Liberal Party is not about who leads but where.

In discussing the leadership of the Liberal Party of Canada, it is easy to name contenders but the more complex question is to determine where the party and its leader want to go.  The one thing the recent biennial conference proved is that the party is searching for that direction.  Silly resolutions about the monarchy and marijuana are hardly the stuff of resolving direction.

The questions that the party needs to address will hardly be conceived at a policy convention.  Directions require slow and careful development.  These questions need to be tested, vetted and developed before being brought forward for party debate and decisions.  They are questions that will define the party for many years to come. They are questions that will cause Liberal Party members to re-evaluate their beliefs.  They are questions about the future of our country that Canadians have to consider.

The first need is to redefine liberalism for Canadians.  The ongoing myth within the party of “The Big Red Tent” is foolishness. It is defeatist. If liberalism represents the rights of the individual in our society, we have to believe in it.  If we believe in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, we have to stand firm against the collective chains of socialism and the stifling oppression of conservatism. We have to recognize that the ultimate freedom of the individual can only be achieved under the aegis of a liberal and social democratic type governance.

Canada’s New Democratic Party has no lock on the left nor does the union-dominated party have any right to claim social democratic status.  That was the positioning of the NDP in the 2011 election that enabled the party to win big in Quebec. It is a position that belongs to the Liberal Party of Canada and the true Quebec Liberals need to claim their right to the position.

The Liberal Party of Canada has to show its colors. It has to be proud of what it represents. It has to show what a truly liberal government can do for Canadians. It has to be a government that cares about national standards for Medicare and can expand Medicare services across Canada as Canadians can afford it. It has to have a national strategy to increase opportunities for education. It has to have rules that bring corporations, foreign-owned or domestic, to act as good corporate citizens. Employer or employee, there has to be equality under the law.

Liberalism is a cause that fights for the rights of the individual in our society. Could we ask for more than that?

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Copyright 2012 © Peter Lowry

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

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