“If you want to serve Canadians well … you have to listen to them, you have to get to know people, you have to be engaged in real conversations and talking about their hopes and dreams for the country,” - Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Maclean's Magazine Town Hall
The difference between a rut and grave is the depth.
Many pundits and political observers had written off the Liberal Party of Canada after the spectacular flame out of Prime Minister Paul Martin in 2006.
The natural governing party just could not put the pieces together again to create that pan-national centrist coalition of progressives that allowed the party to rule for seven of the past six decade and 70% of the last century.
To me, the Liberal Party is Canada. The party always represented the values that made our country what it is. The post Chretien period was tough to endure. A divided party that was a pale facsimile of its previous self.
The Conservatives ideological fixation with dismantling the pillars of our great society, first through minority and than majority governments demanded intervention but the Liberal Party was stuck, unable to tap into the enduring ideals that made them great. The party suffered as many supporters flirted with the Federal New Democrats thinking a merger of the center and left was the only way to prevent the Conservatives domination of our first-past-the post plurality electoral system.
This quagmire peaked in 2011 when the party was reduced to just 34 seats and received less than 20% of the popular vote. It was an incredibly low point, not just because I had spent most of my life promoting the Liberal brand, but because Stephen Harper seemingly had succeeded in his self-confessed ambition of wiping out the Liberal Party.
I felt that the divisiveness within the party was facilitating Harper's transformation of our country. I wanted an alternative to get the Conservatives out of office before it was too late to restore Canada's unique blend of social justice, opportunity and the dignity of the individual. In short, I was angry, disillusioned and disappointed that my party was not the dominant voice of progressives. That our failure to be the alternate to the Conservatives was allowing Harper to destroy our country.
Having felt the wrath of the Harperites first hand for my role in the ABC campaigns and rallies, the desire to throw these bums out was paramount. I knew from personal experience the extent to which these Conservatives would go to destroy your reputation, your employment and your mental health to settle scores.
After a decade of blogging about the good, the bad and the ugly side of the three consecutive Conservative government's since 2006, it was great to see them go.
I remain disappointed with how former Liberal MP Scott Andrews was treated but that battle has been fought and lost.
Canadians believe in fiscal responsibility, peace, justice, tolerance, equality and and the need for a strong national government that respects the provinces.
The Liberal Party and the values most Canadians identify with are one, and the same.
It is great to see that Prime Minister Trudeau's pledge of real change is being honored, each and every day. I'll take hope over hate any day!
The Liberal Party is once again the voice of the center-left, right were most Canadians are.