Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Democracy Delayed is Democracy Denied

The executive of the Liberal Party of Canada has learned nothing from the crushing electoral defeat endured by the party on May 2nd. They haven't learned that the leader of a political party should be chosen by the membership of the party without any interference from the executive. The executive in 2008 appointed Michael Ignatieff leader of the party so they could prevent those stupid and pesky party members from choosing someone else again like they did in 2006. Now, they seek again to delay the election of the next leadership so that the membership doesn't make another mistake. A reminder: repeating the 2006 mistake would more than double the size of the Liberal caucus. The executive should let the leadership run its prescribed constitutional course there is no reason for delay.

Let me be very clear on this matter. I do not support Bob Rae. I will not support Bob Rae. I think Bob Rae is most likely to lead the party into a disastrous merger with the NDP or into political oblivion. That doesn't mean we should try to flip the chess board when it looks like he might be winning. Liberals need to have an open discussion this summer about who they want to lead their party. At the end of that discussion, we can only hope that Bob Rae isn't the answer. It is up to people who don't support Bob Rae to make that case. To make the case that their are better alternatives, whomever they may be.

The next Liberal leader has a lot of work to do. The party is in shambles. The grassroots are torches and sown with salt. There is a huge enthusiasm gap. These problems will not take weeks or months to fix. They will take years. Luckily, we have years. About 4 and a half years to figure out how to rebuild this great Canadian institution. Let's get a leader prepared to get down to work, not getting ready to collect old age security and let's get her or him elected as soon as possible. While the NDP and Tories fight each other in the commons and on the airwaves we can begin the task of rebuilding the big red machine. One cog at a time.


CuriosityCat said...

There is no guarantee that we have 4 years. If Harper sees polling that shows an increased majority for his party, and if the NDP hits snags over revived separatism in Quebec (perhaps with the election of the separatist provincial party there to replace the Charest government), then Harper could wait for the new permanent Leader to be elected and call a snap election before that Leader has had a chance to do anything.

And that would mean the obliteration of the new Liberal Leader and a further 4 plus years of Tory majority.

Never underestimate the Tory perpetual campaign mode: timing of elections is a critical part of campaigning!

Aaron Ginsberg said...

Yes, and the earth could be struck by a meteor tomorrow. Highly unlikely though. Why would Harper risk his majority for the sake of a couple more years? The people are also less comfortable with snap elections in majority scenarios... especially when there's supposed to be a fixed election date law on the books.

All views expressed in this blog are those of the author and the author alone. They do not represent the views of any organization, regardless of the author's involvement in any organizations.

All comments are the views of the individual writer. The administrator reserves the right to remove commentary which is offensive.

The author is not responsible for nor does he support any of the advertisements displayed on the page