Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Crowding the left

Deirdre McMurdy articulates what many of us have been observing for some time now - that the more Stephen Harper moves into the rational centre of the political spectrum, the more Dion crowds the left (Party faithful set to pick economy as next hot-button election issue):

...All this blurring of traditional lines would certainly have caused real brand confusion issues for voters at the polls if the Liberals hadn't been quite as obliging as they've been lately.

As the Conservatives have nudged to the centre, the Liberals have gone all retro and moved further to the left, back into the territory marked out in the Trudeau era. Party leader Stéphane Dion is already calling for a return of targeted spending programs to help individuals and businesses make it through a rough patch...

But this doesn't just apply to the economy. The Afghanistan mission has also become a tug-of-war between the government and the opposition parties, with Stephane Dion vacillating like a reincarnated Mr. Dithers, and a Liberal caucus that is not united on this issue.

In spite of the Manley report however, Dion now seems to be throwing his weight to the left, which may be regrettable decision in terms of the future of Afghanistan' women and children.

I suppose it could end up depending on whether or not Dion allows his caucus a free vote.


30 comments:

Anonymous said...

Dion's position on afghan has been consistant. The troops must be rotated out of their combat role by 2009. Our role, supported by Manley's findings, should also include training and rebuilding.

Dion isn't saying that we should leave, simply that our troops, after a grueling combat mission, deserve some respite while other Nato countries fill in the gap.

Conservatives continually try and suggest that Dion is in favour of abandoning Afghan. Some, like yourself, cry " what about the children and women " with one breath and then whisper how much you depise the dirty muslim buggers with another.

Remember, the Liberals undertook this mission. The discussion has never been about leaving, only about understanding and re-evaluating our role.

The CPC has dragged it's heels on meaningful climate change legislation because it says Canada is just one country and we need everyone on board. Yet, in Afghan, where we clearly cannot go it alone, conservatives expect our troops to do miracles.

skuleman said...

I see this as a bit like saving a drowning man. Afghanistan was certainly drowning when the International force went in. Because we were late to the table (thanks Mr. Dithers) in the last round of assignments, we got the job of rescuing the big fat guy in the middle of the lake. We've now towed him part way back to shore and we're tired.
The liberals and dippers would have us swim off in a huff and let him drown because no one else is willing to jump in the lake and take over the rescue.
That's probably the height of immorality.
In first aid, once you take responsibility for a victim, you have that responsibility until someone more capable takes over (the key here too is it must be someone more capable).
That moral and ethical standard should apply here as well.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

I love your analogy, Skuleman!

Anonymous said...

Politically speaking I find absolutely nothing rational about Canada's so called center. The center of the Canadian politic is firmly entrenched in socialism.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Some, like yourself, cry " what about the children and women " with one breath and then whisper how much you depise the dirty muslim buggers with another.

Could you please provide some proof? Thanks.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

The center of the Canadian politic is firmly entrenched in socialism.

Yes, Canada sure does lean that way. Why do you think we've moved so far left as a country?

liberal supporter said...

The liberals and dippers would have us swim off in a huff and let him drown because no one else is willing to jump in the lake and take over the rescue.
Baloney.

We'll stay for decades if need be, because we can't abandon Afghanistan after going in. But we should withdraw from NATO if they renege and do not rotate in to replace us in Feb 2009.

It is only the desperate fright wingers shrieking about "crowding the left", hoping to marginalize the majority and seize power by default.

Just more of the usual trying to make political hay out of this. Look no further than MacKay LYING that Dion wants to invade Pakistan.


Why do you think we've moved so far left as a country?
Yes, I'm sure we look like we've moved to the left. Sorry to use the bad word "relative", but it is relative. It only looks that way from your position on the extreme right. You are the ones moving further to the right.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

You are the ones moving further to the right.

In what area?

Anonymous said...

what country are you in anon. 1:00pm?
More importantly, what, if anything at all does the issue at hand have to do with climate change?

Is this really just more proof that the Liberals have NOTHING ELSE?

"conservatives expect our troops to do miracles"....um taking grammar lessons from Mr. Dion? Miracles aren't "done"..lemmings are done.

liberal supporter said...

