CalgaryGrit on the new, more compact Liberal caucus:
“The one bright spot in this is that it will be a small, but impressive, Liberal caucus. Dion, Rae, Ignatieff, Kennedy, Dryden, Hall Findlay, Goodale, Dosanjh, Trudeau, Garneau, LeBlanc, Dhalla, Holland…I could name a dozen more quality MPs easily.”
It is easy to quibble with any of the names Dan mentions, but take the broad point. These people are grownups.
Is it too much to ask, then, that they act like grownups in the next Parliament?
I’m not talking about decorum. Tempers will rise and insults will fly. But on the long list of complete Liberal failures in the last Parliament was an inability to take the long view; to look past tonight’s national newscasts and the apparently overwhelming need to get a clip of a barking MP onto them; to remember last week’s story and keep reminding Canadians of it; to build a narrative, using the simple crafts of storytelling, about the government they faced and the government they wanted to become; to use supportas strategically as contention; to notice when one day was different from others and use a variety of techniques to spread that message among Canadians; to develop a communications strategy more sophisticated than firing off six identical emails a day to the automatic-delete sections of 100 reporters’ emailboxes (“Minister X is letting Canadians down on xxxxx by his performance on file yyyyyy, said Official Opposition Whatsis Critic zzzzzz. ‘I see here in the Globe that frumf frumf frumf frummp,’ Mr. zzzzzz said….”).
Here is some gentle counsel for the next Liberal caucus, from a guy who watched the last Liberal caucus: if you discover you’re devoting 80% of your energy in Ottawa to Question Period, then soon enough you’ll look back at 2008 as a high point.