Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Liberals should avoid wishful thinking in search of new leader

Chantal Hebert

If the Liberals are to quickly grow out of opposition, they too will have to avoid sticking their heads in the sand of wishful thinking. They will, for instance, have to ask themselves whether they can continue to promote a vision of Canada that has no traction in francophone Quebec and in the West and is losing ground even in their Ontario heartland.

Over the years, they have become the agents of a national polarization that has put increasingly heavy stresses on the federation.

As they have in opposition in the past, the Liberals will be tempted to use the unity file as a wedge between them and the Conservatives. But the stakes of the next unity episode are higher than they have ever been and the margin of error smaller.