Friday, October 14, 2011

The LPC discussion. . . . .

In recent days a lot of people in the media have been discussing the supposed immanent demise of the LPC. Some people are predicting the end of the Party while many Liberals, predictably, are telling the pundits that a great new Liberal future is ahead. Such political predictions are, of course, notoriously difficult even for the most experienced political observers. Political fortunes can, after all, change radically in no time at all, and what seemed imposible yesterday seems like conventional wisdom today.

I don't really want to weigh in on these predictions because I think the political landscape, despite what was actually a slim majority for the Tory government, is in a state of flux. Not only could economic conditions force change on many governments, but it really seems like people are waking to the fact that Western electorates have been sold a whole series of lies about how modern capitalism is working or is supposed to work.

However, I will say this about the recent discussion over the future of the Liberal Party. Everywhere I look, with few exceptions, Liberal themselves don't seem to recognize that their party has to change a great deal. Many Liberals continue to act as though they just have a 'natural' right to govern and they just have to wait and people will come flocking back to the Party eventually. But it seems to me that the Liberal Party of Canada has really lost its core support because its core support consisted largely of people who wanted to see a genuine social democracy in which all citizens were stakeholders and there was a real social safety net for all citizens. But though the Liberals continued to attempt to endorse traditionally Liberal ideas like universal childcare, for example, on the economic front they became a party that bought the neo-conservative ideas about corporate tax cuts and corporate power. Traditionally the LPC attracted great portions of each new generation because young people saw that social democracy and capitalism with a human face was what the party stood for. But we now live in an "occupy Wall Street" generation; a generation in which an increasing number of people not only feel that the power in society is lopsided but that it is time for a real change. The Liberal Party establishment just doesn't seem to understand this at all, they continue to be a party of corporate tax cuts and corporate power, and as such I just don't see how they come back. Luckily in Canada we have a party that stands, at least to some degree, against the out of control corporate ideology of the Liberal and Conservative Parties. In the US voters have no such advantage and so they are just giving up in droves, and that is a recipe for revolution.

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