Author Topic: A Liberal Party of Canada Split?  (Read 2589 times)

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Offline E.R. Campbell

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A Liberal Party of Canada Split?
« on: January 13, 2009, 11:13:53 »
Here, reproduced under the Fair Dealing provisions (§29) of the Copyright Act from the National Post web site, is a recent article on the shift to Ingantieff and the problems it poses for some Liberals:
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http://network.nationalpost.com/np/blogs/fullcomment/archive/2009/01/09/steve-janke-ignatieff-shift-puts-pressure-on-liberal-left.aspx

Steve Janke:
Ignatieff shift puts pressure on Liberal left


Posted: January 09, 2009, 10:00 AM
 
Stephane Dion was as left of centre as they come when it comes to Liberal Party leaders.  Indeed, his left-tilt was a matter of concern within certain circles, and it manifested itself as a constant stream of leaks from "unnamed sources" and "senior Liberals" that undermined his leadership.

Yet he managed to cling to his job (help in no small part by the fact that there was no constitutionally legal way for the party to get rid of him) right through an election.  To give him credit, the party by and large followed his lead.  You never got the sense he inspired Liberals, though, and even in the election, he had to deal with a steady trickle of candidates who contradicted the party message (usually on the issue of the Green Shift carbon tax).

His defeat wasn't the end, as many expected. The coalition emerged, and Dion sought to link the Liberals with the NDP, a further move to the left. Liberals stuck with him again, keeping their doubts under wraps in hopes of a miraculous return to power. Until Dion flubbed it again, and this time he was finished.  Michael Ignatieff was installed as leader, and Liberal rank-and-file will have a chance to dutifully endorse him in May.

The point is that for two years, the Liberal Party has been moving to the left.  Michael Ignatieff is having none of that.  On the economy, he wants tax cuts:

Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff says if he was prime minister, he would look at giving low-and middle-income Canadians tax cuts to try to jump-start the economy.

Asked at a meeting Thursday with business leaders what an Ignatieff government would do in its first 100 days in power, the Liberal leader said the tax cuts would be put in the hands of people who can make a difference with their spending.

"We may be looking at tax cuts very quickly, targeted at medium-and low-income Canadians, to boost their purchasing power," he said, seated on the stage of the Neptune Theatre in downtown Halifax, where he began a national tour of meetings on the economy.


On the Middle East, he's coming down squarely in Israel's corner:

Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff says Israel is justified in taking military action to defend itself against attacks by Hamas from the Gaza Strip.

"Canada has to support the right of a democratic country to defend itself," he told reporters in Halifax on Thursday after speaking to a forum of business leaders on the economy.

"Israel has been attacked from Gaza, not just last year, but for almost 10 years. They evacuated from Gaza so there is no occupation in Gaza."


Ignatieff has already tossed the Green Shift aside, paying lip service (so far) to the environment but otherwise making it clear it is not the defining theme of his leadership.  No doubt Elizabeth May is not happy.

Nor is NDP leader Jack Layton, who can have no doubt now that the coalition is finished.

But I'm more interested in the internal stresses building up in the Liberal Party.  Under Dion, the left wing was ascendant.  Left-wing Liberals must have thought it was only a matter of time before they owned the party.

So much for that, eh?

Are these Liberals going to allow themselves to be marginalized quietly?  I don't think so, and mostly because of that coalition.  These Liberals came so close, and now Ignatieff is throwing it all away talking like, well, a Conservative.  Ignatieff has been in power for barely a month.  Bob Rae is still in the wings.  And Rae was committed to the coalition.

If Rae was leader, he'd be saying that the Liberal Party, like the NDP, would vote down the upcoming budget, no matter what.

So these Liberals (formerly Dion Liberals, now Rae Liberals) are going to be vocal.  They can have power ...now.  They can have high taxes...now.  They can implement draconian environmental measures...now.  That can massively increase spending on social programs...now.  They can support terrorist organizations that are sufficiently anti-American...now.

Why wait?  Indeed, why wait for May?

How is Michael Ignatieff going to marginalize these Liberals?  And if he tries to, can the party contain the pressure that builds up until one side or the other emerges victorious, or will the party explode before that happens?

National Post

Read more from Steve Janke at Angry in the Great White North

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If some Conservative insiders are correct and Harper’s aim is to destroy the Liberal Party of Canada as a major, national institution – leaving the Conservatives as the National Party of the Right and Centre and the NDP as the main (nearly national) Party of the left while the Liberals founder about looking for a niche, the Iggy is doing his job for him.

A Dion/Layton alliance might have united the soft left or centre-left  – after spinning off a new ‘hard left’ movement. (Waffle, anyone?)

