When Ignatieff first took over the helm, a lot of people on the left saw him as nothing more than Harper-lite, based on a selective list. When he first returned to seek the Liberal leadership I largely agreed with much of the criticism, only when I did my own research, did I find strands of classic liberalism weaving through his thoughts, at least in certain regards. When Ignatieff took over from Dion, another wave of "Liberal/Tory, same old story", people jumping on any convergence as proof dammit, proof. The situation wasn't helped by a clear lack of policy development, the Liberals still adrift, a situation not of Ignatieff's making, but a reality nonetheless.
Today, we dropped the Liberal platform, a culmination of a year's worth of work, some big items already stated previously, plus a few new one's for overall rounding. Step back and look at the evolution the past few months, and you see an apparent move philosophically. Many pundits, commentators seem to say the Liberals have "moved left", the Liberals are stepping "all over the NDP", plus some worry that we've sacrificed the center. I must admit, I find it a bit amusing that Ignatieff of all people is being accused of this spectrum shift, given past criticism.
I'm not surprised Liberals find themselves here, as a firm left of center Liberal, I was convinced Ignatieff shared this ground, with certain obvious omissions. However, as we've fleshed out our policy, as we've firmly planted our flag on the center left, it makes it much easier to support this party, this leader, this alternative to Harper. I donated yesterday with enthusiasm, not duty, because I believe in where we stand, this is traditional Liberal ground, the center left is the heart of Canadian society, not the fringe. Progessive on social issues, committed to fiscal disipline, a compassionate government that realizes constraints, but attempts to find equalities.
I feel like this party has found it's rallying cry, and I know I'm not alone. Many of us railed against this and that, our meandering positions, lack of clear focus. Victory or defeat aside, it feels like we have found something to support, the Liberals have finally armed themselves with a slew of ideas to convey a message. It's not perfect, it has pandering aspects, gloss, pure crap to be honest, but if you understand all political parties operate in this world, no exceptions, it's a fairly good projection. Where do the Liberals sit? People can debate the significance, ramifications, but it sure feels more comfortable from here.