With gloom and doom the flavour of the week amongst Liberals, two professors offer a slightly more optimistic view of the future of the stricken Liberal Party.
First, Brooke Jeffrey:
But ask political scientist Brooke Jeffrey of Concordia University if things could possibly get any worse for the federal Liberals and she’ll remind you that once upon a time, things were worse...
But can a hold on the middle translate into votes?
“I don’t think voters moved en masse to the NDP as their party of choice,” she said. “In desperation, failing to see in the Liberal party what they had come to expect from the Liberal party, they looked around for anything else at all that was an alternative to Stephen Harper.
“This is not a permanent problem for the Liberal party … it’s correctable.”
And from Allison Harell:
Allison Harell, a professor of political science at UQAM, also believes that the NDP surge is not so much a rush to the left as “a reflection of discontent with the Liberal party.”
Asked what the first thing the Liberals will have to do to start to rebuild, Harell replied: “Michael Ignatieff just did it,” referring to his announced resignation.
She also noted that a pledge by Harper to eliminate voter subsidies to the funding of federal parties could jump start the Liberals and other opposition parties to “take seriously the grassroots (organizing) efforts they’ve kind of let go. “The Liberals have kind of got lazy in terms of facilitating a grassroots party because they’ve been so successful historically.”
Food for thought.
So banish those negative waves, and let's start building. We are certainly starting from scratch, eh?
But starting from scratch means we can seriously consider becoming the party with the most striking and challenging electoral reform policies, starting with the policies in the election platform and including serious reform of Parliament and of the way we elect our MPs, including proportional representation