Sunday, June 17, 2012

Andrew Coyne is right and wrong

Here's part of what he says in today's column:

"The more natural modern coalition, it seems to me, is between economic liberals (in the European sense) and social liberals; between free marketers and environmentalists (it's all about minimizing waste), between advocates of consumer power and voter power. There are free marketers who vote Conservative only because they have to — who are uncomfortable with their so-con bedfellows, dismayed by the party's indifference to environmental issues, and appalled by its assault on parliamentary democracy, but who can find no other party they trust on the economy."

This is totally correct.

There are many in the Conservative Party who aren't comfortable there -- indeed there are some in the NDP who are not comfortable either.

There is room for a clearly defined Party that respects parliament, the environment, leaves people to make their own life choices freely and supports free markets. That is a Party I can support. That is a Party I do support. That Party is the Liberal Party.

And that's where Coyne goes wrong -- because he says that Party doesn't exist and, specifically, the Liberal Party ain't it.


Offroad Artist said...

Many flaws in Coyne's argument.

To say that today's Conservatives are "left" of where they were 10 years ago is malarkey. They may be coming out on the left of some elements of Reform or the Alliance back in the day - but there are also elements of Harper's corporatocracy that are far to the right of anything Preston Manning ever imagined.

While Coyne is casting about for merger partners for the Liberals, he need look no farther than the Liberals who have been voting Conservative for the past couple of elections.

Jordan said...

The party doesn't exist. I'm a Progressive Conservative who cannot stand Harper, and have never voted for his party, but at this time I would not trust the Liberals with handling the economy. In 2011 the Liberals campaigned on the NDPs old platform and Ignatieff didn't know how to speak on the economy. Now the party has a New Democrat as its leader, I'd like the see the party have a comeback but at this point they're so much like the NDP that a merger would be just as well. However, I would never support a merged party.

bluegreenblogger said...

Actually that Party DID exist for several years. Jim Harris led the Green Party, and when I joined back in 2004 there were scads of Progressive Conservatives joining a Party that was Socially Progressive, Fiscally conservative, and Environmentally sustaiable. Unfortuinately with the advent of Elizabeth May, the fiscally conservative types were castigated and hounded out of the Party, so all that is conceivably left for me and my ilk is the Liberal Party

The Mound of Sound said...

James, you can claim the LPC stands for all these things but there's no sign of it.

Inequality - of income, wealth, opportunity - is flagging and could become as corrosive to Canada as it is to the United States. Any party that cannot address inequality clearly, forecefully demonstrates no legitimate claim to lead the country.

The LPC is going nowhere until it gets ordinary Canadians to believe in it and, to do that, it needs a clear message that resonates with the voting public and addresses their concerns. The Libs have lost the public's trust and they're going to have to work a lot harder than they have been to earn it back.

The party has to move well back to the left. If it continues to be the party of CEOs and management consultants it can only cement its irrelevance.

James C Morton said...

Folks, you all make good points. Perhaps what I want is what I see. I am a Blue Liberal in the sense that I really believe in a free economy but I also believe in freedom of choice for everyone in their personal lives. That includes the choice to be an appalling person, just so long as that doesn't directly hurt your neighbour.

The Mound of Sound said...

But James aren't you then claiming to be a libertarian, not a Liberal? Isn't this Blue Liberal or Conservative-Lite party exactly what got the party evicted from Stornoway? Surely maintaining that course steered by Ignatieff is nihilistic for the LPC.

The party has proven itself irrelevant to the electorate. The party can't re-engage the public with centre-right ideology.

Our children and grandchildren are going to need a strong and very cohesive society to meet the challenges coming their way this century. The only way that can possibly be achieved is through eliminating the growing imbalances in equality of income, wealth and opportunity. That is something no party can hope to do from the right.

kirbycairo said...

As much as I respect your work James, I must say that it continues to startle me that intelligent, well-informed people like yourself buy this myth of the so-called "free economy."

Not only has there never been a "free" economy, the large battles that went on in the 19th century to regulate production at almost level, were only the beginning of a highly controlled and regulated capitalism. The very idea of a "free" economy is almost comical in the degree of its mythical grandeur.

The question is not "shall we have tightly regulated economy and system of production," the question is "what kind of regulated economy are we going to have." Right now we have one that has some protection for workers and consumers, but one that is gradually re-regulating to favor the largest, most influential producers and distributers. Continue in this manner and eventually we will see serious environmental and social disaster.

Take your pick.