Wednesday, May 09, 2007
Is the Canadian left boxing itself into a corner?
Paul Wells provides an interesting list of potential PQ leadership hopefuls. They're all very "Montreal", as Wells puts it.
There was a similar lack of balance in the recent federal Liberal leadership race. Most of the candidates were from Ontario. One was from the East. The guy who won was from Quebec. No one was from the one region where they need to pick up seats badly in order to become a dominant party again: the West.
While conservatives are often criticized as being ideologically and regionally rigid, it's the Canadian left that appears to be boxed in a corner on this front.
I know some will respond that the last Conservative leadership race wasn't exactly an exercise in regional diversity either. True. However, Bernard Lord and Jean Charest were prominent names being considered that would have added regional balance to the Conservative mix. With the Liberals, guys like McKenna, Tobin, Manley, and Rock come from areas where the Liberals are already strong.
Not one prominent Westerner was up for serious consideration.
The left side of the political spectrum prides itself for being diverse. Yet, as both the Quebec and the federal political landscape seems to be telling us, there ain't a whole lot of diversity at the top of the movement. Perhaps more importantly, I don't see this state of affairs changing any time soon.
Say what you will of Harper, but his goal from the start has been to bring together conservatives that have views in common from all parts of the country. Right now, he seems to be much better at it than his ideological foes from the left.