In his article Grits On Life-Support (November 16), Richard Mostyn gives a very vivid description of how he views the current status of the Liberal brand in Canada.
From his commentary, one would think we had witnessed the Liberal brand being torn apart by lions in a coliseum this year.
The elections this year have certainly not been rewarding for the Liberal Party of Canada or the Yukon Liberal Party Ã I’ll give Mostyn that much.
But tales of our near death have been greatly exaggerated.
I imagine that, at one time, media determined that the federal Conservative party was doomed after the 1993 election when it went from a governing party of 169 seats down to a fifth-party status of two seats.
It is odd, though, that while some say that the Liberal Party of Canada is dying, having earned only 18 per cent of the national vote, few questioned the relevance of the national NDP when it held 18 per cent of the national vote following the 2008 election.
Also, let’s not forget our own Larry Bagnell Ã who, though defeated after having served 10 years as the Yukon’s MP, earned 33 per cent of the popular vote locally Ã just one per cent less than the Conservative candidate. This is hardly an indication that Yukoners have no interest in the values upheld by the Liberal Party of Canada.
Mostyn equates the poor election results for Liberals this year as a mass abandonment of the Liberal brand due to a political polarization sweeping through Canada.
But he fails to mention the effect that high commodity prices had on sustaining the federal and territorial economies Ã a boon for the governing Conservatives and Yukon Party who sat back and reaped the rewards.
He also doesn’t mention the effects caused by the anomaly of the orange surge that originated in Quebec, or the effect that Jack Layton’s personal popularity had on the 2011 elections.
But here is the most surprising thing Mostyn doesn’t mention: in the federal, provincial and territorial elections held in 2011, every single jurisdiction with a party system voted to keep its ruling party.
Canada stayed Conservative, Newfoundlanders and residents of Saskatchewan voted to keep their respective Conservative governments, Ontario and PEI re-elected Liberal governments and Manitoba once again elected an NDP government.
And yes, the Yukon voted to stick with the Yukon Party.
Why was there no change in any of these governments? With a looming world economic crisis, people are scared. And when people are scared, they usually don’t like to make changes.
I’ll be the first to admit that the Liberal Party of Canada has some work to do. This is something that has been acknowledged by the caucus, by the national board of directors and by our members. One of the few good things to come out of a major defeat is that it shakes people out of complacency. At times like these, things can’t be blamed on bad fortune Ã people need to acknowledge that there is in fact a problem and work together to fix it. Responsibility must be taken and solutions must be conceived and implemented. This is what is happening now Ã with amazing resolve.
Here is some good news for the Liberal Party of Canada, which is still very much alive and supported by more and more Canadians every day:
Â¥ During the 2011 campaign, the Liberal Party of Canada raised more money than has ever been raised by the party during a campaign.
Â¥ The Liberal Party of Canada continues to raise more money than the federal NDP.
Â¥ From October 24 to October 28, more than 5,000 people became members of the Liberal Party of Canada Ã that’s more than 1,000 members per day.
Â¥ The Liberal National Biennial Convention that will be taking place in Ottawa from January 13 to 15, 2012, already has approximately 3,000 members who plan to attend this monumental event.
Every day, more and more people are realizing they don’t fit into a party that is far left or far right.
Contrary to Mostyn’s view “there is very little real estate in the middle,” Canadians and Yukoners who consider their own beliefs and values to be “middle of the road” have come forward and asked us how they can become involved in the Liberal Party of Canada and what they can do to help.
This Saturday, November 26, from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. at MacBride Museum, the Liberal Party of Canada-Yukon will host its Annual General Meeting.
I encourage everyone interested in learning more about the Liberal Party of Canada to attend Ã life-support is not needed, but people with vision are; a vision of Canada and a belief that a government needs to be both willing to care for those who are less fortunate and willing to provide the fiscal responsibility and economic growth needed to keep Canada strong.
Staying true to the middle of the road is not fence-sitting, it is taking the blinders off and seeing the big picture.
Canada needs such a vision and the Liberal Party of Canada can fill that need.
We invite you to come to the AGM and help build the Canada that you want to live in.
Blake Rogers, president
Liberal Party of Canada-Yukon