And i hope Silver's involved.

    One curiousity. Are you[if you're reading this RS] recommending the libs move on from the Trudeau past? I can understand the advise. After all when you think about it when Trudeau first came into power he didn't waste his time running around wrapping himself in the Pearson legend. Quite the contrary. He went out and made his own. It creates a bit of a dilemma for JT though, doesn't it? Abandoning his fathers legend and all.
    Yet they need to do it. To look forward as much as backward.
    They have to make up their minds: are they just a party of the past or are they a party of the future?

    • 2011 and the question is finally at least being asked: should we move on from the Trudeau years? I wish you were impartial enough to see how hilarious that is.

      • "… our seeming obsession with our party's history that only makes us look like we're stuck in the past…"

        • "3. Put a fresh coat of paint on the party. Nobody will say they are in this camp but I will have no doubt that there will be some Liberals who think we just need to “run a better campaign” or “get a better leader” and everything turns around. You will know people in this camp if they start speeches by talking about our glorious history, refer to the Liberal Party as a “family” rather than a political party and claim that “Canada needs the Liberal Party.” I would put it at more than 50 per cent that this group wins the day, which really worries me because this option dooms the party to more of the same in terms of results."
          I think this pretty much describes where Ignatieff was.

      • I've just finished writing more words that are critical of my party then a clown like you can write about his party in a month of sundays…do you have any idea how ironic your post is?

        • Yikes, struck a cord, did I? Well, I suppose that I indeed could not write some critical words about my party given that I don't have a party, but that's neither here nor there.

          I read Geddes article too. Sorry if I misunderstood, but your question to Silver above ["are you recommending the Libs move on from the Trudeau past?"] did not seem to be the same thing that Geddes was talking about. Geddes was talking about the influence that Trudeau had on the current leaders, especially Harper and Layton, in shaping them during their formative years. Of course, the LIbs do seem to perpetually be stuck in the Trudeau years, and some even explicitly talked about Iggy as the new Trudeau, or some other hogwash like that.

          Actually, it is for this reason that I have grave worries about young Trudeau as the next leader. His post election interview sounded good; he talked about the whole party needing to do what he was able to do in his riding, which was to build a base of volunteers and supports and work hard from the ground up. But I just fear that that culture of entitlement that plagues the Liberal party (has these last results finally killed that?) will be impossible for JT to escape. Ever since he was 17 people have been talking about him one day being a great Liberal leader like papa. Hopefully, if he does become leader, it's because of hard a work and some personal conviction about who he is as a leader and not just because everyone around him tells him he deserves it. We shall see.

          Anyway, I'll chalk up your feistiness to the late hour.

          • Fair enough. It was late. Agree on JT up to a point. Naturally as a liberal and a Trudauphile[ not a cultist though] i fillow his progress[ not particularly closely] with a mixture of hope and trepidation. He does seem aware of the burden and to some extent the responsibility of his father's legacy[ i don't envy him at all] He seems to be handling it well enough. What i most like about him is he works hard at it [ liberals pay attention] and it's really evident that those who like him in his riding like him a lot and affectionately too – he's a nice guy – no where do i see the dark aspects of his father. Will he be great? Who know? Times have changed. On the one habd people are open to charamatic leaders, OTOH people are more aware and critcal then earlier generations[ maybe maybe not?] Good luck to him.

          • er…damn spelling. The only thing keeping me from personally taking down Steve miselve.

            Clown remark rescinded…for now :)

      • It isn't hiarious at all. In fact it is as Geddes says a tribute to the enduring legend of a man who has now been dead and out of power for over a quarter of a century now. And it isn't just the libs who are clinging it to it[ that wouldn't be so bad if they would just get busy looking to create a comtemporary legend of their own as Harper is doing[ i salute him for that if for nothing else] it is also Mr H who is still in the thrall of the old coot, at least to a certain extent
        In fact i can give an analogous reason for why i have little regard for the moral standards of our PM. I heard him while on the stump in QC say something like: Now i shouldn't speak ill of someone who isn't here to defend himself; and then by golly he went ahead and did it anyway. Nothing worthy of a diatribe about, but still shimes a dim light on a less then pleasing aspect of our PM's character, don't you think?

        • Yes, the Cons will face the exact same problem when Harper is gone, as there is no question that the Con party is the Harper party. He was there when they merged, and he has been the primary shaper of what it is today. So, will the Cons keep looking for the next Harper? Or will the next leader, as Trudeau did, make the party his own? We shall see.

          About that stump speech, it seems to me that your mind was made up about Harper, and you heard something to reinforce your already made decision. I was no fan of Ignatieff, and so I just laughed it off when I heard him say at a stump speech that Harper was out to destroy democracy and the country that we all love. As Silver pointed out, there is only a small group of hyper-partisan Liberals who actually think this way.

          • Thx for the thoughtful reply. Concur on your first point. Cultism is an unfortunate part of our collective political bagage…it can be said the dippers have done the very same thing with Tommy; a wonderful man; the most morally consistent figure we've had in the federal arena in this country[ leaders anyway] But the myth does inhibit the NDP from growing politically. Which is ironic as Tommy wouldn't have wanted that.
            I'm an apostle of the theory of cognitive disssonance. So i wouldn't be at all surprised at my hearing what i wanted to in Harper's speech. But i reject your point. Contrary to what you may think [ i don't give a fig what you think of me anyway…we're not friends and we have no history…yet:)] i'm not a blind partisan. I have a pretty good nose for hypocrisy and falsity[?] I hear it often in MI, i hear it occasionally in Jack and i'm bowled over by it in our PM. Back to CD again…is'n't life a peach?