In what area?
All of them!

Actually, you would have to answer that, or demonstrate how we have in fact "moved left". I simply stated we have not, and that therefore you must have moved further right.

You must be planning a massive shift to the right with a majority. Otherwise you would be happy with the current abstention situation in which you can pass anything unopposed. But of course, you would be opposed if you started trying to implement the far right agenda. That's the real problem for you, isn't it? You can't win an election on the far right policies you want, you have to pretend to be near the "centre". Hence the continual goading about "sitting on hands", and trying to frame the debate as if everyone else is "crowding the left".

Anonymous said...

stunning, but flawed analysis LS. The middle-left was left wide open thanks to Dion and the Liberals.

Next election should be a nice fight between Layton and Dion.....better call up Rick Mercer for that show.

liberal supporter said...

Hey anon 4:48, nice try with the grammar thing. Perhaps you would like to look at this? Note that it is a .ca site, so perhaps you are unfamiliar with Canadian usage of the verb "to do".

The issue at hand has two parallels with climate change. First is what anon 3:21 says (strangely, I saw it as 1:00 earlier too, time zone problems on blogger?). The CPC position is we can't do anything on climate change without everyone else on board. But the CPC is ok with go it alone on Afghanistan. Do you see the difference?

Second connection to climate change is to do with diplomacy and international relations. Something that seems to escape Canada's New Government. We are reneging on Kyoto. Not just fall short and try to do our best, but outright repudiation. Why would you then be surprised that our allies are apparently reneging on their obligation to rotate in Feb 2009 like they were supposed to?

liberal supporter said...

Next election should be a nice fight between Layton and Dion.....better call up Rick Mercer for that show.
anon 5:09: You forgot to mention "Lizzie". Did you not receive the talking point memo from CPC Central? You're always supposed to mention May and Layton together with Dion, to reinforce this week's meme that they're all a bunch of left wing moonbats. You know, "not a leader, not worth the risk"?

Sorry, you can approach the centre from the far right, but it is very clear this is just a feint. Manley (and Iggy) are the centre-right, while Kennedy and Rae are the centre-left. Dion came up the middle at the convention for a reason. He is the middle. The centre. I know you guys don't like it, hence the incredible lengths you go to in order to get him out of the way. Like MacKay LYING that Dion wants to invade Pakistan. Sheesh!

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Why would you then be surprised that our allies are apparently reneging on their obligation to rotate in Feb 2009 like they were supposed to?

Are you seriously trying to suggest that NATO partners would actually forgo their responsibilities in Afghanistan based on Canada's stand on Kyoto? i.e. Use Afghan citizens as a bargaining chip?

liberal supporter said...

Are you seriously trying to suggest that NATO partners would actually forgo their responsibilities in Afghanistan based on Canada's stand on Kyoto? i.e. Use Afghan citizens as a bargaining chip?
You have no problem using Afghan citizens for your petty partisan name calling.

I do believe that if we were doing our best on issues they care about, which we signed on to, our allies would be more helpful in this.

I think they'll come through anyway, actually. It might be nice if the government bothered to tell them they expect them to though. Right now I suspect the impression they have is that our government actually doesn't want them to rotate in. And I think that is what our government is doing. They think they can spin this somehow and win an election on "support the troops", "Taliban Jack is a traitor" and "Dion wants to invade Pakistan". Yes, they are using Afghan civilians. That is why Canadians are turning against this in droves. Get these CPC fools out of power, Canadians will see real diplomacy and then will support the mission for as long as it takes.

OMMAG said...

Crowding the Left .....
I'd characterize it more as stomping through the Gardens of the Socialist/Statists , sleeping in their beds and eating their porridge.

The liberal party was finished with being Centrist as soon as PET took control.
As McMurdy makes reference to...

For a number of decades they managed to redefine the so called center simply by occupying such a large swath of real estate in the political spectrum and as the media was so happy to keep telling us then ... this defined Canada.

Now that the LIberals have managed to destroy all their bridges the ONLY thing they have left is The Left. Well... except for being automatically opposed to Anything the Conservative party says or does.

What the so called Manley report does is to refocus the Afghan issue on the FACTS of the matter.

