Monday, February 28, 2005

Liberals, Natural Governing Party or Something Worse?

Marc-Boris St-Maurice led the Marijuana Party from its inception in 2000 until last December, but is planning a formal announcement for tomorrow that he is now a member of the Liberal Party. St-Maurice made the decision for a simple reason - the Marijuana party is meaningless and it's easier to create change from within.

"Obviously the Marijuana Party is not going to be drafting legislation and passing it through the House of Commons any time soon, so that's where that decision came from," he told globeandmail.com."
St-Maurice ran against Paul Martin in the Quebec riding of Lasard-Emard and received only 0.8% of the vote.

The issue of legalizing marijuana will be further discussed at the Liberal convention this weekend, but St-Maurice's decision reflects a larger problem in Canadian politics. The Liberal Party has become an institution of power.

They have moved beyond the stature of being the 'natural governing party' and taken on a position of being the permanent political authority in the country. In order to effect change, you must work from within the Liberals. Our entire political system is now based on this dynamic, the Liberals are the party in power and always will be. Whether or not it's a majority or minority is meaningless, the Liberals run Canada. Every other party is seen simply in terms of their relationship to the Liberals.

Such a position of power is incredibly dangerous. It leads to stagnation, corruption and an 'old boys club' mentality. Prime Minister Martin is the ultimate failure of years of slow decline. A man who has been waiting in the wings for a decade to assume the position of ultimate of power and is showing himself to be an incredibly poor leader.

The real problem is that the situation shows no indication of improving. The Conservatives and NDP will never be successful in Quebec which completely hampers their ability to form the government. Until another truly national party emerges, the perception of Canadian politics will continue to be that the Liberals are the source of all power and they will, in turn continue their corrupt politics.

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