Those who have had the misfortune of witnessing Trudeau speak from the House know how cringe-worthy it is to watch. Trudeau has the unfortunate weakness of seeming incredibly insincere, as well as sounding as if he has continuously just memorized a script. One would think being a former drama teacher would have fixed that problem.
Justin Trudeau, the ultra-fortunate son of a G8 prime minister/part-time millionaire trust fund heir, says he's the best guy to defend the interests of Canada's middle class. But don't worry -- he's not sheltered enough to think he can do it alone: he's recruited Chrystia Freeland, a wealthy Oxford-and-Harvard educated international business journalist to help. Recruiting a globetrotting public intellectual to teach her one-percenter boss what middle-income Canadians want? The unavoidable fact is that Canada's Liberals are a party that oozes wealth, power, and establishment cliquishness.
It is clear that, at least for the moment, efforts at cooperation are being thwarted by the NDP and by most of the Liberal leadership candidates. It needs to be mentioned in this context that B.C. MP Joyce Murray stands out as the exception to all the rules. As a contender for Liberal leader, she is advocating many of the same things that I have been doing as leader of the Greens.
Largely since the Liberal Party's electoral defeat last year, the Grits have taken up the mantra of being the party of "evidence-based policy." Even if this narrative is true, Liberals need to remove it from their refrain. Three particular reasons come to mind as to why they should do so, including one quality that already led to the party's demise -- arrogance.
In his new book Fight the Right, Warren Kinsella gets some big things correct while leaving some big things out. Yes, progressive politicians should take Kinsella's advice about authenticity, simplicity and speaking to the heart. Yes, we need a new progressive narrative as a counterweight to the one that is currently trashing our country and our planet. But, we shouldn't fool ourselves into thinking that we don't have a lot of hard work to do
The new conventional wisdom that Stephen Harper and Thomas Mulcair are jockeying for "the centre" is laughable. The only objective is political power, nothing more. The Liberal Party of Canada is the country's one and only authentic centrist party. Liberals have never strayed far from the sensible and vital centre in economic, social, or foreign policy.
Over the weekend a new poll was published that said a majority of Liberal and NDP supporters are in favour of merging. I'm not one of them. This isn't a matter of political expediency. I'm mystified at why so many Liberals appear so ready to fold the tent and call it a day on one of the most impactful institutions in Canadian history.
A compelling leadership requires a relevant vision. That's what the Liberal Party historically has provided Canadians. In the last few years, many Liberals have let their memories become greater than their dreams. Canadians want to hear about our dreams more than they want to be educated about our past.