Going, going gone are the cruel winds of schadenfreude that have buffeted Liberal Leader Stéphane Dion from within his own party. If he now cocks an ear, he can hear hearty shouts of, “One for all and all for one!”
The Grits are busily splashing on their new perfume, a heady blending of musky desperation with the bitter tang of futility. After some eighteen ineffectual months, the brain trust pretending to the task of opposition have decided to circle the wagons around their leader. Dion is generally perceived as a flaccid and uninspiring pol, a nice guy well on the road to finishing last. He is a charisma vacuum fronting a party that has been unable to shed the stink of dusty, old scandals.
While the Conservative minority appears to skip from scandal to gaffe to failure, Dion's Liberals not only cannot capitalize on the governments errors, they can't even manage to whip a vote. Hell, they can barely be bothered to turn up and cast a vote. When the determined to lose party does manage to locate the House of Commons on their restaurant guides to the city of Ottawa, they consistently enable the government. Their permanent state of disarray has made them cower at the prospect of an election. But that doesn't explain their pitiful failure to oppose issues that aren't confidence motions, like the gutting of the nation's social programs.
The problem with the Liberal party is not solely that of a milquetoast leader. The Liberals have forgotten what it is to fight, to stand for a cause or a vision of this nation. In the last year I have written a number of letters to my M.P. (Liberal whip, Karen Redman) as well as to the leaders of all of the parties and a number of ministers. I have received responses from everyone else I have written to. The only Liberals I've heard back from have been members of the Senate. There is more wrong with the Liberal Party of Canada than Stéphane Dion. They have quite simply abdicated their responsibility as Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition. If they cannot find it within themselves to show up for work when they are not in power, I'll be damned if I have an interest in seeing them returned to power.
When the history of the late 20th cen/early 21st is written, the historians are gonna be asking, "What the fuck happened to the liberals?" Because it's not just Canada. Ours lost their spines, too, and are only just now finding them again. Vertabrae by vertabrae. Argh.
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