In the next year, the Liberal Party of Canada will choose a new leader. Who the leader will be is not the question at this stage. First we need a direction. The Liberal Party has had no direction for the past quarter century and look at the mess the country is in.
Not since the mercurial days of Pierre Trudeau has Canada had a clear direction. From then we have foundered. The Mulroney Conservatives tossed the dice on our future until frustrated voters threw them out in 1993. The Chrétien years were conflicted with the schizophrenic agendas of Chrétien’s left-wing cabinet members and the right wing around his Finance Minister Paul Martin. On his own, the voters soon rejected Martin’s brand of conservatism. It still took six years for the combined Western Reform and Eastern Conservatives to finally wrest a majority government from a less than determined Canadian electorate.
But now we know where the right wing will take us, it is time for a liberal-social democratic union of the left. This is the politics that Canada needs.
Canada needs a political stance that maintains the rights of the individual in society. It is a right to earn and to learn. It is a society of full employment—each individual able to fulfill to their capabilities. In this society, unions must become the trainers and provide services for their guilds. It needs to be a society where invention, innovation and ideas are continually addressing the human condition and opportunities.
It is a Canada that welcomes its role in the world as an honest broker, a conciliator, a peace keeper, a caring nation. To be less than that ideal is a betrayal of our armed forces, our heritage, our sacrifices and our history.
For most of us, our ancestors came to this land for freedom and opportunity. Canadians worked this land, they shared its bounty. They harvested the furs of the wild, they dug for minerals, they farmed the forests, they fished the waters and they tilled the soil. The land has given much. We are indebted to it.
As liberal-social democrats, we must firmly reject the cold heartlessness of the right. Government must be as large as required to do the tasks we set for it. Taxes must be as high as to pay for the tasks we set. We need to ignore the mantras of the right. Individual rights must always be put ahead of property rights. People’s rights come before those of business. And when the people of this and other lands have banished poverty and ignorance, hunger and squalor, fear and danger, war and pestilence; then we will have earned our rest.
Copyright 2012 © Peter Lowry
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