A road to nowhere for Canada’s Liberal Party.

Having always been a fan of former MP and now Senator George Baker, you have to admit that he gave a spirited presentation on Tom Clark’s West Block show this past Sunday on Global Television. The only concern was when he used that enthusiasm of his to promote the Liberal Party as a middle of the road party. What George fails to realize is that the middle of the road is a road to nowhere.

Saying that the Liberal Party of Canada is a middle of the road party or to say it is neither right-wing nor left is a copout. People who most often say that are right-wing party members who are afraid of where a left-wing Liberal Party would want to go. They think a left-right dichotomy within the party will keep it honest while those who know the voters feel that it is a way to keep the party from doing what needs to be done.

These right-wing Liberals learned nothing when John Turner was so easily defeated by Brian Mulroney. The right wing cheered Jean Chrétien when he put right-wingers like Paul Martin and John Manley in key positions and failed to understand why the voters were never that interested in the Liberal Party under Paul Martin’s leadership. Canadians are some of the best educated and sophisticated voters in the world and if you have two right wingers such as Harper and Martin running, they say, why not go with the real one?

But with the numbers of minority governments in the process of getting Stephen Harper a majority, you would think the Liberal Party would get a clue about what the voters want. They are obviously not all that enamoured with Harper but what choice were we giving them? Quebec never did buy Harper and had suffered the Bloc long enough. It took the left-wing populist approach of Jack Layton with his colloquial French to convince Quebec to elect a majority of New Democrats they did not even know.

Nobody really believes that the developing leadership contest is a last chance for the Liberal Party. If it makes a mistake as bad as the Michal Ignatieff goof this time, the party will be sent to the showers for many elections to come. There were times in the last federal election that we got the impression that Michael was running on his good looks! He was certainly not leading anyone anywhere. He let those scurrilous smears by Harper stick to him and he never knew how to respond.

The road to the left is the only open road for the Liberal Party. The NDP can come on over any time they wish. Thomas Mulcair is also welcome but the social democrat branding belongs to the Liberal Party. It can be a very successful party. It has a very big job ahead of it—serving Canadian needs.

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Copyright 2012 © Peter Lowry

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