Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Lessons unlearned

It's bad enough that the Libs have done so much to try to prevent their leaders and MPs from facing any internal review mechanisms. But it's a new low that they now seem downright proud of it:
With another federal election campaign on the horizon, the Liberal caucus must focus its efforts in serving the needs of constituents and exposing the shortcomings of this minority Conservative government, said Liberal Leader St├ęphane Dion.

"During the next election campaign, Liberals will provide Canadians with a framework for building a more prosperous, just and environmentally sustainable Canada," said Mr. Dion. "To succeed in defeating the Conservatives' narrow-minded vision of Canada, we need a Liberal team that is focused on election preparedness - not on fighting nomination battles back in their ridings."

The Liberal policy of securing nominations for Liberal incumbents was introduced during the minority government of former Prime Minister Paul Martin in an effort to allow MPs to better serve their constituents as Parliamentarians instead of continuously campaigning at the riding level.

Under the leadership of Mr. Dion, incumbent MPs will continue to hold secure nominations while talented new candidates will be selected for unheld seats and ridings where the incumbent Liberal candidate does not seek re-election.
Needless to say, that poses rather a large problem for those who have valid reasons to want to see some incumbents challenged. But then, the Libs' message makes clear that for all their talk of renewal, they're still more than willing to cut corners on internal accountability if they see a short-term electoral benefit to doing so. Which means that those interested in any genuine grassroots input still don't have a place in the Liberal Party - and that Canadian voters who recognize that a progressive message doesn't need to be combined with a callous hunger for power have yet one more reason to cast their vote elsewhere.

(h/t to Jim.)

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