Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Liberals & Conservatives, Two Halves of One Party

Are the BC Liberals a coalition of federal Conservatives and Liberals or are the Conservatives and Liberals just a federal party not yet united? There's an answer to that question and though it relies on perspective, it doesn't rely on your own.

The BC Liberal Party is sometimes cited as a coalition of federal Conservatives and Liberals, that it must offer a balance between the two ideologies (as if both vague, populist parties offer ideologies) to satisfy its membership and to remain in power.

However what justification could someone have in defining a provincial party and its internal machinery by its federal components? Any supportive rationality relies on the perspective that federal politics supersede the provincial sort, as if Parliament was the periodic table and provincial legislatures were just subsequent molecules.

For people who hold the contrary perspective, who believe provincial politics subordinate federal, the BC Liberals would not exist as a coalition, but would exist as a whole, and the federal Conservatives and Liberals would be merely two halves of one party yet un-united.

It may appear then that how one defines the BC Liberal Party and other parties is relative to perspective, and it is, but just as it is relative to each of us which party is best, there is a right answer, and democratically it’s determined by the majority.

Who can be right is not the pundits, it's not the organizers, and it's not the politicians. Whether federal or provincial politics are more important, whether one shapes the other, is ultimately determined by the people.

If enough members of the BC Liberals see federal politics trumping provincial, the party will be relegated to being a mere coalition, but if enough people view provincial politics as supreme or even just equal, federal politics, particularly federal parties, will be seen as they should.

Federal parties should not be seen to exhaustively comprise every provincial political organization, instead they should be viewed and actually exist as the federal entities they are. Federal parties should not compose the elements for every provincial party; they must be composed of them.

So are provincial parties merely manifestations of federal ones? The answer rests on whether federal politics are more important than provincial politics, and that can only be found in how Canadians view their country, and more specifically, how they view the intergovernmental relationships within it.

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