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Unite the left

Hate to poke fun…

….and I’m not, really… but this cartoon does say it all about the state of the Grits right now.

The big question for Liberals over the next little while is “what next?”. How can they extricate themselves from this mess that is largely their doing? How can they broaden their base and regain the confidence of Canadians while dealing with life as the third-party and the financial implications that this new state of being brings.

Do they elect a new leader as soon as possible or appoint an interim leader while a permanent leader rises to the surface over the next couple of years?

No easy answers there… and I sure as hell don’t have the solution. But I will say this: they had better get back on their bike double-quick… else, it will be too late for the next election. An election that many of us would like to be an active part of – as Liberals – or as part of a broader movement with like-minded progressive people.


2009 Federal Budget

The neocons have done the impossible and have managed to largely exclude their normal partisanship and opportunism from this budget.

What does this tell me:

  • Harper is under extreme pressure form the caucus and the party executives to tone it down a little since the ramrod approach clearly isn’t working with the vast majority of Canadians.
  • They accept that their government is a minority and any budget items that would have pushed the limits of their situation would not be accepted by the House. In other words, they are trying to at least give the semblance of governing like a minority government.
  • They are a bit scared about the outcome of another general election should the Grits push them that far.

What should Iggy do?

  • Pump out his chest and say that dang-nab-it, we cannot support this thing in its current form but here are a few minor amendments that would make it more palatable… then, yeah, we’ll grudgingly support it.
  • Build up the profile of his party and himself over the next 16-18 months. This will buy some time to sell the Liberals as a real alternative to the neocons and will also buy some time to build up the Grit treasury.

This budget should pass. The coalition idea, although appealing on many fronts does not have broad base support and, while it would stand for the short term, would harm the Grits for many years to come in the long term.

Plus, the country really does not need another election right now.

Do the right thing Iggy. It really ain’t so bad. And this is one long-time Grit who will support you on it.

In other news… talks broke down between the City and the ATU… yet again.



Gotta love youtube – so long Steve


Bye-bye National Portrait Gallery

And the CPC continues its battle against anything that smells like it has been visiting the “left” side of the tracks…
The latest victim? The National Portrait Gallery is nuked.


How Canada’s divided left can get it right

Here’s an insightful article by G&M columnist Rod Love on uniting the left in Canada.

The vital question is – who will blink first? Who will be the first party leader (or leadership candidate, as the case may be) to seriously broach the need for a merger?

That person will have my unrelenting respect.


Uniting the Left – a prospect that the neocons truly fear

Jonathan Kay writes for the ReformCons version of Pravda and is generally a pretty good analyst – albeit from the right-leaning side of the spectrum. I have found his columns to be informative and well-written and they often reveal what may be going on in the marbalised minds of the neocon elite.

Take this article for example. He puts forth the premise that, as evidenced by the election results where a large majority of Canadians voted for a vision other than that espoused by the Conservatives, the left would do well to form a new amalgamated party of the Left. Just like the ReformCons did a few years back.

He says:

About two-thirds of Canadians voted for this vision on Tuesday. Canadian conservatives, who long complained under the Liberals that a left-wing government was betraying the country’s true character, must now face an unsettling truth: Our government now skews right compared to the Canadian political centre. Only thanks to vote splitting does Mr. Harper remain this country’s Prime Minister.

Which invites the question: Why doesn’t the left get rid of a few parties, so they can make their nightmarish nanny state a reality?

Well put Jon. You state the obvious. Good ol’ democracy does not quite work the way it should in the first-past-the-post system. We will be governed for the next couple of years (at least) by a party that does not represent the interests of the vast majority of the electorate.

As with the unite-the-right movement, the obstacles are essentially cultural. Bloc folk would bristle at integrating into a project run by federalists. The NDP would resent surrendering its dedicated union support base into a larger left-wing consortium that includes a lot of Bay Street lawyers and money men. Ditto the Liberals and their various ethno-political fiefdoms.
Moreover, what would the new party be called? It can’t simply be The Liberal Party — the junior partners would insist on that as a matter of pride and principle. Instead, we’d get something like The New Liberal Democratic Coalition (or some such), thereby erasing (or at least diluting) the Grits’ powerful brand.

Absolutely. The obstacles are many and lots of egos would have to be parked at the door.

But let me put it to you this way: if the neocon press is starting to openly fret about the prospect of a united Left, then should we of the Left give this some serious thought?

As for a name – how about the Liberal Democrat Environmental Party?


Good points made by east coast writer

I’m a bit biased since the author is one of my oldest friends. But Michael has always been insightful and this skill is once again at the forefront in this piece that he recently penned for The Telegram.


Without a concerted approach… we be doomed

Quick post.

I’m going to comment in detail about the results of the 14th a little later… have lots to say.

But one realisation that has bashed me full on in the noggin has been that we of the left of the spectrum are screwed unless we combine our efforts.  We Grits, Dippers and Greens have to unite in a common cause on a common front. There is not an alternative. Seriously.

For what it’s worth, I set up a Facebook group :

More importantly, I want to start a dialogue between like minded minds over the next little while.

We have to quickly and honestly confront some tough questions.


The Liberal Convention

I was going to write about the speeches the other night, but have decided against it.
Old news now.
But for the record, I thought that GK blew everyone else outta the water.
But that’s old news.
Now the question is: can Dion beat Harper?
I don’t think so – but I am open to surprises.
More on this in the coming weeks and months.