07 April 2010

Andrew Coyne's Suggestions for Resurrection of Liberal Party

Andrew Coyne has some excellent suggestions for the Liberal Party of Canada, six in fact, which the party might use to re-brand itself. All have merit, however the following are my particular favourites; I've suggested them all myself on this blog:

The party of democratic reform. How we nominate candidates, how we choose leaders, how we elect members, how Parliament functions—there’s clearly lots of work to do here. This used to be a Conservative issue. Today, not so much.
The party of taxpayers. Former Liberal MP Dennis Mills used to campaign vigorously for the flat tax, complete with postcard-sized tax form. A corollary would be reform of EI and social assistance, along the lines recommended by the impeccably Liberal Macdonald commission: a simplified, streamlined universal income guarantee.
The party of the environment. Yes, that means a carbon tax. It’s a good idea, the only way Canada is ever going to come close to meeting its carbon emissions targets, and everyone knows it. Was it the carbon tax, as myth holds, that doomed the Liberals in the last election? Or was it because it was poorly designed and poorly presented? A better plan, better presented—a real “tax shift,” as implemented by Gordon Campbell’s Liberal government in B.C. - might be a winner.

True, that last.

Although the BC NDP tried to incite electors against the BC carbon tax, James & Company failed abysmally. In fact, the party's disingenuous (to put it politely) Axe the Tax™ campaign was among the reasons the party failed to defeat the Liberals in May 2009. British Columbians essentially agreed that a carbon tax was necessary. While the majority of us dislike the Liberals (again, putting it mildly), we are perfectly capable of separating the person or party from the essential principle.

Will the LPC re-brand itself with any or all of Coyne's suggestions? Not unless it's grown a spine, the lack of which has been evident these past few years.

I strongly recommend that all members of the LPC read Coyne's article in full.

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