I had this long rambling blog in my mind outlining the 25 reasons why the Liberals broke their own rules of the ‘electability’ of the leader, ability to connect with voters across the spectrum, etc.
In the end, the Liberal Party, like any party, is a ‘family’ and families don’t react too well to outsiders. Ignatieff and Rae, for differing reasons, were percieved as outsiders. They, the Liberals, voted for one of their own. A familiar face. An old Liberal champion. A friend.
Stephane Dion is actually a rarity in politics. He’s smart and authentic. He’s the type of politician I like.
But he’s toxic in Quebec – he was against the ‘nation’ within ‘country’ concept which was approved by all major parties and overwhelmingly desired by Quebeckers.
He’s unknown outside Quebec and his broken English may be a hindrance against the suave Harper and hurt his ability to communicate things like his climate change plan in Medicine Hat.
And there’s an election – most likely – within 5-6 months.
The Federal Tories will be thinking majority.
Gerard Kennedy will be brushing up on his French for Round Two in 12 months or so. If Dion is routed, he will be dumped.
Just as an aside – did Kennedy side with a ‘winner’ or someone who’s winning would be most likely to cause another leadership process in the nearest term?
Nah…. That’s way too cynical. Even for me.
Harper will bash Dion in Quebec about the ‘nation’ think. Over and over again. Outside Quebec, Dion’s left of centre positions on the environment and ‘social justice’ will not help in the West.
I just don’t see how Dion could ever bring the Liberals back into power. That would require more Quebec MPs and/or more Western Canada MPs. Am I wrong here?
However, Canadian politics is a fickle business. Bernie Lord was polling (their internal polls) upwards of 15% ahead of Graham and ended up losing. Lord was the poster boy of the national Conservative party in 2003 and now he’s the whipping boy of a small provincial Conservative party. Belinda was a senior Cabinet member one day and a colour commentator the next. And don’t forget Paul Martin who was to usher in the greatest period in Canadian history. He was to eliminate the imbalance, regional disparity, western alienation, Quebec alienation, the democratic deficit, our place in the world, etc. etc. etc. ….he barely survived a few months.
And one of my favourite politicians, Arnold S from California was polling at 32% last year and won re-election in California by a wide margin at a time when Republicans were hammered across the US of A. He did this by preaching a simple mantra – one that sounds like Dion – economy, environment and social justice. Arnold is going to give Californians a strong economy and lead in environmental action and lead in social justice (Medicare reform for one).
So, in March 2007 we could be off the polls again and Dion could sweep the Libs back into power with a strong majority and MPs from all over the country.
But, unless we see one of those dramatic changes, the odds are favouring Mr. Scary right now, me thinks.