What is the biggest knock against the Liberals? What is the one thing, above all else, that annoys people (okay, us) about them? There are lots, sure, but if we had to pick one thing, only one, what would it be?
No question about it. It is that Liberals lie.
Are Liberals the only ones that lie? Not at all. Conservatives lie plenty. I'm not going to pretend that they don't. The difference is in what Liberals lie about.
Liberals lie about who they are. They will tell you that they are: Canada's natural governing party, the party that listens to grassroots, the party of Bay Street, of Main Street, of Toronto, of Montreal, of rural Alberta, of free trade, of protectionism, of aggressive foreign policy, of being honest brokers, of the flag, of Canada's health care system, of compassion, of deep cutbacks to the provinces in the 1990's, of higher taxes, of the environment, of pipelines, of the Senate, of veterans, of peacekeeping, of education, of net neutrality, of protection of standards, of supply management, of reproductive freedom, of protection of religious rights, of multiculturalism and LGBTQ equality and personal freedom and everything else that could be dreamed of. A Liberal will tell you that they are all of these things at once without seeing any kind of contradiction.
Well actually.....that's not quite true. I mean, sure, up until very recently it was true. That's how Liberals won elections. And when they won elections there was a hope that they would do something right every so often. Even when they lost elections, that hope never went away.
But then, something happened. It didn't happen to the Liberals per se. It happened around the time of the last financial crisis, where people saw their incomes and futures wiped out and where an entire generation- my generation- saw themselves saddled with more debt than they could ever imagine would be paid off in 50 lifetimes. And instead of fighting back, we all just kind of.....went up to our rooms and pulled the covers over our heads.
The system had basically failed, and the voting public decided it couldn't be fixed. It, and the people who supported it, were going to rebuild it, and themselves, out of nothing, by educating themselves about all the ways in which they were terrible and personally responsible for oppression. These people and this system were going to be punished for the tiniest errors. Opposition leaders were going to be defeated in their own ridings. People who reached out across the aisles to non-traditional bases of support were going to have their arms metaphorically chopped off. Change was going to be looked at as scary and terrible.
Don't go looking for real reform from opposition parties. Those guys are and were all just fakers and posers, fauxgressives and not-real-conservatives, who weren't really down with the way stuff was. And as such the voting public would be damned if it was going to rouse itself for anything other than the true Second Coming, the new Golden Age of Prosperity to which everyone was entitled.
Therefore, just doing things the same old way isn't going to work for the Liberal Party of Canada and their various and multihued subsidiaries in the provinces and in the cities. Gone is your grandpa's LPC where you could hope for a tax break every couple of decades. The new Liberal Party of Canada is now a full-on revolutionary, positivity-fuelled tide of history into which all the brightest lights are drawn, under the leadership of the Destined One, the Kings of Kings, and the Breaker of All Vessels. You know to whom I refer before I even write His name- His Christlihoodness - the LORD- Justin Trudeau.
We all know, on some primordial level, that His Derpiness's daddy was the closest thing we have in this country to a mythological figure- a Lincoln, or a Pilsudski, perhaps, or even Uncle Jesse from Full House. So- logically- Justin is the only one with the ability to bring in the Age of Glory. That is why everyone is projecting their wants onto him, and him specifically. That's why this guy is able to say that it's time for a carbon tax while Stephane Dion and Alf Apps got trampled for saying the exact same thing. The LORD is on the side of a carbon tax, so what might men do?
That and the fact that the unions have picked him as the guy who's going to finally take down Harper. That always helps.
Where was I going with all this? Oh yeah, Liberals lying. Yeah, that was a bit of a downer. But no longer. They don't have to lie anymore and be all things to all people in that annoying Liberal-y manner. These guys have the Justinian authority to go full on wackadoodle progressive- after they get into government. For now, they have to pretend to be pro-pipeline and other stuff like that, but that's what all great Liberal leaders do- tell people they're not going to raise taxes, or tell people they'll eliminate the GST.
Consider Israel. No longer will the LPC have to issue half-assed press releases supporting Israel's right to defend itself. No longer will people like Rick Salutin have to wag their fingers at progressives who happen to be pro-Israel. Can you imagine the relief? Can you imagine how much easier it will be for Liberal MPs to not have to worry about tangling themselves into existential knots, to not have to be jealous of the CPC who can afford to take a consistent stand on the issue? They can just drop the whole charade and tell pro-Israel people to go take a flying leap, the same way they told the pro-lifers and whatever contingent of the LPC supported partisanship in the Senate.
By the way, if you happen to be a supporter of Israel and can't stomach an LPC where Omar Alghabra determines Middle East policy, well, you can sit in the corner with Tim Hudak and everyone else who thought some semblance of fiscal discipline was an idea Canadians would still get behind. Don't do that, though, because there's still a chance that Trudeau might let CJPAC continue to throw nice parties in downtown Toronto.
So it is that ideas that we could all once agree had some merit get tossed out the window, and the stone the builders had rejected becomes the cornerstone, or whatever.