The Shotgun Blog
Monday, September 14, 2009
Abstract perfection, practical defect
The Liberals' latest shenanigans concerning their promise to no longer support the Conservative government and their subsequent ads got me thinking of a particular quote by Edmund Burke: "Their abstract perfection is their practical defect."
In the context of the Liberal ads, "their abstract perfection" is the Liberals' new slogan proclaiming that we can do better. Who can do better? Better than what? How will it be better? There are endless questions, but as far as I can tell there are no answers. This generic, abstract approach is the Liberal Party's defect - among others.
...as the liberties and the restrictions vary with times and circumstances, and admit of infinite modifications, they cannot be settled upon any abstract rule; and nothing is so foolish as to discuss them upon that principle.
Although the abstract ideas of change, doing better, and progress sound like they are always steps forward, in reality what's going on now should determine the policies, ads, and slogans of a party hungry for power.
And that's exactly what the Liberals aren't doing. They are hoping the Canadian people will simply believe we need a new government because they tell us we do. What Canadians want are solid, particularly non-abstract policies that at least give the illusion they want to help Canada instead of praying off the unstable nature of our minority/majority system.
The Liberals are even trying to make the video of Harper look like some sort of scandal or a horrible political gaffe at best. If you ask me, it was a good move - all Harper did was voice the concerns of many, if not everyone in the Conservative government. He's correct in saying that we need a majority government when the next election is called. Unlike Ignatieff, however, Harper doesn't want that election to be now. Unfortunately it's not his decision at the moment.
[Cross-posted at The Right Coast]
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