Walking around like regular people…They only see what they want to see. They don’t know they’re dead.
As much of an anachronism as the Communist Party of Canada. Just as relevant. Not quite as classy.
Canadians have changed. Our dominant values are the same as they always were. But faced with the ideological challenge of a doctrinaire right-wing party that is now set to rule the roost until 2015, citizens wanted counter-positions, not waffle; clarity, not bafflegab; concrete proposals for change, not the abstract, interchangeable, slippery phrases of which Liberal discourse is invariably composed.
While standing for everything but nothing in particular, you propped up the Conservatives ever since they came to power, vote after vote after vote in the House of Commons. You had the option of joining with the NDP to put paid to the repressive government of Stephen Harper, but chose to let the government survive. Effectively you have governed in coalition with the Conservatives since their election in 2006.
You supported free trade with genocidal Colombia, and mocked human rights representatives appearing before a Parliamentary committee. Your uncritical support for Israel has been the same as Harper’s. You have denounced Canadian supporters of social justice for Palestinians as “anti-Semitic.”
You wanted expensive new jets as badly as the Conservatives.
You swung both ways on the export of asbestos to the Third World. You supported the Afghanistan adventure, and connived at hiding Afghan detainee documents for a year, even after Parliament won an historic ruling on Parliamentary privilege from the Speaker of the House of Commons.
Domestically, you helped the Conservatives destroy pay equity in the public service. You supported mandatory minimum prison sentences. You sabotaged a bill that would have forced Canadian mining companies to act ethically abroad. You supported the development of the tar sands.
You joined with the Cons to sneak Bill C-17 through the Commons—an “anti-terrorism” measure replete with arbitrary detention and self-incrimination provisions. You refused to forthrightly denounce the massive and unprecedented police violence at the Toronto G-20: indeed, the Liberal premier of Ontario defended it.
You’ve opposed Harper on the small stuff, but always collaborated on the fundamentals.
Is there a difference? I can’t see a difference.
Liberals have had a long and inglorious tradition of faking left and veering right. Your former leader Pierre Elliot Trudeau campaigned and won an election by opposing wage and price controls, while he had a plan for implementing them in his back pocket. He and his successor, the thuggish Jean Chrétien, concentrated ever more power in the PMO, paving the way for Stephen Harper’s one-man rule.
Canadians are sick of this sort of thing. They want clarity. They want real choice. They have rejected all-things-to-all-people politicians.
They have rejected you.