Posts Tagged ‘liberals’

What, if anything, could Labour learn from Canada’s Liberals?

21/10/2015, 10:05:55 PM

by Frazer Loveman

The election results came in and the nation’s main left wing party, one that had held power for much of the 1990s and early 21st century was humiliated, defeated again by a Conservative party led by an excellent political manipulator. Sound familiar? This was the fate of the Canadian Liberal party at the 2011 Federal Elections, as they saw themselves left with only 34 seats, relegated to third party status following the New Democratic party’s huge boost in support. Yet, today, the Liberal Party have been restored, back in power winning 184 ridings, far more than many pollsters predicted (being a pollster these days must not be much fun). This has led many on the UK left to fully embrace ‘Trudeaumania’, as PM-designate Justin Trudeau has found himself to have become the doyenne of the left seemingly overnight (sorry, Bernie Sanders, but there’s a younger model now).

But could the Labour party realistically mirror the success of the Liberals in Canada? Well, if they intend to, then they’re not necessarily off to the best start. Trudeau wasn’t elected as leader until nearly two years after the 2011 election as the party re-grouped under interim leader Bob Rae, a stark contrast to the Labour party’s immediate and interminable leadership contest. In fairness, Jeremy Corbyn’s victory in the Labour leadership election mirrored that of Trudeau in size (Trudeau steamrollered all competition, winning 78.86% of the vote) but that is about where the similarities end. Trudeau is as much an ‘establishment’ candidate as can possibly be imagined, the surname alone gives that away, and was shown during the Liberal leadership contest to be the candidate most likely to win support across the whole of Canada. He is young, good-looking and an exemplary public speaker- his speeches in the leadership contest would consist of 3 minute ‘blocks’ that he could link together as and when needed to suit situation and audience, almost ad-libbing whole speeches (contrast: “strong delivery here”).


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What will the Guardianistas do if we defy them and vote “no”?

20/04/2011, 07:00:14 AM

by Dan Hodges

I’m starting to feel sorry for the Yes campaign. Genuinely. They’ve got some good staffers. People with a sincere commitment to their cause.

But they haven’t got a prayer. And the reason they haven’t got a prayer is too many of their  own supporters don’t actually care whether they win or they lose.

Watching the Yes campaign from afar is like watching the Labour party in the late eighties. By then, the harder edges of dogma and ideology had been blunted. There was a realisation that the principle meant little without power. But while there was an intellectual acceptance of the need to secure office, the hunger was lacking. We wanted to win. But not quite enough.

It’s the same with those who are supposedly fighting for a change in our voting system. They’re not actually fighting at all. They’re pontificating. Posturing. Striking a pose.

Get hold of  yesterday’s Guardian leader. “Reformists have just 16 days to transform things”, it warns, “by countering a campaign of unremitting negativity, whose garish posters are explicit in saying that because the NHS matters, democracy doesn’t, and carry the implicit message ‘vote no or the baby gets it’”.

It then points out, “Dismal as the pitch is, it is making in-roads”. No shit Sherlock. You mean negative campaigning actually works? Who’da thunk it? (more…)

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