Seamanship Quotation

“In political activity, then, men sail a boundless and bottomless sea; there is neither harbour for shelter nor floor for anchorage, neither starting-place nor appointed destination.”
— from Michael Oakeshott's
Political Education” (1951)

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Great Liberals had ideas too, before they were partisans

It’s time for Canada’s Liberals to shake themselves: presently, they are only ripening in opposition, while their opponents are renewing themselves in office.  
A young conservative, not a young liberal, is likely to soon lead the fastest growing, richest, and youngest province in Canada.
Apparently, the best obstacle Liberals think they can throw in the way of Danielle Smith and the resurgent conservative movement in Alberta is the insistence that they have a “hidden agenda” and unconsciously want to be hated and laughed at after the election. It’s a tactic Liberals have honed since Preston Manning formed the Reform Party in 1987.
They’ve used this tactic so often they don’t think it’s either extreme or funny anymore. Warren Kinsella just unleashed a classic in the Toronto Sun:
Kinsella, the Inquisitor from Toronto, informs that “back then” Smith was on the far right of court activism, 2nd- and 3rd-trimester abortions, and student conduct on campuses, for instance. Now, she’s a “crafty” professional politician who says she’s pro-choice and has no intention to introduce contentious social legislation.
Kinsella calls her a liar. Albertans on the ground will make up their own minds next Monday.
Liberal Party warriors today may feel it’s clever to have zero tolerance for past political indiscretions. That it’s fair to suspect the worst of whatever is not in writing in a politician’s platform. They may be happy to settle for being Canada’s Truth Squad followingfrom puberty to retirementthe lively minds of their opponents.
They’ll have to accept, however, a rather mediocre future.
Would Kinsella insist that the next generation of young Liberals first be recruited and taught Liberal policies before they express political ideas on their own? Does he not worry that lurking in senior Liberal circles are a few Liberals who once uttered divisive liberal ideas in emails and campus resolutions?
A party that recruits supporters only for jobs and election parties may survive. The Liberal Party that supposedly governed naturally, however, first won majorities by attracting individuals who came to it with opinions of their own.
There wouldn’t have been a tinkle of excitement about the Trudeau Years if Trudeau and his supporters—in  the West as well as in Quebec—came to power with no strong ideas of their own. 

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