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)

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Why not a two-party democracy in Canada?

With the resurgence of the right in the West and the re-release of the Titanic in theaters everywhere, Canadian progressives—in the Liberal Party, especially—are asking: must we live through years and years of further internal and electoral attrition before Canada’s center left unites?
What are they waiting for? They say that they believe that 60% of the people want Harper out for their kind of politics. Isn’t 60% already enough of a market to unite their ambitions?
Sure, it might be easier in the future to set aside their personal differences when Harper gets even more hateful. But between us: isn’t it clear by now that Harper is trying to make Ottawa a less passionate place? And he isn’t even very inflammatory about that.
Good timing is introduced as an adult argument by those who tell others to sit still. It often disguises fear and usually inflates the procrastinator’s ability to control events.
Echoing loyalist in the Liberal Party, the Toronto Star’s columnist Tim Harper pronounced:
Any move to unite the left will have to wait until Canadians pronounce one more time at the ballot box.”
Tim Harper is repeating, in servile terms, a desperate Toronto Liberal prayer: the people of Canada will come back to us, humble the NDP in the next election, and thereby give us our rightful place in any two-party negotiation, if any kind of accommodation is necessary to get back into power.
Two problems.
The people don’t pronounce. The next election will not make tough decisions easier for leaders or procrastinators. It could, however, take one option away from our fearful federal Liberals.
The Liberal Party could wake up after the next election further marginalized. As scenarios go, either a shaky New Democrat Government (with the support of the Greens, before or after the election) or a shaky Conservative government could be the next step on the way to a two-party, left-right parliament.
Conceivably, Canada could end up with a two-party system before the incredible intellectual capital of the Liberal Party comes to the table.

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