Monday, June 27, 2011

Nice Little Filibuster, Lets Do It Again Sometime

First off, Stephen Taylor speaks true (or at least trueish, for him):

The Liberals were very much absent from the debate. The interim leader and about 2/3 of his caucus were absent from the votes. Mailing it in had a few Liberal partisan friends wondering again why they still back the Grits, now decimated.

I count myself as one of those who thought the LPoC's "no politics please, we're in the process of navel-gazing" approach to the filibuster disappointingly ineffectual.  Granted, this was a relatively minor issue where popular opinion broke towards the government.  And, luckily, more important votes are coming up where the Party could, and should, be prepared to go to the mat.  I am thinking of  any bill to dismantle the long-gun registry.  Its a LPoC creation, and frankly the high-point of Iggy's career as party leader came when he whipped the vote and beat back the Torys' last attempt at repeal.  It is, as well, an issue where the longer the debate goes on, the more it tilts against Harper and Co.  If the LPoC can't summon some passion here, then I'm not sure what they're good for anymore.

And, and can we have a moratorium on this "its a long slow road back" talk?  The party must be prepared to fight and win the next general election.  Running on a slogan like "Vote for us: after a few more years worth of thumb-sucking we'll be ready to rule." would be political suicide.  In 2015, many people who voted Liberal this time out will be looking for a vehicle by which pry the Harper Tories from power.  If the LPoC isn't it, don't expect those folks to cast a vote their way out of nostalgia. 

6 comments:

kirbycairo said...

Well, they better do something because they continue to look like Conservative Lite rather than an actual party of meaningful, principled opposition. I think that the right-wing nature of Harper has badly polarized politics in the country and for years the Liberals (for many reasons) were more or less a rubber-stamp committee for the Harper Cons. Not on every issue obviously, as the you say Ignatieff's opposition on scrapping the LGR was very good. But over all the Liberals just looked like Conlite for too long and in the face of Harper's terrible right-wing agenda people just looked elsewhere.

The Liberals will never come back unless a) the HarperCons push significantly to the right on social issues or b) The Liberals move significantly to the left of Ignatieff.

I really think it is as simple as that.

kitt said...

What a joker kirbycairo and a true ReformaCON. Liberals look like Conservative Lite.... bawhahahahahahaha

What is happening is the CONS are governing like LIBERAL LITE!! Like the PC's use to do.

Liberals have always been fiscally conservative and so appear to be agreeing with Harper on the economy as Harper borrows Liberal economic policies from past governments. But the two parties are a world apart on social issues.

The Pundits' Guide said...

The whipping of the LGR vote was very popular with the Liberal Party grassroots, BCL, but the rural Liberal MPs who switched their vote as a result of the whip were defeated (Russell, D'Amours, Rota, Bagnell; and Keith Martin's seat reverted to the NDP).

In return, it didn't really turn any of the urban seats in the party's favour (maybe, maybe Winnipeg North, though it wasn't that much of a factor in the Filipino community, I don't think), nor did it cost the Conservatives any of their suburban ones - held or targeted.

That alone is not enough reason to do something or not, but with fewer openings one has to check off a lot more boxes when picking an issue to priorize.

sharonapple88 said...

And, and can we have a moratorium on this "its a long slow road back" talk?

Can we sing it instead? "The long and winding road/ That leads to your door/ Will never disappear..." ;)

It would be interesting to see what would happen during a filibuster for the long-gun registry. Other than delay, the Liberals would really have to have their facts and arguments for keeping it, and possibly even improving it. Even if it goes down, there's the chance to get the public to notice what's going on.

Well, they better do something because they continue to look like Conservative Lite rather than an actual party of meaningful, principled opposition.

Lucky for the Liberals, there isn;'t a lot of meaninful, principled opposition out there -- other than Elizabeth May. ;)

(See the committee on Bill C-22 (the mega-trial bill. Other than Ted Hsu, no one asked any questions on it. Elizabeth May tried, but the COnservatives and NDP on the committee apparently shot her down.)

sharonapple88 said...

The whipping of the LGR vote was very popular with the Liberal Party grassroots, BCL, but the rural Liberal MPs who switched their vote as a result of the whip were defeated (Russell, D'Amours, Rota, Bagnell; and Keith Martin's seat reverted to the NDP).

Pundit Guide, you've raised a number of good point. It's interesting to note that there were a number of NDP MPs who switched their vote too like Glenn Thibeault, Carol Hughes, Malcolm Allen, and Peter Stoffer who managed to keep their seat. There was more than the registry at work in the lost seats. But you're right that the issue won't necessarily be a winner -- there should be a strong defense of having a vote on the Canadian Wheat Board ending among other issues. (Still, poll generally show support for the registry so it's thankfully, not political suicide either.)

If the party goes down this route, the MP have to provide strong arguments for keeping it. The gut has to be supported by facts -- some of which can be found in the RCMP report, in the letter written by ER docs and arguments presented by women's groups (it is interesting that people who live with gun-owners are more likely to support the registry). Stories like the ones presented by police officers here could also be used.

They also have to avoid making it a rural-urban argument -- they have to reframe it. The registry was an attempt to catagorize all firearms. Possibly as well, instead of arguing to keep it as is, the party should present ways that the registry can be improved.

Maria said...

not on every issue obviously, as the you say Ignatieff's opposition on scrapping the LGR was very good.


Maria[mens suit]