Friday, October 17, 2008

Dion's Goose Is Cooked

Regardless of how you feel about Stephane Dion, his political career is over. Politics is a harsh game, and it doesn't give people many 'do over' opportunities - especially not those who step into the leadership of their party.

Two things in today's Globe and Mail are particularly interesting:

Dion ignored advisers' advice, preferring to act as 'a lone wolf'

So it was a combination of factors that cost the Liberals so dearly: Mr. Dion was not connecting with voters and his Green Shift was unpopular.

“The Green Shift was a millstone around his neck,” the Dion adviser says.

In fact, he had been counselled in the spring by his senior advisers, including campaign manager Gordon Ashworth, not to use it as a major election piece.

That's consistent with Dion's background. He's an academic - used to charting his own path and dragging a handful of promising grad students along for the ride. That's quite different from a political party on the national stage - a place where even if the party leader is a strong personality, a degree of humility needs to be applied within the party - recognizing that the party structure exists to put people around the leader who can help fill in the blanks - the leader is not all-knowing (in spite of Harper's apparent beliefs)

The second piece of some interest is titled "Key Liberals send out feelers for Dion's job".

Meanwhile, people close to MPs Michael Ignatieff, Bob Rae, Gerard Kennedy and Dominic LeBlanc, former deputy prime minister John Manley and former New Brunswick premier Frank McKenna were contacting influential party members to test the waters.

There's only two in that list that I would consider worth the time - Kennedy and Ignatieff. Not because I necessarily agree with either of them or necessarily like them, but rather I'm looking at their ability to stand 'toe to toe' with Harper and slap him about when he starts playing thug.

If the Liberal party is smart about this, they'll make the leadership race to replace Dion brief - 3 months at the outside - and pick a sitting MP - someone who, on day 1 can, and will, stand up in the House of Commons and take Harper to task - and stick to it.


Anonymous said...

I think that Bob Rae could also go "toe to toe" with Harper and be quite effective.


MgS said...

Rae might, but I don't think his credibility in Ontario is particularly good.