Masthead graphic based on a painting by Gudrun Thriemer.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Chantal Hébert, "Liberals ponder merits of a shift left," Toronto Star, January 12, 2009.

The most fundamental question Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff will have to address as he ponders whether coalition-building with the NDP is still worth pursuing is whether the key to the future electoral success of his party lies in moving it further to the left.


For his entire tenure as leader, Dion pushed the envelope of a greater integration of the country's progressive forces. He tested an electoral coalition with the Greens and Elizabeth May. He endorsed left-leaning signature policies. He brought the Liberals under the umbrella of a progressive parliamentary coalition.

Those efforts resulted in Conservative gains at every step of the way. While Dion led his party to a historical low in the popular vote, Harper took over some key Liberal real estate in the October election. The subsequent crafting of the Liberal/NDP coalition propelled the Conservatives into majority territory in the polls for the first time since they came to power in 2006.

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