I couldn’t believe that we did this to ourselves. I couldn’t believe that the Party that I once loved had imploded, burst into flames while Canadians toasted marshmallows over its charred carcass.
In the light of day today, I tried to shake off my feelings of sadness.
I tried looking on the bright side.
Liz May got elected. Go Liz.
The Bloc was finally vanquished. Hallelujah, the country has been saved by a monster Cheddar cheese whipped up by Mr. Abernathy.
But it kept coming back to me, over and over.
The Party, the place where I made my home for many years, had been blasted into space with Michael Ignatieff playing the part of Major Tom.
The pragmatic centre had been ripped apart leaving no room for compromise. Parliament was bad enough with the fractured coalition; now we were looking forward to four years of High Noon.
I began to wonder if it was my fault because I walked away and refused to participate, except for marking an X on a ballot. Would there still be a Liberal Party if jaded people like me hadn’t given up on the cause?
Fully forty percent of the electorate didn’t vote.
Were they all Liberals sitting on their hands?
Now, I have no home. My beliefs are not represented in either of the two main parties. I couldn’t vote for a party with a leader who is so mean of spirit and so bereft of soul.
A man who would cut off funding to church groups because they helped women in the Third World get abortions. A man who would allow people with unregistered guns to shoot their wives, children and the police officers who came to protect them.
I didn’t belong in the other party, either. I can’t be part of a party that is chock-a-block with Quebec nationalists and Members of Parliament who didn’t even bother to show up on election night.
I despair for the country. I despair for my children.
The country will not be better without the Liberal Party. It will have lost an important voice, and an undeniable spirit.
The Party I once loved stood up for women and children, provided social safety nets for the poor, and health care for all. Once upon a time it had vision and it had purpose.
Then it just seemed to give up on itself. It was pulled apart by greed and self-interest.
Somewhere between Pierre Trudeau and Michael Ignatieff, the Liberal Party lost its way.
Today, it is in shambles.
I hope the Liberal Party will find a way to rebuild. I’m too old and cynical to be part of it, but I hope young people take up the challenge.
Hope seems to be all we have left.