Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Draft Lloyd!

Ok, I kid. He's a little old to be Prime Minister, although not nearly as old as John McCain. But really, the Liberals could do worse than follow the advise and adopt the priorities of Lloyd Axworthy.

Here's Lloyd in today's Ottawa Citizen making the case for cooperation between the opposition parties:

We are entering into a perilous period where all the conventional wisdoms about the market, the state and globalization are being ruptured. Yet we have a government that still closely adheres to the old 1980s Thatcher-Reagan view of the world -- deregulate, cut taxes and trust entirely in the private sector. The Conservatives have shown a marked disinclination for working in a multilateral, international context and eschew innovative efforts in trade and foreign policy. So they will need help in adapting to a world that will require major reforms, both domestically and globally, that begin to rebuild the notion of a public domain in both spheres.

I am not suggesting that a combined opposition can quickly give birth to a new progressive agenda. This is going to take time and the involvement of a lot more Canadians than just the political parties. But, if one looks at the platforms of the opposition parties from the last election, there was significant convergence on many issues that reflect a different outlook from the Harper government. They should use Parliament to gain a much better, broader and more intelligent discourse than was apparent in the campaign and push for an agenda that stimulates the economy, protects people, jobs, the environment and our human rights, and restores a sense of public stewardship to the federal level.

And oh, look. He agrees with me on the direction the Liberals should go with their policies and their leadership choice:

One major question mark in all this will be the Liberal leadership contest, already under way in sub rosa fashion. Will a leader emerge who is willing to take a chance and be ready to embrace, indeed take a lead in forming, a different kind of political constellation? Or will there be a push by that faction of the party that believes a return to right-of-centre politics will offset the present Conservative advantage.

To this death wish, I am reminded of the comment of Keith Davey, renowned Liberal party organizer, who said that Canadians given a choice will always vote for a real Tory, not a pseudo-Tory in Liberal clothing.

Hear, hear. Any suggestions, Lloyd?


  1. Axworthy would make a terrific leader for the LPC. He's bright, accomplished, passionate, profoundly committed to his beliefs. Who in the cast of probables compares with him? Not one of them.

  2. "Yet we have a government that still closely adheres to the old 1980s Thatcher-Reagan view of the world -- deregulate, cut taxes and trust entirely in the private sector."

    Sounds like liberal govt in the 3 majorities back-to-back in the Chretien/Martin years.

  3. Seriously? We're back to this again? Because if you are bound and determined to lump all Liberals in with Paul Martin and his ilk, and by inference with Harper and the Conservatives... well, that would make everyone you consider to be 'non-progressives' into a sizable majority of Canadians.

    Paul Martin, by the way, was also the man who brought us same-sex marriage, and was in the final stages of implementing some other major progressive initiatives that were conveniently killed by Stephen Harper when... well, we won't get into that.

    The thing is, the Liberal Party is NOT its leader or its executive. The party is its members, and the vast majority of us are considerably more progressive than Mr. Martin. We're trying to bring our party's leadership and policies more in line with our ideals right now, and frankly we could do without the heckling from the bleachers.

    Election's over. Time to get serious.

  4. I really liked Axworthy's article. Hadn't thought of him for leadership, but you're right - good choice.

    Right also about tearing each other apart. We don't have time for that. We really need to work together building from what we share in common.