I hope this note finds you well, and rebounding
from the election. Monday evening was certainly a trying pass in
the Liberal Party's history, and we will have to walk an arduous
road before we emerge from this dark night of the soul. Accordingly,
I am writing to urge your assistance in initiating the process of
renewal, to restore our Party as a vessel for liberal-democratic
ideals worthy of our heritage and deserving of the confidence of
Ultimately, Canadians did not turn away from Liberalism; instead,
the national campaign lacked the courage of Liberal convictions.
The convulsions in national opinion up to election day demonstrated
that Canadians wanted desperately to vote for the Party of Laurier,
of Pearson, and of Trudeau, but reluctantly came to the conclusion
that that Party was not on the ballot.
Our Party's long association with power has made us a magnet for
Liberals of convenience, who have too often supplanted Liberals
of conscience. However, Canadians are not the fools that some political
operatives take us for. We recognise those who seek power as an
end in itself rather than as a means to advance the public good,
and we choose accordingly.
Fortunately, fair-weather Liberals will be the first to flee the
shadow of adversity. Those of us who remain must not repeat past
errors of believing that we can effect change merely by exchanging
Party leaders. If there is no fundamental reform and grassroots
rejuvenation of the Liberal Party itself, then no matter how talented
or well intentioned the next leader may be, that person will remain
a prisoner of the ills that beset our Party . Democracy must be
more than just a way of choosing leaders; it must be a way of governing
The Party must embrace a culture that holds it a virtue to tell
our leaders what they need to know, not merely what they want to
hear. We must reject all notions of victor's justice in the aftermath
of a leadership race. We must cast off the illiberal impulse to
equate dissent with disloyalty. We must be patriots before we are
partisans, and realise that we serve our Party best by serving our
country first. Above all else, we must engage in a process of reflection
and candid debate, to nourish and re-energise ideas and ideals that
will define and advance a Liberal agenda for the nation.
There are those who argue that this represents too much change;
that facing an unstable minority government, the Party must retrench,
not renew or reach out; that now is not the time for the politics
of principle to displace the politics of empty ambition.
But in my view, it is always the right time to do the right thing.
And as the results of the election amply demonstrate, those who
would sell our Party's soul for power will leave us with neither.
In the coming weeks, we will all have a chance to begin this process
in our local communities and in informal networks of Liberals across
Canada. I am eager to perform my duty towards the cause of Liberalism,
and I urge you to share the challenge during our Party's moment
I hope we will have a chance to work together, and I remain at your
disposal if I can be of any assistance to you.
With best wishes,
Michael Van Dusen
Office of Akaash Maharaj
telephone (905) 817 1245, mobile (416) 570 0203