Liberal existential update
In the Star this weekend, I have a story on former Liberal leader John Turner, timed to coincide with the release of a new biography by Carleton University's Paul Litt.
Turner, unequivocally, believes the Liberal Party of Canada is alive and kicking and shouldn't be contemplating any merger ideas with the New Democrats. You can click on the link above to read more. And for more information on the book, here's a good link from UBC Press.
When I talked to Turner on the phone this week, he was a little bit worried about upstaging his speech scheduled for Nov. 3 in Toronto. He's clearly putting a lot of time into planning what he wants to say at this event because, while he's still working full-time in law and staying active politically/socially (he's 82), he doesn't do many speeches these days.
So, further to the ongoing debate on whether the Liberals have a future, you can put Turner down in the "Yes" column.
You can also put the listeners of CBC Radio's Day 6 into that column, apparently. A poll on whether the Liberals should be "deep-sixed" shows 73 per cent voting in favour of the party's continued existence.
Author Peter C. Newman, however, is taking the other side, if I read the previews of his forthcoming book correctly. Here's the blurb for the Random House book due to be released late next month (emphasis mine):
Peter C. Newman, Canada's most "cussed and discussed" political journalist, on the death spiral of the Liberal Party.
The May 2, 2011 federal election turned Canadian governance upside down and inside out. In his newest and possibly most controversial book, bestselling author Peter C. Newman argues that the Harper majority will alter Canada so much that we may have to change the country's name. But the most lasting impact of the Tory win will be the demise of the Liberal Party, which ruled Canada for seven of the last ten decades and literally made the country what it is. Newman chronicles, in bloody detail, the de-construction of the Grits' once unassailable fortress and anatomizes the ways in which the arrogance embedded in the Liberal genetic code slowly poisoned the party's progressive impulses.
When the Gods Changed is the saga of a political self-immolation unequalled in Canadian history. It took Michael Ignatieff to light the match.
I guess that answers the question of what Newman did with all the research he collected when he was writing Ignatieff's political biography. I suspect it means also that Ignatieff and Brian Mulroney will have lots to discuss whenever they run into each other.