A Drop In The Bucket

And so ends the 2011 election season, an utterly disgraceful one for the Liberals by any measure. Not one result, coast-to-coast, that they can point to and say, "We have the momentum." The best they did was their wins in PEI and here in Ontario, where they held us off at some cost.

So what?

Does anyone out there think that these Liberals are going away any time soon? Did we win?

Absolutely not.

This country, all of it, still belongs to the Liberals. Nothing has changed that. Not the federal majority in both houses. Not our advances provincially, such as they were. Not our victories at the municipal level. Not the establishment of Sun News. Not the dominance in fundraising. Not even the fact that Conservatives seem to be on the rise worldwide. None of that matters.

For you see, I talk to Liberals. And they remain hopeful. Hopeful that good, as they put it, will triumph over evil in the end. All of their misfortune is just a setback. All of our gains are just a bad dream that will end soon.

When I can open a newspaper and see ridiculous, unfounded rumours about leadership challenges to Tim Hudak reported on as if they are fact (and remember, this is a guy who did just take a piece of Dalton's rear end, something nobody else has accomplished in recent memory)....

.....or when, a day before Brad Wall wipes the floor with the NDP, I read about how Harper's decision to dismantle the Wheat Board might hurt the Saskatchewan Party's hopes, and then, after Wall is done wiping the floor with the NDP, there is not even an acknowledgement of how wrong they were.....

....or when people -any people- refuse to take the CBC to task over this ridiculous, ridiculous situation with Rob Ford......

....or when Margaret Wente points out that the Occupy protesters are overeducated, irresponsible adult children who put the cart before the horse in a big way, expecting to graduate into a world that would shower them with neverending praise, and the next day there are letters taking her to task for being too harsh on single mothers.....

.....or when anyone gives a toss about what Bob Rae has to say on any subject, given that he is a carpetbagging, limelight-seeking opportunist of the first order (and that is something not even the Liberals I talk to try to deny).....then I have to conclude that the Liberals, deluded as they unquestionably are, still have reason to hope.

Compare their state of mind, if you will, to ours. I- we- are currently engaged in soul-searching, debating, deliberating, pondering, on what our next tack will be. We actively fear losing what we've gained while the Liberals look at their troubles as just a down period that they'll bounce back from. That's why we are so reluctant to criticize Conservative leaders who do the wrong thing. I don't like that tendency, but I understand it.

I understand it because the battle between us and them has never been a war between equals. Central to Liberal electoral success is the Heritage Moment illusion of the quiet northern nation, governed by the sane, sage practitioners of the golden mean, where we peacefully play hockey on frozen ponds, are kind to our neighbours, are proud of our healthcare system, dutifully watch the CBC and read Canadian novels, and settle our differences without getting emotional. And we Conservatives, who believe people are naturally selfish and self-interested, are an affront to that. We don't have anything as soothing as the Heritage Moment illusion. All we have are hard truths.

Aye, Mr. Liberal Voter. Why don't ye jes' REEEAD it, then?

Nobody likes having their illusions challenged. But challenge them we must. And if the economy craters, or the Liberal abuse of trust becomes so massive that it cannot be rationalized a la Adscam, then the illusion will disappear and we will have an opportunity to take this province back.