(A non-satirical piece)
Welcome to Canada, where the conservatives make american liberals look like libertarians; the Liberals wear more red than the soviets, and the NDP are the living embodiment of a McCarthyian nightmare. That’s just the big three. Canada also has the green party, independents, the libertarians (who even admit its a “tough sell”), the marxist/leninists, and, of course, the marijuana party.
To look at the current state of politics, it seems only 3-4 of these parties really hold much power. Right now, the conservatives hold the most, followed by the NDP, the liberals, than Elizabeth May (the only member of the green party to win a seat.. also their leader). Why all the boring fact? They matter.
Out of these 4 major parties, 3 have a dedicated leader. Love them or hate them, at least we KNOW them. We can watch and judge their interactions, how they present themselves, how they move forward, what positions they take, and how they vote. Say what you will about Stephen Harper, his voting record, and principles speak for themselves. (I don’t agree with most of them, but hey, at least they are a known element)
The NDP ran under Jack Layton for 8 years. The entire nation got to know him, and love him. Has anyone but Elizabeth May ever run the green party?
Which leaves the odd duck out. The Liberals. Once considered the “natural” ruling party of canada, now relegated to angry outbursts, and impotent condemnation of the conservatives. Begging the question on everyones mind… “why?”
Why is an important question, with a very simple answer. Because the liberals have forgotten something. That something, is how canadians vote. Canadians don’t vote for strangers. The conservative attacks on Ignatieff worked because we didn’t know better. Very few people knew him before the election, and the rest had nothing but sound bites to base opinions on. Result: Worst loss in liberal history. The devil you know right?
The liberals can change this for next time at least. Pick a leader. Choose someone to represent you, to embody you, to campaign for you, and to truly show canadians what you stand for. Make is someone with a history… ok, a GOOD history (Bob Rae is the Mitt Romney of Canada, but without the money to buy love) and give Canadians what they want.
Take a lesson from the NDP, who tragically lost their leader, and find a new one. Let canadians rally behind someone they know. Not some stranger that cannot be defended on their history with the nation.
Give us someone to beat the drum loudly, to rouse us from slumber. Give us a fighter, and a man of principle… or just beg Chretien out of retirement. Canadian liberals deserve a leader. Instead of spending your money defending Bob Rae, spend it finding the next Chretien. Come on, there are only 35 liberals in parliament… make the rest find the next incantation of Trudeau. Maybe the Dali Lama would help if we can convince him its a humanitarian mission?
…. Or at least tell Canadians why you wont pick a leader.