The centrist conundrum - Macleans.ca

The centrist conundrum

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Mike Crowley considers the past and future of the Liberal party.

Take the first two attributes: centrist and moderate. By definition both of these mean that the Liberal party is really defining itself by positioning itself relative to policies advocated by others and is, therefore, reactive. To be centrist or moderate, some other party must first define what is left and right. This is hardly the basis for bold, visionary leadership. As far as “progressive” goes, it is one of the most broadly used and ill-defined political terms. Many provinces have Progressive Conservative parties advocating right of centre of policies, whereas the Progressive party of the 1920s and 1930s promoted free trade but was also aligned with some socialist ideology. The least that can be said is it is very difficult to be both reactive, at the core of the centrist and moderate monikers, and progressive at the same time.