Liberal Party of Canada President Alfred Apps is a brave guy. In his paper Building a Modern Liberal Party, he tries to define modern liberalism. He roots around in the muddy middle ground of politics attempting to assemble a representation of the big red tent of Liberalism.
When you consider that this is the party of Mitchell Sharp, Bill Graham and Paul Martin Jr. on the right as well as Herb Grey, Lloyd Axworthy and Paul Martin Sr. on the left, you can be excused for thinking the party covers a broad spectrum of ideologies. Today, this broad spectrum is the party’s weakness.
It is our opinion that Canadians are getting tired of the Liberal Party posturing in a fictional middle ground. We need to pick a path to the future.
Apps touches on where we should build on our strengths when he says, “We believe in the ‘servant state’.” There is an entire philosophy to be built around that statement. It is one that we need to believe in beyond anything else. And yet Apps is wrong when he says, “We are capitalists, not socialists.” To be an effective servant, you must be both.
To serve, to engage and to lead is a long road that liberals need to travel. It has little to do with modern technology and has much to do with our beliefs. Believe first. Earn the trust and then the mechanics are easy.
Alf needs to learn that there is no such thing as a “balanced middle road.” The question always has to be: Are we effectively serving the needs of our people?
Liberals are not the natural government of Canada. That is arrogant. You have to earn the right to be the government. Or you could learn how to lie and steal and cheat your way into government the way the Conservatives have learned to do it. If you can earn peoples’ trust, you could come up with programs people want to make life better. Or you could just run scurrilous attack ads against your opponent and not offer anything positive.
Alf admits that he does not understand the emotional rationale of how people vote. It is probably just as well that he is not likely to run for the party leadership in 2013.
Copyright 2011 © Peter Lowry
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