Are we witnessing the strange death of Liberal Canada?

This week, a quarter of a century ago, Jean Chrétien won the Liberal Party leadership. On June 23, 1990, he defeated Paul Martin at a convention in Calgary, while back in Ottawa the Meech Lake constitutional accord hung by a thread.

A lot of people dismissed Mr. Chrétien as “yesterday’s man.” He had been in and around politics for most of his adult life before becoming leader. It was said that he had lost touch with his native province, Quebec; that he was a terrific handler of files that someone smarter than himself had crafted; that he was corny, folksy and likeable but lacked the gravitas to be prime minister.

  • Tokenn

    Hehehe…maybe we have something to thank Justin Trudeau for after all….

    I think it makes sense for a middle-of-the-road party to gradually lose relevance and support. The real socialists will want to vote NDP. Now if only we had a party for real conservatives to vote for…

  • Edubeat

    I met him when working on a project at McGill. He was the invited speaker for the occasion (he was corny, folksy and likeable, illiterate but lacked the gravitas..) (Yes it is the C’s and D’s who run Canada not the A’s and B’s… sigh)

  • Millie_Woods

    Justin is all those things and more.

  • Liberal Progressive

    Never! Never! Never! Never!

    Last year at Liberal College in Hamilton, Gerald Butts promised that Team Trudeau would lead to a thousand year Liberal dynasty!

    • JoKeR

      Liberal uber alles!

    • Observer

      So were the Liberals promising a Trudeau Reich or a Liberal Reich that would last a thousand years?

    • That ass was McGuinty’s right hand man, look at Ontario today. A hollowed out have not province.

  • disqus_PwGxBXHn8l

    From linked post: “It is much too early to predict the outcome of the Oct. 19 election. Polls today could be quite different a month from now. Canada is not remotely like post-First World War Britain, one of many reasons being the existence of a vast Canadian middle class that has always been, and to some extent remains today, a place where Liberals and liberalism have flourished.”

    The problem is, it’s not clear why, except for force of habit, the middle class SHOULD continue to vote for the Liberals. “New” middle class people (social workers, therapists, facilitators of disability, advocates, etc.), who farm the growing underclass, should definitely vote for the NDP. Once they have a critical mass of enablers and their clients, they could stay in power indefinitely.

    The old middle class (principally knowledge workers whose trades require the ability to work with abstract ideas, hard math, etc.) will not find it comfortable to deal with the growing demand to pretend that millennial standards in their professions don’t really matter compared to suddenly demanded social goals.

    A doctor friend said recently: “But we CAN’T have a nurse who doesn’t know where the decimal place should be in charge of preparing the medication!”

    Oh yes you can, doctor, if a human rights commission rules that you must – and patient take the hindmost!

    So if the doctor cares, why should she vote for people likely to just placate grievance mongers? If so, maybe she should vote NDP. Why Liberal – unless it is to fool herself about the choice she has really made?

    Something like that happened in Britain decades ago.

    We face unlovely choices, but it’s not clear what problem we have that Justin! Justin!! Justin!!! would help solve.

  • Gary

    I had one of those Justin fans be so dense in their response to my comment about this photo from his trip to a Jew-hating homophobic Mosque where he put on a costume and would pretend to be a muslim just for their votes.

    How pathetic that the Liberal party has followers that don’t even know what Justin is doing 90% of the time, or that he is selling out Canada to the radical Muslims that would slit the throats of the gays at the PRIDE event he flew to after the Mosque visit.

    • We had a couple show up on the blog posting comments in a piece highlighting Justin’s visit to another Jew Hating Muslim mosque, stupid doesn’t begin to describe them.

  • Waffle

    We have a severe lack of voting literacy in this country. Too many falsely believe that we have an adversarial situation in our federal-provincial relations. When this misconception began, I don’t know. Possibly with Justin’s putative daddy — he divided east against west, French against English, etc. So the average, unthinking voter figures that if one party is in power federally, it is his duty to vote for another party provincially in order to maintain some sort of democratic “balance”.

    Justin is toast. He won’t be returning to his old homestead anytime soon. Right now, Tommy the Commie has the momentum and the MSM has a lot to do with it. Most people rely on the MSM for their information and the MSM presents anything but extremely biased news and opinion. I can no longer bear to watch Don Martin’s Power Play. I actually get physically ill hearing him relentlessly hammer away at Harper. I pray that Steve remains the consummate chess player. I fear it’s going to be a long, hot summer.

    • David Murrell

      I agree with your point about voting illiteracy, especially amongst immigrants who get citizenship after only three years in the country (and I am an immigrant).. The new immigrants will be returning to this Liberal fold this October.

