Christian Conservative Christian "Independent"

I'm an evangelical Christian, member of the CPC, but presently & unjustly exiled to wander the political wilderness.
All opinions expressed here are solely my own.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Warren on why Chretien Libs are "still in exile"

With something so clear and consise like this, it's better to just repost it in it's entirety. (I especially like the part where he says he thinks that Mr. Harper is going to win, and will be at the helm for a LONG time...)
Sunday, September 21, 2008, 01:45 AM

It's another Sunday, and another opportunity to ponder Election 2008 without the "winner/loser" duality. On Sundays, the Lord permits us a bit more reflection, right? Right.

A few folks - not many, but some - have asked me where all the Chrétien people are in this federal campaign. Apart from the involvement of a few whose kinship with the Liberal Party of Canada predates Chrétien, they note, a lot of us seem to be sitting this one out. Some are anxious about this, but most of them are just curious. It's a fair question.

The short answer - the cliché - is that we didn't leave the Liberal Party, the Liberal Party left us. Like many clichés, it has the added value of actually being true. Throughout 2002 and 2003, the Liberal Party of Canada was transformed into a virtual abbatoir by the Paul Martin people. As with their predecessors in the Khmer Rouge and suchlike, the Martinites devised all sorts of loyalty tests, and sought the fealty of those who - like them - would stop at nothing, literally nothing, to drive Jean Chrétien from power. The bloodletting stories are legion; most famously, they dropped Stéphane Dion from cabinet and tried (unsuccessfully) to challenge him for the nomination in his riding.

Gomery and assorted Parliamentary inquiries were just a couple of the tactics conjured up to destroy Chrétien and his people. Reputations were unjustly shredded; some were bankrupted by lawyers' fees (my wife and I are still paying thousands in legal bills); some were hounded out, even when they were sick or caring for the sick (like Jean Pelletier, or Pierre Tremblay, or Herb Dhaliwal); many just grew weary of the smears and moved on. They left, and - mostly - they never came back.

I was different, as you may have observed. One of the cardinal Liberal principles having been tossed on the slag heap by the Martin thugs - the Always Be Loyal To The Leader principle - I figured that anyone could now do likewise. I dubbed myself a "Liberal In Exile," and did all that I could do to make the lives of the Martinites a living H**l. I enjoyed every minute of it, and I and my fellow exiles celebrated their slide into minority status - and, two years later, their loss of government. I despised them. Many other Liberals felt as I did, but few said so publicly.

When Stéphane Dion won the leadership of the Liberal Party of Canada, the Chrétien people celebrated. We saw it as a clear and firm repudiation of Paul Martin and his cabal. What we did not see - not even for a moment - was what has happened. Dion, I believe now, was the ultimate compromise candidate. He won the leadership with about 17 per cent support. He did not have a team around him that was large enough, or experienced enough, to assume control of an organization as complex as the Liberal Party of Canada. Into this void slipped the unemployable Martinites - as TV pundits, as pollsters, as senior advisors. They were back, and so too the old grievances. All willingness of the Chrétien people to get involved again vanished. In the interim, a bad situation only grew more so. It culminated, on the eve of the election, with Dion's most senior Quebec lieutenants calling the Chrétien folks "has beens" who are not needed to win.

It may be true! It may be so. It may be, in fact, that the people who helped to win three successive majorities aren't needed at all, and that Stéphane Dion will somehow snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. I hope so, for him, if not necessarily many of the people around him.

Some Liberals, still seeking the help of the Chrétien team, ask: Will it ever change, even after Stephen Harper wins the election (because I believe he will)? My answer: I am sorry, but I doubt it. By the time the next leadership race takes place (because, also, I do not believe Dion will retire, and will demand the same second chance John Turner got), almost a decade will have gone by. I do not see Bob Rae or Michael Ignatieff waiting that long, either. If the Liberal Party is ever to win back government, it will be with new people, in caucus and the backrooms. That, I think, is how it should be. It's needed.

In the meantime, the Conservatives will have had the country for nearly a decade. Does that concern me, as a Chrétien Liberal? Yes, it does. Of course it does.

But the opportunity to do something about it is gone, and I don't believe the opportunity will be coming back. That may not be a happy end to the story, but that's how politics is, sometimes. You don't always get the result you want.

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  • At Sun. Sep. 21, 06:02:00 p.m. EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    It will be ok, of course. The pendulum swings, and so it should. It really is time for a fresh perspective, and the Liberal party needs to do some serious soul searching, and growing, as the Conservatives have had to. And like them, it may take a decade. So be it, we will all still be ok, because none of the major parties are really extreme, despite what some fanatics would have us believe.

  • At Mon. Sep. 22, 12:26:00 a.m. EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    It's a wonderful picture you paint, the Liberals in electoral futility, ad infinitum. The only thing that could improve on it would be seeing all the perpetrators in jail, where they belong. Not the same jail; that would be cruel. The Martinites should be jailed in Quebec, the Chretienites in Alberta. The Dionites are already in Hell. Heh heh heh!

  • At Mon. Sep. 22, 09:09:00 a.m. EDT, Blogger greyburr said…

    Such a rosey picture of Kinsellas demagogue chretian.Some of us might disagree though and believe that he should be spending his remaining years in prison.The man ran the "party of thieves" and got away with it!


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