If Michael Ignatieff and the Liberal Party of Canada want my vote in the next federal election, they are going to have to prove to me that they are not the party of corporate interests, corporate globalism and Clinton/Chretien style neo-liberalism.
I have little confidence in their ability to do this.
If this were only about speeches, they might well win my vote. But this is 2009 and we unwashed are no longer so easy to fool with platitudes and ponies. With awareness that the Power Corp. type backroom lobbying and cronyism that has dominated Liberal Party history is bubbling up to the surface, there appears – as some have said all along – to be only cosmetic differences between the two traditional powerhouses of Canadian politics.
The mining industry’s recent wholesale purchase of key players in the Chretien government – including the former Prime Minister himself – has served only to add to the cynical distrust with which the public now customarily views the antics of our so called representatives.
I was initially drawn to Ignatieff because of his intellect (I like the idea of smart leaders) and I do not doubt the integrity of his personal quest. But there are stories out there suggesting he was lured or convinced to enter Canadian politics at the behest of the same backroom operators who rely so heavily on their anonymity and the child-like trust and lack of curiosity evidenced repeatedly by the Canadian electorate.
I like Ignatieff. I am proud that one with such accomplisments is a a fellow Canadian and I am open to anyone with new ideas for governing this land.
But I want those ideas to come from Ignatieff’s experience as a teacher, traveller and human rights scholar and not from the Power Corp boys.
Maybe you trust the shady backroom players. Maybe – through ignorance – I once gave them my trust. No more.
Drag it all into the light.
The party that can demonstrate it is truly beholden to the citizens of Canada and not to special interest groups – corporate or otherwise – will get my vote.