Monday, August 29, 2011

Is it possible for the Federal Liberal party to recover?

This last election the Liberals only retained 34 seats, 11% of the total in the House of Commons.   Their popular was 2,783,175, 18.91%.

The federal Liberal party's previous worst result was 40 seats in 1984 though they still remained the official opposition and held 14.2% of the seats with 3,516,485 votes or 28.01% of the vote.

The last election in which the party received fewer total votes was in the Diefenbaker sweep of 1958, bu the 2,432,953 votes was worth 33.4% of the vote.

This election is the lowest number of seats the party has received since the first election in 1867.  It also the first the party is neither the government nor the official opposition.

In the election the party won the popular vote in one province.  They came fourth in popular vote in Quebec.  

I point all this out to show how far the party has fallen, how far it is from being a threat to being government again.   In 194 seats in the last election the Liberal candidate was not a factor in any way or form.

So what does the party believe in?  What is the point of the Liberal party?  

In the past the party raison d'etre was to be a moderate government that knows better than the people what should be done.   There never has really been any clear ideological underpinnings to the party.  Power was the game and for 144 years they were either the government or were waiting to get back into power.  Power for power's sale really could have been the party motto.

The Liberals benefited massively from strategic voting, but that benefit goes away when the party is no longer a threat to win seats.   In the next election the Liberals will be battling against the NDP asking for people to strategically vote for them.

Why should anyone get involved with the federal Liberals now?   What point is there in being invovled with a third party that has no real base of support and holds most of its seats because of the personal popularity of the sitting MP was better than the party?  

If you like the agenda of Stephen Harper, you are a Conservative, if you oppose him you are a New Democrat.   Fundamentally the Canadian political landscape seems to have finally shifted to a more normal left/right dichotomy.   This really means that there is no place for the Liberals in federal politics.  Energy put into it really is wasted energy.

Hopefully the sitting Liberal MPs will see the light and either resign or join either the NDP or the Conservatives.

The only thing that could save the Liberals is some sort of an NDP implosion.
Post a Comment