The prospects of Ignatieff and Layton finding common ground are remote. Even more remote, I suggest – based on my interpretation of Ignatieff’s writings, is any accommodation with the BQ, which, I believe Iggy sees as a destructive nationalist force that seriously weakens Canada in almost every respect.

The Liberals are in for some hard, internal debates; it will do them good. It might even do the country some good.

I think the St Laurent-Pearson/Turner/Martin/Ignatieff wing cannot, much longer, abide the Trudeau/Chrétien/Dion wing’s pull towards the left (even though Jean Chrétien was/is, broadly, a ‘small c’ conservative of the old, old school he understood that his party’s base was moving farther and farther left and he believed, firmly, in finding out where the mob was heading and then rushing out to lead it there). A split – over Ignatieff’s policies and politics – could happen soon, maybe after the next electioral defeat.

It is ill that men should kill one another in seditions, tumults and wars; but it is worse to bring nations to such misery, weakness and baseness
as to have neither strength nor courage to contend for anything; to have nothing left worth defending and to give the name of peace to desolation.
Algernon Sidney in Discourses Concerning Government, (1698)
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Re: A Liberal Party of Canada Split?
« Reply #1 on: January 13, 2009, 13:35:48 »
I love how one's stance on Israel/Palestine decides if you're on the "left" or the "right".... ???
"Overall it appears that much of the apparent complexity of modern war stems in practice from the self-imposed complexity of modern HQs" LCol J.P. Storr

Offline Teflon

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Re: A Liberal Party of Canada Split?
« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2009, 13:40:44 »
I love how one's stance on Israel/Palestine decides if you're on the "left" or the "right".... ???

Uh, Just wondering if that is all you think the above article concludes?

From my reading of it I find alot more discussed on what helps decide one's leaning to the "left" or the "right"
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Offline E.R. Campbell

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Re: A Liberal Party of Canada Split?
« Reply #3 on: January 13, 2009, 14:39:29 »
I love how one's stance on Israel/Palestine decides if you're on the "left" or the "right".... ???

Especially since, in 1948, Israel was the darling of the socialists world. It, including its very being, was sponsored by the USSR and spurned by the USA.

Russia soon realized, after the initial enthusiasm for Israel style collective farms wore off, that Israel would be a defiantly anti-communist state and the Russians looked to displace Britain, especially, in the region.

Eisenhower was furious at Israel for its part in the botched 1956 Suez Crisis.

Russia was soon replaced by France but that love affair also cooled very quickly and went dead cold when the Israelis built their nuclear programme by swapping information about a military plot to assassinate de Gaulle for French nuclear technology (1961) and by stealing some embargoed patrol boats from the French yards a Cherbourg (1969)   - almost from right under de Gaulle's loooooong nose.

America didn't become Israel's 'protector' until after 1967.

The Israelis mounted and won an aggressive and extraordinarily effective PR campaign from 1955 until about '75. Then the Arabs, using oil money, hired their own Manhattan press agents and the tables began to turn. By the '80s Israel was, routinely, being branded as an aggressor and a threat to peace. The Russian and the whole Warsaw Pact joined the pile-on and, soon, the party line out of Moscow, dutifully parroted by hundreds of thousands, even millions of Western 'intellectuals' and other "useful idiots", was vehemently anti-Israel and, concomitantly, pro-Arab.

The Arabs have been winning the PR battle ever since - their press agents have waged it so well that a whole generation of 'Westerners' (students and journalists and even some smart people) routinely accept the Israel = Nazi libel.

But the left/right split really got solidified when the religious right become more powerful in the USA. A segment of Christianity believes that the (much anticipated) 'end of times' cannot come until after there is a Jewish state in Palestine and several unpleasant things happen. Thus, many Christians are rabidly pro-Zionist, believing Israel to be an essential precondition for their own 'salvation.'

It is ill that men should kill one another in seditions, tumults and wars; but it is worse to bring nations to such misery, weakness and baseness
as to have neither strength nor courage to contend for anything; to have nothing left worth defending and to give the name of peace to desolation.
Algernon Sidney in Discourses Concerning Government, (1698)
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Re: A Liberal Party of Canada Split?
« Reply #4 on: January 13, 2009, 17:57:03 »
Uh, Just wondering if that is all you think the above article concludes?

No - I'm highlighting the sillyness of using Israel/Palestine as evidence of Ignatieff as "right wing".
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Re: A Liberal Party of Canada Split?
« Reply #5 on: January 13, 2009, 23:54:03 »
Quote
No - I'm highlighting the sillyness of using Israel/Palestine as evidence of Ignatieff as "right wing".

Seen - took your statement wrong
When you meet somebody new,
don't get excited, because
9 out of ten times
they're stupid