Despite what some argue, the vast majority of Canadians don't care for Stephen Harper, the Conservatives policies aren't representative or supported. And yet, here we are, the prospects of a further reign likely, in a sense the current political dynamic almost coronates the Conservatives by default. If you embrace the notion of compromise, a belief that any alternative can't encompass your views in totality, then you see a path towards a new center-left paradigm.
I've voted Green, I've voted NDP, I've voted Liberal, I suspect I'm not alone. Today, and in the future, I will always vote Liberal, because I've made the internal calculation that there are only two options, in terms of implementation of policy, better to be on the inside, express my voice, than essentially protesting or exercising dissent by supporting theoretical alternatives.
The Liberal Party still irks me, so much unseemly nonsense behind the scenes, in a way nothing seems to change. There are many partisans, more interested in personal ambition than actual philosophical conviction, and this dynamic is a decided turnoff. That said, the Liberal Party is essentially what you make of it, it can become whatever people want, should the grassroots organize and expand to affect change. That reality leads me to a basic point- just imagine if all the Greens and NDP party members collectively joined the Liberal Party? The suspicion of the Liberals, as offering progressive policies in principle, abandoning them in practice, is one of the chief reasons why people search for alternatives. However, if all those same people did as I've done, embrace the party and try to have an influence from the inside, we would see a reconfiguration, we would see a progressive agenda. There would still be compromise, because a big tent demands acceptance of differing opinion, but if you can accept a practicality, you can see more is achieved by an internal influx, than a fractured center-left.
Hebert has a column today, which details the "fractured" opposition, and it highlights a basic point- divided we fall. A few days ago, I heard a representative from the David Suzuki Foundation, commenting on the various environmental plans. Quite diplomatic, the person went to great pains not to overtly endorse any party plan, merely pointing out that all four opposition parties have received good marks, only the Conservatives fail. That's fair, but really it's too passive. For anyone that cares about global warming, there really are only two practical alternatives, so people have to forget the politically correct niceties and back the only plan that has a chance of implementation. Having the environmental vote scattered across different parties, simply allows Harper the "laggard" to win, it allows for the worst case scenario, where none of us win, instead stuck with bitching from the sidelines. I see no logic in that reality, partisan defences aside. But, we all have our "teams", we've all invested in different paths, but the simple fact, the minority conservative vote salivates at our purist intentions.
It's time for compromise, it's time to think beyond our limited self-interest and embrace a united alternative. That alternative becomes more attractive if people engage, because their presence actually changes what they resisted in the first place. Imagine if every riding association was inundated with former Green and NDP workers, does anyone think that wouldn't change the Liberal Party, does anyone think a progressive voice wouldn't be stronger, does anyone think the party wouldn't morph into something else. So long as nobody assumes absolute adherence to old doctrines, it would be the first and biggest step to taking back our country, the minority conservatives put in their rightful place, electoral obscurity, apart from a rump here and there. It's only the lesser of two evils if everyone is scattered, if we were to unite behind one party, I suspect it would seem far more credible and accountable, so that the principles do become practice, give and take aside.