THUNDER BAY – EDITORIAL – This might sound strange, but perhaps for the federal Liberals, it might be time for the party to become the modern day Reform Party. If the Liberals are to become fully relevant in today’s Canadian political line-up, the party is going to have to become a bottom-up grassroots group of dedicated activists.
Likely the only way however that could happen would be if Liberal party members force out all of the party’s old guard, and current leadership.
Over the past decade and a half, the Liberals have watched the breadth of the parties support slowly collapse. After the 2008 election, the Liberals were, with few exceptions, the party of large urban centres.
The 2011 election has seen the party reduced to third place in the House of Commons.
It is likely the full realization of the May 2nd vote will take a long time to fully sink in for the Liberals.
However the re-building process is going to take more than another new leader. The party’s policies have become increasingly out of touch with the bulk of Canadians.
However atop the Liberal Party there seems to be the idea that there is an entitlement to power, and that only the Liberals can fully understand Canada.
Once upon a time the federal Progressive Conservative Party developed a similar mindset. In Western Canada, people started a movement to reform the federal political landscape. That movement became the Reform Party, then the Canadian Alliance and now the Conservative Party.
There are reports that some in the federal Liberal Party are looking at the Progressive Conservative Party after Kim Campbell led the party to a disastorous two seat result, and believing that they too can come back. What they do not seem to be understanding is that the party that was the Progressive Conservatives is gone for all intents.
For the Liberals, now is the time for the party to find the people across Canada who want something different, and then work with them to create it.
Otherwise, like many political parties over our history, the Liberals may well vanish.
If they do, it will be due to arrogance, and a lack of willingness to listen.