Friday, 6 January 2012

The year ahead: Canadian Liberalism

Alright. So we all know how this works.
1. Federal Liberal leadership

The Liberal Party of Canada will once again break off into its corners. Ignatieff v. Rae is over. The party will do what it always does. And I predict McGuinty v. Leblanc is next. I also look forward to possible appearances from Borys Wrzesnewskyj, Marc Garneau, and if we're lucky Scott Brison and Ken Dryden. But do not dispair. This is a good thing. Competitive leaderships are good things. We can see the glove beginning to come off in the NDP leadership race, and that bodes well for a party. What is important is that a party can coalece around one leader when the time comes.

2. The future of Premier McGuinty

I believe that at some point the Premier will announce he is stepping aside from the Ontario Liberal leadership (however, not to run for the federal Liberal leadership). The Premier has been in active politics for nearly two decades now. And despite a win in the recent election, Ontario Liberals must accept that the citizens of Ontario did vote for some degree of 'change.' Perhaps this can be accomplished by a simple change in leadership. It is hardly as though the party lacks potential candidates - Dwight Duncan, Eric Hoskins, Brad Duguid, and maybe even George Smitherman, just to name a few. That said, I do not expect an actual date of the Premier's resignation to be until after the federal Liberal leadership. Share membership demands will force the wait.

3. Emergence of moderacy on Toronto Council

Someone will emerge. The polarization of Toronto City Council is becoming ever more prevelent. The City is tiring of it. It is time for someone to emerge to lead a group of Council moderates. Michael Thompson. Karen Stintz. Josh Matlow. Ana Bailao. James Pasternak. Mary Margaret-MacMahon. There are plenty of options. I hope the Mayor embraces them. He will have the opportunity when Budget Chief Mike Del Grande steps down from his current role.

4. More floor crossers

Today saw the joining of a Quebec MP to the Liberal Party of Canada caucus. We will see more. And we will them come from the NDP. This is not a hint of a merger or some kind of closeness in policy. What it is, is a realization of the fact that many MANY Quebec New Democrats did not expect to win their seats, and are not evaluating what it is they actually believe. And many are figuring out that they are not socialists.

5. Peter Goldring
Don't judge me. MP Goldring has recently left (or been kicked out; depending on your perspective), but he now sits as a Civil Libertarian. I see him becoming something of an ally to the Liberal/liberal cause on social issues - namely the "tough on crime" legislation. Regardless of his recent legal troubles, Mr. Goldring could become a key ally to the movement of promoting idependent thought within the Conservative caucus. And that could become key to destabilizing an arrogant government.

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