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|I Am Skooter|
So here's us, on the raggedy edge.
Sheila Copps has, just now, lost her Liberal nomination fight against Tony Valeri. While not surprising, it’s certainly shocking.
Sheila was always a scrapper - brilliant at running the classic ground war campaign. She was also a left-leaning Liberal, and certainly not a good fit with Paul Martin’s right wing views.
This if further fuel for my view that Canadian political boundaries (left . centre . right) are being redrawn; the old labels and the stereotypes that go along with them are dead. When the dust settles, the Canadian balance will be different.
I don’t think (as some do) that this is the death of Social Liberalism in Canada; this is still the party that brought the constitution home with the increasingly important Charter of Rights & Freedoms.
In fact, if I have one key problem with all three Conservative leadership candidates, it’s the suggestion by all three of them that parliament should be the supreme legal body in Canada: do you really want Ted White (or Stephen Harper) sitting at the top of the pile that determines your individual rights and freedoms? If this is a country which is supposed to be founded on the principle of the individual, an independent appointed judiciary is important (although the process by which this judiciary is appointed is certainly questionable.)
Social Liberalism has changed: the population in general is more fiscally conservative and won’t tolerate large government deficits in this day and age. I refuse to believe, however, that this country will - for the rest of eternity - view everything through an economic prism: there is a social fabric in this country; this contract will continue to change and evolve, but it will not disappear.
Got doubts? Watch how many seats Jack Layton’s NDP wins in the next election. This will lead to an inevitable shift to the left in the Liberal party.
In the meantime, despite the fact that I felt she was a bit out of touch with Canada’s shift, I will miss Sheila, and so should you. She served Hamilton well for 20 years.