Sunday, January 3, 2010

Liberal Woes Are Self-Inflicted

Paul Wells has a new post up linking to Steve at Far and Wide and his blog posting criticising the Liberal war rooms slow response time and linking it to Ignatieff's poor polling numbers.

While I agree with Steve's assessment of poor responses from the Liberal war room, the fact is both Ignatieff and the Liberal Party have far deeper problems than just news scrums. Those problems started back when Jean Chretien was still PM and leader of the party. Throwing Adscam aside, which in my opinion still affects voters intentions towards the Liberals, the biggest problem the Liberals have is they are just plain old wishy-washy. And it just gets more exasperated with each new faux scandal or threat to bring down the government. Here's my take on some of the things killing the Liberals.

1. The Coalition. Canadians saw the coalition not as a democratic attempt at change in government, but as a sore loser mentality that they thought only they deserved to rule the country. Mark my words, come next election Iggy will need to take a stand either for or against a possible coalition, and if for Conservatives get their majority.

2. Drawing a line and then erasing it. The most glaring example of this was Iggy demanding EI reforms, including a country-wide standard for qualifying, and falure of the PM to do so would force an election. Iggy then accepted a blue ribbon panel. There are other examples of the party quickly backtracking on issues they claim to own.

3. Failure to learn from past mistakes. This began shortly after Dion became leader. Thumping his chest it was time for an election, than backtracking with his tail between his legs. Apparently Iggy was oblivious to all this, as his "your time is up Harper" line was probably the biggest single issue to precipitate the steep fall in polling numbers. Calling the HST the Harper Sales Tax and then voting to pass the legislation is also just plain stupid.

4. Arrogance. Many Liberals feel it is their god-given right to have power over the country. While they have done a better job hiding it lately, you still get blowhards like Hedy Fry and Ken Dryden opening their mouth from time to time to refresh voters memories.

5. This is the biggie. Lack of policy. Sorry guys, but whining you can't release any policies or platforms because mean old Stephen Harper might steal it or mislead Canadians on it is pathetically weak. Conservatives release policy and do so confident in what they stand for. Your refusal to release policy just doesn't sit well with the average Canadian. And don't be surprised next election when Iggy is featured in a Tory ad with his it's not my job to come up with ideas attitude during the onset of the recession.

6. This ties in with most of the points already mentioned. No attempt at articulating a position on a wide array of issues. An example is to this day I have no ideas if the Liberals were for or against the auto bailouts. Voters in southern Ontario might be asking during local debates next election.

7. Trying to play both sides of an argument to pander to a bigger base. Was there too much stimulus or not enough? Because depending on the day and the Liberal talking, we were told it was both.

Liberals need to accept the reality of today. They are a spent force politically. One look at leader approval ratings tells you all you need to know about both the PM and Ignatieff. We were told Liberal polling numbers would change once they got to know Dion, and they sure did. Same with Iggy. And rumors of Bob Rae becoming the next leader when Iggy leaves or gets the boot brings a smile to my face as I know that the unions who paid a hefty price during Rae's tenure as Ontario Premier haven't forgotten, and just as they got Miller and McGuinty elected, so too will they prevent Rae from ever winning an election.


Roy Eappen said...

Excellent post. The grits should probably hire you for advice.

Roy Eappen said...


paulsstuff said...

Would payment be in a brown envelope?

Marx-A-Million said...

What we need is for Bob Rae to unite the left. My main man of Marxism can do it! Looking for a Rae of Light...

Anonymous said...

Marx-A-Million, you're killing me. You're absolutely killing me. On your blog you have a poll question asking "should it be illegal for parents to charge their 30+ year old children rent?" and you only have one answer..."absolutely!"

Now, I wonder where you live :P

CanadianSense said...

Where else do your expect the Lib bloggers to live?

Jen said...

The liberals for no work at all want to take credit to/for canada's recovery. The very same liberal under Ignatieff who said "I have no intentions of wearing the recession on my shoulders"

Where else do your expect the Lib bloggers to live?

CS, in the NATIONAL MEDIA. This is there final resting place.

No matter what the liberals do, the ndp and the bloc are right behind them reminding them of the coalition agreement.

johndoe124 said...

I think the fact that the Liberals have no policies is a good thing. Policies usually mean only one thing to a Liberal: expansion of government. If they promised not to have any policies ever again I might just vote for them.

Anonymous said...

Funny, isn't it Paul that the braintrust of the LPOC can't see that their own ground-supporters are turning against them.

Add the nonsense of facebook and what we have is Bob Rae's dream come true of turning the federal Liberals into his coalition NDP!! It's what he's longed for.

Anonymous said...
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