What happened to the Liberal party? - Macleans.ca

What happened to the Liberal party?

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In a speech to a Liberal riding association in Halifax, Stephane Dion considers the history and future of the Liberal party.

In 2008, as Liberal Leader, I did talk about the economy.  I truly believed that the main focus of my campaign was the economy.  The Green Shift’s subtitle was: “Building a Canadian Economy for the 21st Century.”  But because I was promoting sustainable economy, which I strongly believe must be the economy of the 21st century, I was perceived as a one-issue candidate, exclusively preoccupied by the environment.  I failed to convince Canadians of the link that exists between economy and environment.  And we paid the price.

In 2011, I am sure Mr. Ignatieff talked about the economy in his speeches.  But the voters did not hear him, and neither did the Liberal candidates who were so busy campaigning in their ridings.  Most of our communications plan was about helping families: housing, daycare, home renovations, family caregivers, tuition fees, etc.  In the midst of global economic turmoil, we appeared to abandon the themes of employment and economic security to Stephen Harper’s Conservatives.  It seemed that we were trying too much to look like the NDP.  Unfortunately, the natural NDP voters chose the original over the copy and many Liberal supporters who were worried about the economy went over to the Conservatives.