You can’t be the Bono Party
Last time I wrote some unsolicited advice to the Grits, it was that they should keep it simple. This time I want to talk about the kind of issues that the Libs should highlight. In this spirit I want to talk about the danger of being what you could call the Bono Party. By this I mean that the Liberal Party cannot be the party of wealthy people who have something of a social conscience. There’s nothing wrong with appealing to those who are wealthy and socially concerned, but they aren’t much of majority. The Liberals really could have done with some of the platform planks that the NDP championed, simple stuff like taking on Canada’s overpriced ATM fees.
This is not to mean that the Liberals should ignore things that require big solutions such as the environment or international development or what-have-you, just that they need to give central role to policies that have a more pedestrian appeal. I imagine that Harper has a number of his own grand schemes – expanding the military or further integration with the US economy might be among them – but he doesn’t make those into campaign centerpieces.