      I disagree with the main point of this NP article. The Liberals in this country have benefitted from two things: a pro-Liberal media cartel and the Quebec “problem”. Only Liberals see themselves as the “saviours” of national unity. With a resurgent PQ (linked to the NDP), this could work. Especially with the national media working flat out for Justin. And Harper is toast. Get used to this. I only hope the conservatives have gas in the tank to finish second. I worry about them coming in third. Akin to Alberta.

  • Billy Bob Thornton

    The Liberals and the Conservatives support the same hollowing out economic policies, so the reason question is if liberalism is soft-conservatism then we don’t need such an ideology.

    The only area where the Liberals and Conservatives truly differ is on foreign policy and social policy.

    The reason why many youth lack jobs and experience has to do with the family-supporting jobs are not there anymore.

    Canada doesn’t produce anything and there is one flaw that is important with financialized capitalism. It is the race to the bottom, where eventually you will have no industries left.

    Tax cuts are not the be-all and end-all of everything. That is something the conservatives, with their extreme economic policies, will never tell you.

    Economic liberalism, in its most extreme points, will always result in corporations gaining the most power. Thus, we have corporate welfare and statism with all three major parties. The best way to fix Canada is with economic nationalism, statism, and non-interventionism, and realizing what the future of economics is. We need to become members with the BRICS bank and with China and Russia. Why create enemies when we have to realize what the future of economics is? I mean following the US capitalist model, even after all the hollowing out, is not smart, especially now. The Canadian unemployment is way higher than 6.8%. The Conservatives never include those that stop looking for work. They never include those that stop collecting. We need to realize that parties are against each other and compete all the time. Such people never understand how the average person is doing! No wonder the NDP is probably going to win. I frankly feel we need an open and democratic system where any party is able to win, including the 10 to 12 minor parties. Such a system would also allow even independents to win. We need that system to fix Canada and have true sovereignty over our economy and everything else. You have to wonder why the Conservatives want TTIP, FIPA and more globalist measures?!

    • Billy Bob Thornton

      Canada needs a nationalist party at this time to change direction on a dime!

      Of course, one does exist called the Canadian Action party.

      People on here think Hellyer created it, but it got started in 1993 as the National Party of Canada, and eventually in 1997 became the Canadian Action party. Many have led the Canadian Action party, but Canada definitely needs real change from the disaster of neoliberalism spoken by Reagan since the 1980’s with his cohort Maggie Thatcher!

      • Billy Bob Thornton

        That ideology from those two has given us disaster capitalism!!

    • Minicapt
  • Billy Bob Thornton

    What Canada definitely needs is more options because if Canada is to go towards a two party dictatorship, as I call the US system, then we will have to pick between the lesser of evils, which is not a choice at all. Canada needs to be what it truly is which is a parliamentary democracy. In parliamentary democracies, there should be lots of options, and ability for anyone to win in a general election, a by-election or any type of election ran at all levels. With the NDP and Conservatives, being the two big parties, we get nothing as a nation that benefits the average person, except careerists that will never understand the average person. Canada does not need centre parties because who truly gets to define what it means to be centrist. Any party that has the power can pull the centre towards them. In fact, the centre used to be a big thing in Canadian politics before the merger between the Canadian Alliance party and the PC party where the PC party and Liberals were both occupants of each side of the centre. Of course, they were close ideologically, but Canada has changed on many issues since 2003.

    Each region will want better representation in the years to come. Each region will want probably even newer parties. Nothing lasts forever and quite frankly this also means that the landscape will change with more parties than the Liberals being part of that minor party movement. Right now, we have 6 parties in Canada with representation and 7 independents. I hope, in the future, we will be like Britain with 10+ parties with a seat or higher and many independents. I frankly love minority governments since they offer the most accountability. So, what I am saying is we need more parties for Canadian sovereignty and to get the best policies for the average person. Which is why to me the centre means nothing. Any party can be good with the right people. A little independence wouldn’t hurt either!

    • Minicapt
      • Billy Bob Thornton

        I’m not a big gay supporter. Frankly, I don’t even advocate for them or their lifestyle. What Canada needs is more traditionalism than social conservatism. There is a distinction in that for example I am Italian. I like the traditions that our family has but I will never support pro-abortion on mass or gay marriage on mass. I want balance in everything, except I am pro-nationalist but not massively pro-patriotic. What Canada needs are debates related to how far we should go on issues. In the House of Commons, these issues are never discussed. Which is why to me all parties to have the debates should support where they are on the issues of the day. Which is why I feel the best way to get real debates in this country is with more parties. Yes, I would even support the Libertarian party, the Christian Heritage party and many other parties gaining seats. Why not?! It sounds like a fabulous idea.

        • Billy Bob Thornton

          The major parties are always in the way, sadly, and for themselves!

      • WTF?

        • Minicapt



        • Clausewitz

          Billy Bob sure does like to talk to himself since most of the sane posters here just ignore his ramblings.

  • cmh

    if they don’t drop trudeau as leader we will