Where have you gone Mackenzie King? - Macleans.ca

Where have you gone Mackenzie King?


Susan Delacourt wonders if the Liberal party isn’t drawing its last breaths. Not unrelatedly, Stephen Clarkson plots the rise and fall of centrism and frets for it all.

Which political organization or organizations oppose this dangerous figure do not matter to most citizens, although the issue preoccupies militant New Democrats and loyal Liberals. What does matter is that the former centre, which now becomes the left alternative to Harper’s extremism, must regain power if a parliamentary civic culture is to be restored. Unless this restoration happens soon, it is hard to believe that it can be done without adding 21st-century, global wings to energize and internationalize what has become the country’s social-market alternative.

For the sake of argument, here are the popular vote share changes in the six applicable elections this year.

New Democrats +12.5
Conservatives +2.0
Liberals -7.4

Conservatives +6.0
New Democrats -2.0
Liberals -4.6

New Democrats +6.0
Conservatives +3.8
Liberals -4.6

New Democrats +1.2
Conservatives -1.2
Liberals -1.5

New Democrats +16.1
Liberals -2.6
Conservatives -13.5

New Democrats +9.0
Conservatives -0.1
Liberals -9.5


Where have you gone Mackenzie King?

  1. By the end of 1984 the Liberals were not in power federally or in any of the provinces.

  2. The Clarkson article was excellent.  Thank you for posting it. I would have missed it otherwise, and it’s important.

    Between the Religious Right and the Luddite Left….yes, we need a party of the centre.

    The ‘Radical Centre’….not just one that tacks between the 2 extremes and comes up with compromises, but a party that can handle globalization and high tech and the many changes occurring in the world…. and make them work for Canada.

    • Thank you so much, Emily.  “Radical Centre” sums up nicely the discontent I’ve been feeling and unable to express.  Yes, I want to be part of the Radical Centre.  I think I’ll put that on my protest sign!

  3. Er, there is nothing except centre. Everyone seems to be moving toward it.
    Or at least pretending so.

  4. “The sad spectacle of interwar Europe showed many totalitarian movements exploiting constitutional electoral processes and using populist rhetoric to take power and wreck their societies. The danger that Stephen Harper poses is not that he has polarized Canada’s politics, which have been divided between left and right before. Things really are different because he threatens the country’s constitutional heritage.”

    Srsly? Other than shockingly high rate of hate crimes against Jews, how is Canada like fascist Europe of ’30s?  Clarkson is just another left wing paranoid numpty. 

    National Review ~ Are Conservatives Nuts? 

    Ever since Theodor Adorno came out with his scandalously flawed Authoritarian Personality in 1950, liberal and leftist social scientists have been trying to diagnose conservatism as a psychological defect or sickness. 

    Adorno and his colleagues argued that conservatism was little more than a “pre-fascist” “personality type.” According to this school, sympathy for communism was an indication of openness and healthy idealism. Opposition to communism was a symptom of your more deep-seated pathologies and fascist tendencies. 

    According to Adorno, subjects who saw Nazism and Stalinism as similar phenomena were demonstrating their “idiocy” and “irrationality.” Psychological counseling, many argued, could cure these maladies. 

    In 2003, another Berkeley study, led by John T. Jost, reviewed four decades of research of conservatism and found that conservatives tended to be fear-driven dogmatists, terrified by ambiguity. The study linked Ronald Reagan, Rush Limbaugh, Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini. The findings were hardly surprising since they basically recapped the branch of “scholarship” launched by Adorno