I agreed so much with this article I was nodding while I read it: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20081107.wcoessay1108/BNStory/specialComment/home
Some parts I particularly liked:
The overarching promise the Liberals make to Canadians at election time is actually not about left or right but about delivering sound and pragmatic government. Competence has been the core of the Liberal brand, wherever the political winds have blown their policies.
The Liberals' humbling in the 2004 election under Paul Martin, and their subsequent defeat in 2006, were in no sense results of an ideological splintering like the one that Canadian conservatives suffered. The Liberals were brought down by the erosion of their reputation for sound governance, rooted in the sponsorship scandal, and abetted by the sluggishness that afflicts parties too long in power.
Still, a significant number of people said they had voted Liberal in 2006 but were switching to another party this time. Where did they go? Nearly 44 per cent of them said they were moving to the Conservatives. Thus, the Liberals' largest loss in the last election was to the Conservatives — not to the NDP or the Greens.
Now, consider this: The Liberals may be in a five-way fight for votes, but they are in a two-way fight with the Conservatives for government. That means that votes shifting directly between them and the Conservatives are more valuable.
This article shows the importance of building and renewing from the centre, and defining ourselfs as a resposible centrist party, one who can do more then just critize Harper, but can replace him.