re: Cherniaks's post on Feb. 12, 2008.I thought since Cherniak has not approved any of my recent comments on his blog, like the one above, I'd post a few short comments of my own.
"I've always been somewhat naive. My goal is to enjoy life, try to make a difference and let others do what they need to do to succeed in a similar way... In the end, though, I’d rather be the naïve nice guy than the cynical jackass."
How naive do you presuppose readers to be? This is doublespeak in its purest manifestation. You may be many things, but naive is not one of them. There is not the merest word in this blog which isn't ruthlessly calculated and contrived solely for political effect (even if it sometimes backfires).
As for your willingness to make a difference and your liberal attitude to enable others to do the same. Your petty partisanship is incontrovertible. Your lack of scruples is matched only by your unquenchable desire to win and so you have found a good home in the Liberal Party.
As far as your not being "the cynical jackass", I've got two words for you: Cheri DiNovo. Readers with short memories, may want to revisit your role in the shameless smear perpetrated by the Ontario Liberal Party and aided and abetted by one, Warren Kinsella, on my MPP.
Forgive me if I have difficulty seeing badgering bullies as victims.
I would invite people to peruse Cherniak's blog to gain a sense of the increasing contempt (see this tactical gem, for instance) and disregard (such as his wanton support for strategic voting and claim that a vote for the NDP or the Greens is a wasted vote) for the electorate. Sadly, this typifies contemporary Liberal politics and it is this kind of contempt which obviously facilitates the Liberal Party's recent blatant refusal to perform its duties as the official opposition in this government, at least a refusal to adhere to any principle or integrity in that capacity. Cherniak's arrogance and inflated sense of entitlement have long been an expected feature of Liberal brokerage politics.
The shift towards unapologetic negative campaigning and an utter contempt for voters, however, I believe to be more recent turns. This does little to stem the trend of declining voter turnout, with which, as an advocate for democracy, I can't help but be disappointed. Now, as for the two major political parties whose sole and obvious obligation is to corporate and business interests, I'm not sure they're too worried. In fact, the demoralization of the electorate seems to be a pretty effective way for preserving and perpetuating existing power relations.
About the by-elections. First of all, if Cherniak wishes to disavow the trouncing received by the Liberals in Desnethé–Missinippi–Churchill River by pointing to low voter turnout (25%), would he argue that Martha Hall Findlay's victory should similarly be qualified and mitigated, since there was even a lower voter turnout (24.4%) in Willowdale? Does he also cast doubt on Bob Rae's victory given the low voter turnout there as well (27.9%). Running two high profile candidates who previously ran for leadership of the party in extremely safe Liberal seats only resulted in the expected (although I highly doubt the same will be said of Gerard Kennedy who will be going up against Peggy Nash in the next federal election). The victories in Toronto were in no way surprising, nor were they resounding. More telling is Cherniak's calm reaction to the results in Vancouver-Quadra, clearly the surprise of the night. I'm sure Cherniak was shitting himself (perhaps George Smitherman was nearby with an adult diaper), but what do we get from him? The results were closer than I would have liked, but a win is a win is a win. Blah blah blah. So why the giddiness?
This was a test of Dion's leadership and he was not vindicated. There is no Liberal momentum here and, without a doubt, Stephane Dion will never be Prime Minister of Canada. The truth of the by-elections, as Bill Graham unwittingly let escape last night as he introduced Dion at Bob Rae's victory party, is that in the Liberal Party there is "a new leader". As if Ignatieff wasn't enough of an affliction on the right side of Dion's caucus, he now must worry about a wart on the left side of his caucus. Dion is already repeatedly upstaged by his "team" and Bob Rae will simply make Dion completely redundant in the Liberal Party. I can only hope Bob Rae does for the Liberal Party of Canada what he did for the New Democrats in Ontario.
As for the "rise" of right wing Libertarian environmentalists, I mean the Green Party, that's a very worthwhile subject and one to be discussed another day. Perhaps we could start with some Paulitics. How can we reconcile the inherent logic of capitalism, the enemy of nature, with environmentalism? Especially an environmentalist approach that seeks to affect change solely by market manipulation and without any recourse to government regulation? Is anyone surprised that the NDP is routinely considered by environmentalists to have the best environmental platform of all the parties?