Sunday, August 05, 2007

Underestimating Dion?

The Sun Media chain has not been a "friend" to Stephane Dion since he came to the leadership of the Liberal Party.

However, Lorrie Goldstein's column this week is unusual.

Says Mr. Goldstein:

The tougher but more eye-opening one is 1999's Straight Talk -- a collection of Dion's speeches and writings when he was Canada's unity minister, following the near-disaster of the 1995 Quebec referendum.

Reading these pieces, you quickly discover that Dion is, like Harper, scary smart.

His speeches, letters and essays -- most given when he first entered Jean Chretien's cabinet on the advice of Chretien's wife, Aline -- literally demolish the separatists' arguments.

No wonder they hate him. He's smarter than they are.

Hmmm...interesting. I may have to hunt down a copy of that book.

Think about that. At that time Stephane Dion -- who had followed his father's footsteps into academia -- was a political neophyte, whom the separatists were calling the most hated man in Quebec.

He was being depicted as a rat. Then his father, whom he clearly loved, dies in a terrible accident and his critics imply his father committed suicide because of him?

Never mind that Leon Dion wasn't a separatist and was proud of his son. What a cheap shot.

Even a strong person might understandably have said, "who needs this?" and retreated from politics.

Dion stayed. And fought.

To any Conservative (or Liberal) who thinks this guy isn't tough enough to be prime minister, maybe you'd better think again.

Interesting indeed - especially when we have a Prime Minister running around playing autocrat and succeeding primarily in alienating Canadians in various regions - simply by opening his mouth.

I think Dion is a leader that people could grow to respect - unlike Harper for whom time is clearly his enemy.

No comments: