It’s Christmas Time, so here is my list, of things I’d like the Liberal Party of Canada to do in 2011:
1. Add separate “Crime” & “Infrastructure” areas to the “Issues” section of the Liberal Party website.
In his end-of-the-year interview with the CBC, Michael Ignatieff said he was ready to challenge Stephen Harper on his dumb-on-crime policies. The Liberal Party is also the party of sound infrastructure policy. Mr. Ignatieff has been looking for a grand national project to unite Canadians and bring them into the big-red-tend, how about high speed rail? The Liberal Party needs to provide a solid alternative to Harper’s policies. On crime, the Conservatives have ineffective, evidence-ignoring policies so the Liberals should really be turning their strength into weakness and infrastructure provides jobs and new technologies.
2. Appoint a “Education” critic.
The Liberal Party has made the knowledge economy the centerpiece of their jobs platform. With this in mind, why not appoint an education critic and promise to make a Federal Ministry of Education when in government. The census issue opened up an even larger gap between the Conservatives and Canadians with post secondary education and raising the issue of education nationally is not only good politics, it is great policy.
3. Liberal merchandise.
The Liberal Party has so many great Prime Ministers in its history and needs to improve its branding and fund-raising. The LPC should add a “merchandise” section to its website. This is one of many great ways to engage younger Canadians, bring together Liberal Canadians and, above all, get me a Liberal Party t-shirt.
4. Dispel any Coalition-related doubt.
During the end-of-the-year “At Issue” Panel on the CBC, Andrew Coyne made a great point. He said that the fact that Michael Ignatieff/the Liberal Party has yet to publicly/emphatically declare that, going into the next election, there is no coalition between the Liberals, the NDP and the Bloc, has scared off many right-of-centre Canadians from the Liberal Party and given left-of-centre Canadians an excuse to vote NDP in the knowledge that they are also semi-supporting the Liberals. I wholeheartedly agree. In the New Year, the Liberals should make a video highlighting the fact that we are already a coalition (which would help popularize the phrase “Big-Red-Tent” which isn’t yet part of the popular culture) and making clear that there is no pre-election deal between the Liberals and any other party. This would have added benefits. The Conservatives are going to keep lying and repeating the word “coalition” over and over no matter what the Liberals do*. If the Liberals did remove all doubt about any pre-election coalition, it would be a national news story, and after that the Conservatives would look like quite the fool with all of their scaremongerin and bloviating.
Those are just a few suggestions (I have been prescient about this kind of thing in the past.) The Liberal Party has a lot of work ahead of it, but we are the party of ideas, we are the party of real leadership, we are the Big-Red-Tent at the centre of Canadian politics!
Thank you so much for reading my blog this year. I’d like to wish you a Merry Christmas and a safe, happy and blessed New Year!