  8. What just happened?

    In a nutshell, your boys got an old school ass whipping.

    Now you can either learn from it, or do what you do best and whine and cry about it for the next four years.

    • Austin 3:16 says…

  9. What Happened !!!!! – says it all by asking the question – should not be a surprise folks I don't know how many times I posted that Jack and Stevie boy were going to slice and dice the Liberla party until nothing was left – although have to admit the getting rid of the BLOC at the same time competely threw me – BUT – the way Jack turned on Iggy at the debate with the promotion line was a sight to behold and the look in Iggy's eyes said it all – from that moment on the surge happened and persoanlly I don't see why anyone is surprised – Harper and Jack have plyed the game brilliantly and now ther eal fun starts – next stop clean House and get rid of the subsidy then 2 parties remain

    • I'm waiting to see a good analysis about the way that Ignatieff's choice of rhetoric led to his demise. In particular, the constant talking about how it was either going to be us, or them, and no one else has a chance rhetoric.

      • His rhetoric led to the Liberals demise. Why did he stay on? Why didn't see politics was not his thing? Why did the Liberal elders continue backing him up?

        That 'visiting' thing was a vicious attack campaign, but if someone is hit with a mortal wound, and it's too close to the truth, you have to recognize it and let them go.

        • Yeah there's lots of blame to go round in the liberal brain trust. I wonder if they'll except any of it or pass the buck? If the latter then the party is probably finished.

    • "the way Jack turned on Iggy at the debate " what imaginary debate is that ?
      Jack ripped into Harper mostly, but yes, when Iggy reared his head Jack also knocked him out.
      As far as Jack and Stevie ?, I don't think so. I doubt if Jack planned to be shutdown on everything that Hatper's dictatorship wants for the next 4 years.
      NDP got Quebec, the rest of Canada got the CON's. Quebec and NDP for the next 4 years can do nothing now. nut yep, it is a 2 party system now, but with only "1" literally holding all the cards.-for better or wrose.

  10. As someone who has no particular love for the Liberal Party as it exists now, I sincerely hope Silver's arguments (and those like his) win the day within the party. Our democracy is stronger when there is competition for votes and when voters aren't taken for granted; our democracy is stronger with a rebuilt Liberal Party with a real platform and principles. I might even vote for a properly rebuilt LPC, some day.

  11. I wouldn't join that party. It's hard to hate an automaton. They just sort of click along efficiently with their well-oiled gears and levers, and it's actually rather…impressive.

  12. "The comment board on this blog has basically been an anti-Harper/Harper-hating echo chamber for the last few years. Liberals, particularly the hard-core partisan ones, have indeed made the fundamental error of thinking that everybody else sees the world the way they do"

    Yes, there's some truth in that. But and many of the conservative commenters conveniently over look the possibility that some, indeed the most serious stuff is true[ don't believe me. Just visit the column of just about any decent PPundit in the land. Are they all wrong?]

    You keep on repeating that same old meme post after post. I almost think you believe the tripe. I've lived in AB for probably as long a you have. Please Stop repeating this self pitying tripe. I've never posted an anti AB rascist opinion on here. Go check my record and find one.

  13. "What just happened" ?:

    Well, mostly, the old people in Canada picked Conservative. simple as that. What did the older people see in Harper's anti-health/jobs/small business/…. , who knows ?
    And it appears that, mostly the youth, students/graduate students with enormous debts, and women with children picked the NDP, or the Liberals.
    Demographically, it was the "poorer" Canadian intellectuals that voted for the NDP, or Liberals, while the rest of Canada voted Conservative.
    And ya, that includes the ones that sleep with their 10-gallon-Turd cowboy hats on.
    So it's official, mostly Canada's older people thought of themselves for now, and for the next 4 years, instead of the future of their decendents.

    • Yes, because the sure sign that you deserve someone's vote is to tell them that they voted incorrectly or selfishly.

      I would suggest instead wondering how you can attract the vote of older people (and a 1/3 of the young people who vote Tory) instead of blaming them for destroying the country based on their voting choice. I have a hunch that it will work out better for you.

      • so how do I "attract" the vote of the "non-voters" then ?. In a 100% "free-voting" system as ours, and when almost half of the country still doesn't vote ??, I dunno, what can I say. That proves canadians don't trust the gov't period -et all.
        I guess I should respect their non-decision to non-vote ?
        read a bit between the lines, and you'll see that it's those 40% of Canadians that could've, should've vote, but they didn't.
        So, I have no tears, or joy for them at all ! Things might have truned out radically different had the non-voters got off their keesters, but they didn't. And therefore, we're stuck for 4 more more years with the older ppl's decision, and Harperism, so we''ll see.
        c'est la vive.

  14. sorry dude, but I guess "reality" can crush the best thought-out "metaphor's"
    Monopolistic-predatory business's/corporations can often times do much more harm to people, than good. Assimilate/synonymize that with certain Gov'ts', and you will have your "real" answer: namely " … if it isn't growing then its dead or dying, or was murdered"
    The Liberal party got what it "deserved" by the voters. But it sure as heck doesn't mean the Conservatives were the right choice -time will only tell on that one.

  15. "So what is the Liberal party doing to attract voters outside of Ontario? What are they doing to attract rednecks, evangelicals, employees of the oil sands industry, first nations, ethnic voters, small business, and all the other voting blocks of the conservatives? I can assure you that all of these blocks are open to competing bids…"

    I hope you just got carried away with your metaphor…cuz that's one serious set of faulty assumptions in and of itself. Which is funny since your theme is liberal asuumptions.

  16. Ponit taken. Although it doesn't automatically follow that the majority QC position is the right one to hold. Sadly life's much messier then that.