As you, the gentle reader, will soon learn, I enjoy calling out the federal Tories because I don’t think that they’re all that conservative. Some guys play golf. This is what I do.
Of course, my opposition to the Tories is often taken to mean that I support the Liberals, which I do not. I’ve voted in eight federal elections, not one of them for the Grits. Stephen Harper, on the other hand, came of political age as a Trudeau supporter in Leaside, here in Dreaded Toronto.
Also, I think that the Liberals are pretty much done. If they survive into the 2019 election in any recognizable form, they’ll be lucky.
Justin Trudeau is the most inferior leader the Grits have ever had. Not only were Stephane Dion and Michael Ignatieff intellectual titans in comparison, they were better politicians. Their vote collapsed because the Great Liberal Civil War was ongoing. Given several anonymous quotes by Liberal insiders to the media in recent weeks, it still hasn’t stopped.
The factions within the LPC fear and despise one another far more than they do the Conservatives or the New Democrats. And that was fine, so long as the Conservatives and New Democrats were busy marginalizing themselves. That, recent history tells us, is no longer the case.
A very politically-connected and very, very smart friend of mine and I sat down a few weeks ago and took a look at the map. It didn’t take long for us to conclude that Justin Trudeau isn’t likely to bring home more than 70 seats, total, on election night. I’ve been saying that in public for quite some time, but my friend was shocked by it. Barring a Conservative disaster, that means that the Liberals will remain the third party in Parliament.
If that happens, Trudeau the Younger will face the challenge of delivering a concession speech with dozens of knives in his back. Ignatieff survived until the next morning, which I don’t believe Justin will. The last federal Liberal leader to get another bite at the apple after losing was John Turner, and that was thirty years ago. The governing rule since then has been “one and done.”
Yes, Justin Trudeau is a stunt, given the crown almost entirely because he has pretty hair and his father had a cool job. But he is also supposed to deliver the party to the Promised Land. If he doesn’t, he’s done, and the party is all out of stunts. They have an astronaut, whose name most folks can’t remember, but that’s it.
Unlike the NDP or the old Progressive Conservative, Reform or Canadian Alliance parties, the Liberal Party of Canada isn’t particularly overwrought about policy matters; they existed solely to win elections. They don’t believe that ideology should ever get in the way of winning, but as a consequence of that philosophy, their losers are treated in a way that’s more common to the animal kingdom than it is modern western civilization. But they were, until very recently, the most successful party in the history of representative democracy, so who am I to argue?
However, it begs an important question: What happens to what is essentially an election winning machine when it stops winning elections? Who stands as candidates for it? Who gives it money?
I believe that the answer to that is clear. No one does.
If the Conservatives retain a majority and the NDP remains the opposition (both of which I believe to be far more likely than not), the Grits will disintegrate. Their membership and, more importantly, their professionals, will begin looking for new homes in the Conservative Party and the NDP. There might be a husk of Canada’s Natural Governing Party going into 2019, but I don’t expect there to be more than that.
The consequences of that will be fascinating, and I intend to explore them in a future post.
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