Monday, May 08, 2006
The Liberal Redemption?
Why does The Shawshank Redemption matter to the Liberal leadership contest? I think it’s because the party needs someone who is both a Red and an Andy Dufresne. That’s right, we need a leader who understands the world as it is like Red and someone with the patience of Andy Dufresne.
The Shawshank Redemption for those you who have not seen the movie – and I strongly urge you to do so – takes place in a prison. Some would say that on January 23, 2006 Canada’s voters sentenced the Liberal Party to prison for a little while so it could pay for its misdeeds – a little time in the woodshed so to speak.
The party will be released one day but in the meantime it will have to remain true to its principles and not get entirely caught up in “electability” much like Red never got caught up in becoming “rehabilitated.” He told us that it was fancy “bullshit” word.
Of course even though this time in Opposition is not what the party wanted and even though the leadership contest may be divisive and difficult let’s hope that as Red said about Andy Dufresne that we will be able to “crawl through a river of shit and come out clean on the other side.”
But let’s not get carried away about talk of hope because as Red said: “Let me tell you something my friend. Hope is a dangerous thing. Hope can drive a man insane.”
I do however hope that during the leadership race some candidate will emerge whose voice will soar higher and farther than anybody in this party has dared to dream. This would be much like the scene in Shawshank where the inmates were stopped in their tracks by those two women singing over the prison loudspeaker.
Finally we can learn a lesson about coming to terms with an unforgiving past. So for all the Liberal party members and leadership candidates who want to continue fighting the leadership battles of yesteryear let us consider what Red told the Parole Board:
“There's not a day goes by I don't feel regret. Not because I'm in here, or because you think I should. I look back on the way I was then, a young, stupid kid who committed that terrible crime. I wanna talk to him. I wanna try to talk some sense to him -- tell him the way things are. But I can't. That kid's long gone and this old man is all that's left. I gotta live with that.”
Well said Red.
The Guest Host