Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Next Face Manifesto.

“Our main enemy today is our own worst nature: our indifference to the common good; vanity; personal ambition; selfishness; and rivalry. The main struggle will have to be fought on this field.” This warning from Václav Havel can serve the Liberal party well as it searches for its new leader.

In choosing its “next face” the Liberal Party can rescue itself from the petty squabbles and Shakespearean dramas of the Chrétien - Martin feud and transform itself from the party of empty politics back to the party of grand ideals.

Before that transformation can occur however, the Liberal party must face reality. In its current state, it is perceived as an oversized and decaying mechanism hell-bent on the attainment and abuse of power. Power used for no greater purpose than to spread the spoils of government to Liberal sycophants while the party harped shamelessly about “Canadian values”.

Canadians simply did not trust this party and its leader. The so called “campaign” offered only exaggerated rhetoric and hollow promises. In the end the party and its leadership suffocated from the stale air of hypocrisy and political ambiguity.

For those who have been on the outside looking in, the time has come. For those who watched in horror as the party of Laurier, Mackenzie King, Pearson and Trudeau fall victim to imbroglio and scandal, the time has come. For those repulsed by the neo-conservative approach to Liberalism, the time has come.

The time has come for profound introspection. Introspection and inquisition.

What does the Liberal Party of Canada believe?
Why does it want to govern?
Is it still the party of visionaries and grand national projects?

Canadians need to believe that the Liberal Party actually stands for something.
Bright red lines need to be drawn across a platform unifying a party and marking the end of the divisiveness and fractionalization.

A new Liberal party must confer on the individual the most possible freedom, while minimizing at every opportunity the cruel realities of unfettered capitalism. A new Liberal party will advocate for the individual and hold that individual at the centre.

What of the leadership candidates? They must bring intellectual curiosity, political acuity and the gravitas to think about the Liberal Party, Canada and the world. They must be asked: does the Liberal party need them, or do they need the Liberal party?

Candidates must say no to a decentralized Canada, yes to real leadership, no to appeasement, and yes to one Canada.

In the words of Jesse Jackson, a leader must be “tough enough to fight, tender enough to cry, human enough to make mistakes, humble enough to admit them, strong enough to absorb the pain and resilient enough to bounce back and keep moving on.”

Liberals are progressives and at their core they are reformers. All too often the Liberal party has come to represent the status quo. This is antithetical to what the party should be.

Pierre Trudeau spoke of how Liberals, “confront the powerful…confound the secure (and)…challenge the conventional.” The party must rediscover these convictions, awake from their slumber and aspire again to be the party of principles. The party must rediscover its idealism and energy.

The next leader of the Liberal party must pledge to fight for those ideals.

The next leader of the Liberal party must purge from the party the paranoid few who question the allegiances of the many. The next leader of the Liberal party must travel this magnificent country and articulate our hopes for an independent, free, democratic, just and prosperous Canada.

The next leader of the Liberal party must be the best among us.

Let no future leader stifle this debate.



Next Face Manifesto, February 14, 2006.

11 comments:

Carrie said...

Well, I think Cupid might make a good Leader ;)

Andy said...

People of Canada, expect, the new leader of the Liberal party, is able to swimm in the ocean of capability and qualification, but not like Paul Martin,a man who was incompetent and unqualigfied person for a leadership; he was not able to swimm in his own very small private swimming pool!

The leadership is not the plums from California, which are kept in water overnight so that to be eaten as the breakfast in mornings.

It is not fair for the members of the Liberal party to install the brain of small bird in the gigantic body of the Liberal party.

These persons such as Mario Silva, Giusseppe Volpe, Tony Ianno, Tony Valery, Ujjal Dosanj, Blinda Stronach, Stphene Dion, Judy Sgro, Pierre pettigrew and.... are not able to distingusih their left hands from their rights hands; they are not able to swimm in a small swimming pool; they need some kids, who can rescue them while they want to swimm!

The leadership means rationality and wisdom; the leadership means having plans for econmoy, politics and social issues on the basis of science and humanity.

Please choose a leader who does not ignore the voices of people.

Please choose a leader who wants to eliminate GULAG of unemployment, poverty and humiliation from scientists and academic immigrants in Canada.

The torture's chambers of GULAG in Canada are reflecting the brutality and ignorance of the government.

The Liberal party needs to have a real leader with the real plans for the 21 st century.

Anonymous said...

An excellent piece of work.

grittyandred said...

Good manifesto, but what is next? How do we get the ideas behind the message into the hands of those with influence?

DT12 said...

Well said indeed. Was this spoken at a rally because if it wasnt itr shouldve been. If yes who spoke it?Sometimes you need to take a lon g hard look at yourself and be honest before you can make a change for the better.

Anonymous said...

It should be Ignatieff.

BeenCounter said...

When all is said and done this is hot air until someone wakes up. It is all fine and good to blah blah blah until the cows come home but until someone takes the bull by the horns and demands that the party wake up and smell the coffee then nothing will get done. it is looking like ignatieff could be the kind of guy who will not take any shit from anybody and make sure that the ship gets steered in thr right direction although he might be too intellectual for many and not western enough for some. Right now neither, dryden, dion, kennedy, copps would be able to put this manifesto to work.
MI might have the best chance.

CuriosityKilledTheCat said...

My two cents worth on the direction the Liberals should take?

Merge with the NDP, so as to give voters a choice between two national parties ...

I was wondering whether Liberals would wake up to the fact that the NDP under Layton has far, far more credibility among many voters than it had under more recent leaders. His personal credibility outstrips the willingness of voters as of now to vote for his party. This could change, if the Liberals do not change.

Jack Layton ran a very astute campaign, given that his party stood no chance of becoming the government, and the attacks from Liberals for voters to vote strategically. Unfortunately for Liberals, voting strategically will not work every time – voters will balk at simply voting for Liberals in order to keep some other party out of power. There is no longer any need to call for strategic voting on the right wing, though – a very significant change.

Voters need to vote for something, not just against something.

Harper has done one remarkable thing: negotiated the amalgamation of two parties on the right wing spectrum of Canadian politics. In so doing, he effectively caused the demise of the old Progressive Conservative Party, and ended up in full possession of the centre-right political space.

On the centre-left, we have the Liberals and NDPers. The logical thing to expect is a merger – not takeover! – of the Liberal and NDP parties, to form a new party – let’s call it the Liberal Democratic Party, or Democrats for short.

To do so would mean the Democrats would have to fuse the social policies of the old Liberals with those of the NDP, to arrive at a centre-left mix.

On the economic front, the fusion would result in a centre-left set of policies, which would incorporate many of the worker-protection policies found in European parties.

I could see an agreement to incorporate individual economic rights in the next round of constitutional amendments; protection of union rights; policies designed to educate young people as a right; protection of the aged and others falling between the cracks, accompanied by a commitment to capitalism. Tony Blair moved his party to the centre; Jack Layton could easily do so.

Such a merger, resulting in the Democrat Party, would give voters a solid choice: the centre-right of the new Tories under Harper (similar to the Republicans), and the centre-left Democrats (similar to some European parties).

The voters in Quebec would be faced with three choices: two national ones and a local separatist movement. I would expect the Bloc’s support to drop to around 35% with the other 2 parties sharing the balance, but the Democrats taking the lion’s share.

Any one care to compare the recent platforms of Libs and NDP to show the degree of overlap, and of difference?

tobias said...

There is no room in the Manifesto for a merger with the NDP. You are however entitled to your opinion.

Let no leader stifle this debate!

Anonymous said...

Let no future leader stifle this debate indeed.

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