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Thursday, January 12, 2012

Liberals remaking party or just more of the same?

The Liberal party is trying to remake itself, or so we are told. But is this not just more of the same old Liberal rhetoric? I believe it’s the latter, and I say this because everything new they plan on doing seems like pretty old stuff they’ve talked about and/or promised for decades.

Among proposals to be debated at their convention in Ottawa this weekend are (thanks to Andrew Coyne at the National Post for the list): a national food strategy, a national housing strategy, a national infrastructure strategy, a national home care plan, a national mental health plan, a Supplemental Canada Pension Plan, a “comprehensive post-secondary education funding plan” and a “comprehensive integrated transportation system,” including high-speed rail lines from Quebec City to Windsor and Edmonton to Calgary, and a national child care program.

Why would a federal party have a policy debate on proposals which are predominantly in the provincial domain? What is it with these guys? Oh, they throw the word “national” in front of everything and pretend that gives them jurisdiction. For decades the Grits in Ottawa have been meddling in education, and health care and threatening to do so also in child care. Why can’t they stay the heck out of provincial jurisdiction and stop meddling?

By Coyne’s account, the Grits also want “… to ‘triple investment in northern scientific research,’ implement a ‘vast and robust’ renewable energy program, pay every undergraduate’s first and last year’s tuition, restore the Canada Wheat Board’s monopoly.”

While I actually like the idea of paying two years’ post-secondary tuition for every student, I see this as a provincial initiative. And restore the Canada Wheat Board’s monopoly? Really? Are they really planning to bring back state-mandated monopolies? And do the Liberals plan similar monopolies in Ontario and Quebec? And, if not, why not? If it’s the best way for the West, why not for the East? And how about other commodities—do we set up monopolies for them too?

As to the rest, there’s nothing new here: just the same old stuff we heard—using different words perhaps—from every Liberal leader going back to, at least, Pierre Elliott Trudeau. And it’s all adding up to more big-spending, big government.

But what more could one expect from a party run by the likes of Bob Rae and Sheila Copps? Sheila Copps has never really run anything of substance in her life. Being a minister of the crown is not a COO-like job—there’s little or no day-to-day responsibilities such as a chief operating officer has. The deputy ministers (civil servants) have that job. But Copps wants to run the Liberal Party—good luck with that. Bob Rae failed miserable when he won the job of running Ontario, now he wants to run Canada?

Copyright © 2012 Russell G. Campbell. All Rights Reserved.

2 comments — This is a moderated blog and comments will appear when approved. Please don’t resubmit if your comment doesn’t appear immediately, and please do not post material that is obscene, harassing, defamatory, or otherwise objectionable.

  1. It's the Liberals being the Liberals... nothing unexpected about that. The real problem for them is that the NDP has taken the center-left, and they now have nowhere to do... and of course, the pendulum has swung to the right, directly favouring the Cons.

    They'll be in the woods for a while, I think... assuming they survive at all of course.

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  2. You asked what is it with these guys, and I say it is the same old stuck on statism/collectivism. They look to Europe for their models of totally centralised government and think it is so grand. They have no real political philosophy or ideology other than collectivism. I suggest they change their name since they have nothing in common with liberalism.

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