Oscar Wilde published The Importance of Being Earnest in 1895. It was a farce for its time. The importance of being a liberal is something of a farce for our time. What annoys me the most is that I have no proof of being a liberal today other than the constant e-mails the party sends me asking for money. Back when I was more active in the party, during the last half of the 20th century, we had more purpose.
I have come to the conclusion after watching Justin Trudeau in party functions that he really does not like the party. It is quite obvious that our party leader is an elitist. Which is fine with me. I am still a liberal. The only time I have ever respected Justin was when he was trying to bring the country through the pandemic with his television appearances in front of Rideau Cottage. Our country was desperate for clear leadership at the time and he did provide some.
But when he denied and belittled the many years of party experience in the Senate and denied the liberals their label of honour from the party. It was as though he was getting even for the party’s demands on his father’s time when he was a child living at 24 Sussex Drive.
What Justin does not understand while his father did was that the party chooses the leader. The party is responsible for the training and having organized canvassers ready for the ground game when elections are called. The party is supposed to have a say in the party’s policy direction and in basic platforms. And the leader pisses on the party at his peril.
I don’t even think of Justin as a liberal. The dictionary definition of a liberal is not all that helpful. There will always be the dichotomy between the right and the left in the party. There are the progressives and there are those who drag their feet. Where we all come together is on individual rights. This is what we all fight for. At the same time, there was nothing wrong with being progressive. Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau used to joke with me that we were both charter members of the ‘Get Off Your Ass’ (GOYA) group within the party.
Copyright 2023 © Peter Lowry
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