Sunday, April 02, 2017

On anti-Liberalism

Last night, I responded on Twitter to David Akin's Lib-fueled attack on citizen engagement in the Ottawa-Vanier by-election:
Let's follow up however by noting that the problem doesn't figure to be limited to electoral reform.

Activists across Canada are rightly working for the change the Libs promised, including on issues ranging from reconciliation with indigenous people to preserving a clean environment to ensuring that CEOs pay their fair share of taxes. And plenty more people care enough about other items on the Libs' long list of broken promises to want to hold Justin Trudeau to them.

A government which didn't view the very concept of opposition as a nuisance would at least acknowledge that it's legitimate for people to take action on the same issues it highlighted to get elected. But in a party built around the single principle of saying anything to take power, anybody who questions whether the Libs are living up to their promises is apparently being dumped onto a common enemies list. 

That said, if the Libs see anybody who cares about policy choices - or even the concept of honesty in government - as "anti-Liberal", then it's worth treating that phrase that as a badge of honour rather than a criticism. And anybody wanting to hold Trudeau to any of his promises had best send the message that there are electoral consequences both for breaking promises, and for trying to delegitimize issue activism.


  1. The Liberals are saying that fighting for a more robust democracy renders one anti- Liberal. This is a strategy they may wish to alter.

    1. Unless they figure that they don't need the votes of people who want a more robust democracy. Which is why it's essential to make sure people fighting for other causes recognize the principle at stake too.