‘The Middle Cannot Hold.’

In his American Empire Series of alternative histories, American author Harry Turtledove used the title, The Middle Cannot Hold. It also serves as a title for a discussion of the Liberal Party of Canada and why it cannot continue as a pseudo centrist political party.  The simple reason is that there is no middle.  The only clear direction for the Liberal Party is to the left of centre.

And left of centre is very comfortable ground for real liberals.  It is the only ground for people who believe in the rights of the individual in our society.  The Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the legacy Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau left to Canadians, is the essence of that liberalism.

Individual rights have always been the keystone of liberalism.  And the status quo is anathema.  Humans are on this earth in a window of time.  No person can forecast the length of that window or the opportunities that will be offered.  Only liberalism offers the visitor the unfettered opportunity to experience and to achieve

The defence of individual rights by the Liberal Party is what has attracted millions of Canadians to the liberal banner for more than 100 years.  It is why women in our society know their rights are always protected by liberalism.  The party is a party respected by minorities because it protects individual rights.

Liberalism is in contrast to other parties.  On the right is conservatism which is based on the past.  In preserving the past and the status quo, conservatism resists change or reform and puts property and privilege ahead of individual rights.  Further to the left of liberalism are the socialist parties who see humans as collectives.  It is within these collectives, they seek strength with numbers.

Today, liberals must take back their party.  A renewed liberalism must come from the party roots.  Electoral districts must show the way.  A new leader must be chosen by the party, to serve at the pleasure of the party.  The party executive must be chosen to serve the party.  The policy of the party must be determined and articulated by the party members.  Party candidates must be chosen by each electoral district.  Nobody outside the electoral district has the right to determine that district’s candidate.

To deny this basic right is to deny liberalism.  Nobody can lead a democratic party unless they support and encourage democracy within the party.  That must be the basic qualification for any potential leader of the Liberal Party of Canada.

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Copyright 2011 © Peter Lowry

Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be sent to  peter@lowry.me

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