The late lamented Liberals.

When discussing the sorry state of the Liberal Party of Canada the other day, we never did mention the provincial Liberals. It is actually an interesting subject. Would you believe I am old enough to have met the last surviving Father of Confederation?

Okay, that is a joke, but Joey Smallwood loved that introduction. My favourite Newfie was always the late Don Jamieson. He might have resisted Newfoundland and Labrador coming into Confederation but once there, he did an outstanding job in Pierre Trudeau’s cabinets and finally as High Commissioner to London.

The four Atlantic Provinces are the core of progressive liberalism in Canada. They just need more leaders such as Don Jamieson, Alex Campbell, Bob Winters and Louis Robichaud to bring that progressivism further west.

The Rouge of Quebec are not the progressives Quebec voters keep expecting. The Quebec Liberals are a closed-shop, top-down oligarchy who are oddly out of step with the left of centre voters who have few alternatives. It is a situation very much in need of democratization.

And the same applies to Ontario. I could name names here but I would not want some of those people to know how powerful they really are. Toronto’s Bay Street lawyers wield a heavy stick over Queen’s Park. At least Dalton McGuinty knew when to quit. Premier Kathleen Wynne does not have the political smarts or sensitivity. She should have resigned over the summer. Her only saviours are the hopeless leadership of the opponents.

At one time the core of progressive liberalism in Canada, Toronto Liberals have been frustrated, put down and bypassed. They have been fed baby spoon-sized portions of reform over long periods. Freeing up liquor distribution, pension improvement and minimum wage boosts are just samples of the achingly slow steps in reform. Instead of real action, you get lullabies.

I think there is a Liberal Party in Manitoba, I have just never seen it in action.

There is no Liberal Party in Saskatchewan. They joined the Conservatives in the Saskatchewan Party and everyone lived happily?

I have more respect for the Alberta Liberals. They do exist and they have made their presence felt.

We know about the B.C. Liberals but they are not the most progressive people we have ever met. That last bunch of Liberals in the legislature had us wondering how far to the right liberalism could go?

Summing it up, we can only say that liberalism has fallen on hard times. It needs a healthy infusion of young people, new ideas and energy. The winners can be the people.

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Copyright 2017 © Peter Lowry

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