Getting more out of job creators

Probably the best and most successful way to get more out of the job creators, is to convince them that they can make more money.

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Unite The Left & Polarize Politics- Liberals Have A Place

After a crushing defeat for we Liberals in 2011, and unprecedented gains for the New Democrats, many party members became more open to the idea of uniting the left. I think that this would be a mistake. Harper’s stated mission has been to destroy the Liberal party, and in turn, polarize Canadian politics, resulting in ideological battles of closer resemblance to American politics than the more mature debates we have had in Canada, until recently.

If all that matters is winning, the chance of success looks good. In 2011, the popular vote of the NDP was about 31%. Add that to the popular vote of Liberals and we have a popular vote of about 49.5%. That is almost a clean, honest majority. But, as conservatives learned when the right was united, one plus one doesn’t always make two.

Blue Liberals that lean to the right on economic issues won’t be comfortable in the same camp as the dippers. They are likely to hop onto the conservative bus, or just refrain from voting all together. The far left of the NDP will be in a similar position. They won’t be comfortable in the same boat as the Liberals, so they may refrain from voting all together or change allegiance to the Green Party (if they are further left on the environment, but less left on other issues) or another.  The possibility that the far left NDPers will remain with a merged party appears to be slightly higher, since there is not yet an electable party that is further left than the NDP, but it is hard to say what they will do. If the further left does remain with the party, the chances that Blue Liberals will leave only goes up.

In the end, a merger on the left will polarize Canadian politics. Instead of having a party that straddles the centre and can change positions based on evidence, we will end up with two parties that are driven more by ideology than good ideas. It will be a battle of the left versus the right, similar to the two party system in America.  There won’t be a party that can tie together the better ideas of the right with the better ideas of the left. The best we can hope for by a merger is a NDP-lite party against a Conservative party that may take a step to the left.

The concept that Canada would become essentially a two party system, where both parties always travel in opposite directions, ignoring what route is best is a concept that fails to give the electorate fair alternatives.

There will always be a raison d’etre for Liberals, because we are the party of the people, the party of evidence and the party that can do what is best without being limited by ideological constraints.  I believe that Liberal values are the values of the majority because I think that most voters want politicians to do what’s best based on the facts, not some rigid belief system.

The way forward for Liberals isn’t by being consumed by the NDP. The problem isn’t that liberalism is dead or even dying.  The problem is that we haven’t been good at connecting with voters. We need to become the best party at communicating our message and our values.

That is the way forward for Liberals.


Liberalism Reinvented

Liberalism is capable of change over time, because situations change over time. Ideologically driven parties aren’t as capable of these changes because they refuse to consider ideas that don’t fit the program, even if they make sense.

The Liberal Party is a party where centrists of all types can feel comfortable expressing their opinions, whether they lean to the right or the left. Every idea can be valid and ideas aren’t shut down just because they don’t fit the ideology. Some people claim that this means we have no principles. It really means that we aren’t going to hold the belief that the world is flat then refuse to listen to someone that calls it round. Liberalism is about keeping an open mind.

Bringing the fiscal conservatism of the right (as it pertains to growing the economy and maintaining balanced budgets) together with the social conscience of the left is challenging, but is the balanced approach needed to achieve the best results. It also reflects the views of the majority of Canadians.

It appears there are more that share these views:

What would a truly liberal, Liberal party look like? by Michael Den Tandt

In defence of liberalism by Marlene Jennings and Thomas Touchie

The Politics of Greed: NDP vs. Conservative vs. Liberal

It occurred to me that if the Conservatives favour an ideology where a vast majority of the party believes that “The poor are that way by choice, therefore, why should I pay for their existence out of my income? I worked for it so I should get to keep more of it so I can be better off”  Then the majority of leftist NDP members tend to believe that, “the rich are too rich, therefore, government should take more of their money and give it to me, so I can be better off.” Both of these beliefs are driven by greed, justified to the believers by the demonization of the other.

Liberals seem better able to strike a balance because they are not predisposed to these kinds of sentiments. Decisions can be made by doing what is best after careful consideration, not what will right the perceived (and sometimes valid) wrongs of some demonized group.