Damn, I’m sick again and I’ve got sh!t to do. But at least my reconstructed computer purrs like a kitten…. for now.
Quick post-mortem of the Liberal leadership convention: What were they thinking? Yes, Ignatieff is neocon lite. Yes, Bob Rae has serious political baggage. But Dion? Dion?! This to me appears to be clear backroom politics, with the only candidate with connections to both the Chretien and Martin camps mysteriously coming out on top, despite having no charisma or, seemingly, electability.
This may also have something to do with the John Duffy position paper I’ve discussed before, the one suggesting that the Liberal party should adopt as the foundation of its policies the battling of climate change. Dion is, without a doubt, the most environmentally aware of the candidates. But he’s also the least electable! The Conservatives will soon begin to pile character slurs on top of him, and he will be too detached to defend himself. He is toast. Conservatives in Ottawa are now shopping for lengthy term mortgages, since it seems assured that they will be in power for a long time to come.
Ignatieff would have brought Trudeau-style gravitas to the eventual showdown with Stephen Harper. But it would have been Bob Rae who would have eaten the Conservatives alive in debates, in scrums and in every other type of political combat. Despite his baggage, Rae was set to be the mighty Goliath of the reborn Liberal army. I guarantee that the smart Conservative strategists were terrified of Bob Rae.
But those foolish delegates voted with their bitter hearts instead of their strategic brains. Stephane Dion, I believe, is a smart man of high principles, mature attitudes and long thought. But Dion will not galvanize the Quebec federalists against the Bloc. Dion cannot speak to the common Canadian without adopting a distancing, professorial tone. Dion has zero traction west of Ontario. The selection of yet another old school law professor from Quebec is a sign that the Liberals have learned little from their recent trouncing.
I hope I’m wrong. The last thing I want is a “Conservative dynasty.” But I fear that that is what we get with Dion as top Liberal.