Rebuilding the Big Red Machine - 3
-Funding of post-secondary education as part of a larger innovation strategy
-Promoting environmental sustainability
In my opinion, both of these would make excellent planks in the new LPC philosophy.
For a cross-section of the comments left by readers, simply read on:
"To me a Liberal Party that embraces Canadian Nationalism and a strong centralized government would provide a sharp contrast to the Conservatives and their decentralizing ways.
A commitment to a truly national Day Care Plan would be a great start. "
"First, I say seriously address the “democratic deficit”. It was that tagline that originally attracted me as Paul supporter way back in the day. It’s really sad nothing ever came of that, we squandered away our credibility on the issue and now the ball is back in the Conservative’s court (well it was until Harper picked his Cabinet anyway). "
"I think Proportional Representation, Elected, Equal Senate and other reforms to our sick Democratic system would be a good place for the party to start as one of the "Big Idea's" "
Canada and the World
"Third; a clear focus of where Canada sits in relation to the rest of the world. What can we do about third world poverty, ethnic genocide, disease, terrorism? "
"Our immigration policy is focused on inviting the top skilled people and turning them into embittered servants rather than inviting people who could build business ties around the world, and then be leaders in those industries. "
"What about Canada's role abroad? Canada Corps is a good start, but can't we do more? Shouldn't we be using our fabulous wealth to make a real difference in Africa and other developing nations? "
"Addressing the productivity dilemma, with a tie to getting immigrants into their skill-set and utilizing their previous training quicker. Provincial medical boards are holding back and limiting the # of foreign doctors who can apply for positions. "
"A more effective approach would be to build an effective network of 'middle powers' (Europe, UK, Australia, maybe Japan, Taiwan, etc.), working in close partnership, willing and capable of taking on a two-generational project to assist the world's poorest nations to achieve peace, order, good government, population stability, gender equity, and conservation of biodiversity. "
Research, Innovation, and Technology
"How about keeping the fiscal management and the commitment to a united Canada, but also bring a focus on developing education, research and technology. Make sure every kid who wants one can get a university or college education, or some sort of job training. Fund health research and help start-up technology companies. Develop and encourage sustainable transportation and energy. Make these things a national priority and the economic and social benefits will start to snowball. "
"Boost education levels to the highest in the world?"
"I agree that Post-Secondary Education is the big issue of the early 21st centruy for Canada. we need a federal government that can think strategically about education and back it up with the funding hammer."
"We have the second worst ratio in the world of public expenditures on education to student performance. Our unionized school systems need reform so that bad teachers get the boot, not library duty. "
"Accessible high-quality post-secondary education is vital to Canada's economic, social, and cultural growth. If the Liberals took this on as their major issue, they could positively distinguish themselves from the NDP and the Conservatives quite easily. "
"Clearly a focus on environment is the future. Go throuh the Green party plank and steal everything that will be remotely viable over the next decade."
"Want Green. Get back to rail for heavy freight and LRT to move people and get them off the highways. "
"The theme is sustainability. We must take as good the continued existence of our society in our place, recognizing that things that change too much disappear from view, and things that change to little are destroyed by the changes around them. We must make our society sustainable where we can, and we must change or abandon those things that cannot be made sustainable. "
"[Dion] also said that the separatists have been dominating the discourse and that part of winning back Quebec hearts and minds would be a massive assault on the separatists on everything from the language ("souverainte" v. "separatisme") to the politics (he said flat out that "there is absolutely no fiscal imbalance, the very idea is illogical")."
"If I had to pick two galvanizing issues that might be winners for the Liberals it would be euthanasia and marijuana decriminalization or even better legalization."
"I agree we need focus, but we don't need any more focus groups."
"I think the Liberal's need to do an anti-Martin and come out with 1 or 2 BIG 'dream' policies in which they can throw their entire party and country behind.
We need to focus a bit less on being all things to all people and making every policy a priority, hoping that will garner some votes. Develop the policies that work for us - no more ad hoc. And I have to agree, a "Great National Endeavour" or two would not go amiss! "
"Please. It’s called focus people, and we lack it.
The Martin fiasco tells us many things, but most importantly it tells us that the principle matters.
We need a complete re-think...that moves us left."
" I don't think a major shift in policies is warranted. The liberals were not defeated because of their policies, but because of lack lustre leadership, a sense of entitlement and scandal."
"Look, the problem with the Liberals is fundamentally similar to that of the Democrats- they're too wedded to centrism and triangulation and all the other political consultants' concepts that, ultimately, go nowhere. It has forgotten that its positions need to be rooted in something, and that something has to be a little more ambitious than feel-good pablum."
"First have a regional focus: a plan which targets specific regions, in particular B.C.and Quebec. Ontario and Atlantic Canada their doing fine."
"I’m a conservative, which means generally not a Liberal, but I would point out here that despite a gazillion tactical campaign mistakes the Liberals are still on the sunny side of 100 seats. If the Liberals had been reduced to 60-some seats despite running a tactically smooth campaign, a major strategic re-think would be in order. But it is entirely reasonable to believe the Liberals will be back big time once the Tories lose the protest vote and the “change” vote so perhaps one shouldn’t just throw that away with a big time repositioning effort."
"Here's my take: we need a visionary yet ultra-competent leadership that sets these goals...
* the world's best education system
* the world's best health system
* the most equitably prosperous society in the world
* a transition to a carbon-neutral economy by mid-century"