The Liberal Party of Canada has long been hailed as the Natural Governing Party of Canada, yet in this election the party was reduced to 34 seats. Over the next weeks and months many people will be talking about what happened, but of more importance I think, is what still needs to happen.
The Liberal Party could take the easy way out and simply merge with the NDP, its a very real possiblity for them; but the vote would not transfer over wholesale, they most moderate fifth of the Liberal Party would probably switch to voting Conservative, eyeing their middle of the road approach as the natural successor the the Liberals. For about another fifth of Liberal voter's old animosity towards the NDP would be insurmountable, here we might see voters fleeing to the Greens and other fringe parties.
Thus I think that the Liberal Party needs to rebuild, the seats lost in Ontario are not secure, and they could be re-taken in the next election. But if the Liberals seek to regain their status as a top two party they will need to make an overhaul of their party, and of many longstanding policies.
They will have to return to the roots of Liberalism, they will have to give up such social engineering projects as the Long Gun Registry. They will have to come forward with new ideas, like the legalization of Marijuana, and they will have to give up on the high tax agenda they have been pursuing as of late.
The Liberal party needs more than a new leader to re-introduce itself to Canadian politics. It needs to return to Classical Liberalism.