This is especially difficult for the LIberals because nothing they have said in the last 3 years on the matter has had anything to do with facts. If anything a review of the hysterical the preposterous pronouncements and declarations along with the comical political posturing done by Dion alone would provide material for a monumental MOC-U-Mentary.


Well hats off to Mr. Manley for at least trying to get some sense back in his party.

Möbius said...

Did you not receive the talking point memo from CPC Central? You're always supposed to mention May and Layton together with Dion, to reinforce this week's meme that they're all a bunch of left wing moonbats. You know, "not a leader, not worth the risk"?

Don't criticize CPC talking points, then lob back Lib talking points:"CPC majority taking over the world, because then the real CPC will be revealed, etc"., unless you really want to look like a complete idiot.

Möbius said...

The liberal party was finished with being Centrist as soon as PET took control.

I voted for the LPC at one time (actually several times), because they weren't that far from a fiscal conservative centrist like myself, in actions, if not in campaigning.

I think of the CPC as "Liberals without the corruption", but the further left they move, the less they seem like the alternative party.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

but the further left they move, the less they seem like the alternative party.

Which leaves you with what choice, Möbius?

Möbius said...

If they don't start behaving like conservatives (no corporate welfare, lower taxes), then I guess I would go the Green Party.

I used to vote Liberal when pissed off, but I cannot tolerate corruption, and I once voted NDP to punish the Ontario Libs (you know where I'm coming from here). The Green Party is unelectably, so they make a nice protest.

Möbius said...

Apologies for the sucky spelling and grammar.

I'm half Irish.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

I'm half Irish.

That might account for your penchant for the Green Party. ;)

Seriously though, please don't apologize for spelling & grammar. I don't want people to worry about that here. I try to watch that with my main posts, but I don't think we should be overly-concerned.

Möbius said...

Your main posts are always quite literate. I admit that I get a bit annoyed with people who think that proper sentence structure, capitalization, and spelling are unimportant in posts. My Grade 4 English teacher would smack me about the head, if I didn't at least attempt to write complete sentences.

It's mostly Liberals, so it's to be expected.

Möbius said...

Scratch the Green Party, based on the recent pyschotic rantings of Elizabeth May about our "Christian/Crusader" soldiers in Afghanistan.

I thought she was just an earnest Enviro-nut, but now I'm thinking maybe not.

Time for the LPC to cut her loose.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

lol!! I was waiting to see how long it would take for you to hear about that.

She is a loose cannon.

Möbius said...

I can't believe what she said.

I'm an admitted atheist, but don't preach my lack of religious beliefs to others. She's preaching from her (tiny) political platform, just like a US right-wing evangelical. Why not move south, where she can be more comfortable?

Dion and his "US-style preacher friend" platform! What a great election campaign idea!

Joanne (True Blue) said...

The commentary on MDL was that she was being irresponsible because she was using the rhetoric of the Taliban.

Dumb move, Lizzy May.

maryT said...

Instead of casting a protest vote stay home and save taxpayers some money. If not for the protest green vote last election, May would not be able to afford to run around the country spouting off. And, she sure would not be all over the t.v. Save the govt 1.75 and stay home.
The number of votes not cast also sends a message. Think of the 200,000 that stayed home in AB last election. Result, a new provincial party.

OMMAG said...

Is it just me or is Bessie May starting to sound like Cindy Shehan??

Or maybe she always did and it never occurred to me before this!

It's really pathetic to see how the efforts of the fledgling greens to portray themselves as ordinary folks has devolved.
I recall some interviews about 5 years ago ( was it that long?) where the folks were laying out how they were typical young middle class folks from all kinds of backgrounds raised in the political mainstream with just a strong desire to have environmental issues held as higher priorities.

My oh my!

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Instead of casting a protest vote stay home and save taxpayers some money. If not for the protest green vote last election, May would not be able to afford to run around the country spouting off. And, she sure would not be all over the t.v. Save the govt 1.75 and stay home.

Mary, that's an excellent point!! I had forgotten that each party gets financial credit for every vote.

If you want to voice a protest vote, maybe the best thing is to spoil your ballot or stay home as you suggest.