Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Loyalty

Jason Cherniak has started a bit of a sh*tstorm with this post. Now, I have a lot of time for Cherniak. I think he has made and continues to make an enormous contribution to the success of the Liberal Party. However, I have two major issues with his post. First, I blog as a Canadian. I blog as a Torontonian. I very rarely blog as a Liberal. Yes, I am a card carrying member of both the Liberal Party of Canada and the Ontario Liberal Party. Yes, this blog appears on the Liblogs blog roll. However, this blog is about my opinion, not the party line. I make an attempt, when I blog, to contribute to the debate on issues of import to the country. If you want to know what the party line is on a given issue, there is a link on the sidebar to LPC, check it out. The Liberal Party doesn't pay me to blog. I owe them nothing. Second, even when I do blog as a Liberal, I still think it appropriate to criticize the party line when I disagree. The Liberal Party is most effective when it is a big tent. The Liberal Party at its best is not bound by ideology (like the NDP) or rigidly controlled from the leader's office (like the Conservatives). We are a party that actively debates the issues and from that active debate decides upon the best course of action. If we cease to engage in debate, we lose something that is central to our party. I don't think we can criticize Harper for being controlling and not allowing dissent unless we encourage debate in our own party. I will work hard to ensure the Liberals win the next election. My loyalty, however, will always be to myself and to my country.

Now, as for the question of whether or not these internal debates weaken our image in the eyes of the media and the general public, I cannot be sure. I don't believe the media get their view of a fractured Liberal Party from the blogosphere. I think it comes from stuff like the nonsense that was alleged to have happened during the Outremont by-election. I think it comes from certain high officials criticizing the leader in general instead of on a certain decision. I think Stephane Dion is criticized for his inaction not because other Liberals want to go, but because he himself seems to want to go. It is inconsistent for a leader to decry the actions of a government as being harmful to the future of the country and assert, as he and Bob Rae did on Hamilton on the weekend, that he alone has the power to control the timing of the next election, and then not bring down the government. If the government is destroying our country, then we need an election. If M. Dion doesn't want an election, fine. Then let's work with the Tories on the budget to try to find some middle ground. Let's drop the fire and brimstone rhetoric. If this government is terrible, M. Dion should be able as the leader of the Liberal Party of Canada to convince the Canadian people of this fact and win an election. If the government is bad but workable, let's make it work. M. Dion could demonstrate leadership by working for a better compromise. He has shown that he is capable of this. He did it on Afghanistan. The Tory attacks are only effective if Dion is not demonstrating leadership. Abstaining on everything is not demonstrating leadership.

4 comments:

Jacked said...

Its posts like your's that do more to divide us than anything else. We should be standing behind Dion in times that are bad as well as good, and not trying to throw him under the bus. Party loyalty is everything. If we don't have that, then maybe some Liberals should just join the NDP or something!

Anonymous said...

Excuse me sir or madam, the post was fine, and was called for. The party needs a shaking, and honestly, I care little for Ignatieff and Rae, I think they will do 5 fold the damage Dion is doing. On a personal level, I really like Dion.......but he is not Liberal leader material. When the party gets pounded the next election, only then will we see a refreshed party. I blame Gerard Kennedy for this, and the elitists in the party who wont give the grassroots a voice.

Thanks for this post, it was refreshing.

Cherniak_WTF said...

his blog is about my opinion, not the party line
Well said.

Okhropir rumiani said...

Truly, the Liberals have begun their "Stockwell" days.

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