I know old habits are hard to break, but Conservatives need to change their mentality. Every time I read a blog entry that is critical of Conservative policy, it is generally accompanied by some retort about the former Liberal government. Commenters do the compare and contrast and the discussion of past records, which successfully distracts from the issue at hand. The former government is the convenient crutch to deflect criticism.
I don’t care if the Liberals failed, the Conservatives are now the government and their policies should be judged on their own merit. Was the gun registry mishandled? Probably, but the question now is whether or not you support the policy. Did the Liberals fail on meeting Kyoto targets? Yes, but this government still has six years left to do something, so the question is still do you support the targets or don’t you? Did the Liberals fail to get an agreement on softwood? Yes, but that doesn’t innoculate the Conservatives from criticism of their agreement. In other words, the Liberals are yesterday’s news and are no longer the easy target for Conservative venom.
Interesting to remember that the Conservatives election platform, outlined in the bluebook, criticized the Liberals before it offered any policies. The Conservatives have received a lot of mileage in trashing the Liberals, but this mindset doesn’t wash anymore. What are you doing? How do your policies affect Canadians in their own right? The Liberal scapegoat is gone, standup and be accountability. If you are backing out of Kyoto it is because the Conservatives don’t support Kyoto, not because Paul Martin didn’t do enough. If you want a closer relationship with the Americans, it is because you agree with their government, not because the former government didn’t see eye to eye. Present your ideas, and let people judge them, without falling back on the old government for cover.