To follow up on Dean's post about Dion below (and what a post, it got us noticed by Paul Wells and Andrew Coyne...high honours indeed. Hi guys! I guess I'll have to be nicer when I do Pundit Hair Watch tonight).
I've noticed that quite a few media commentators preface their reports on the Liberal leadership race by saying "while I personally think Dion would be a great choice..." and then go on to talk about the Usual Suspects.
This morning, I listened to Jane Taber on CBC's The Current this morning, going over the Liberal leadership hopefuls. Not a word about Dion. Well, sometimes Taber misses an angle. Hard to believe, considering she reported on the menu at Boolinda's floor-crossing negotiations.
But anyway, I digress. The Usual Suspects were trotted out:
McKenna: Obvious messianic choice. We saw where that got the Liberals.
Manley: My secret (well, not anymore) preference. His northern tiger idea was always dear to my heart.
Cauchon: To be watched. not sure why. just a hunch.
Bevilacqua: I keep shaking my head at this one. How does his name keep getting trotted out? Who is he paying?
Ignatieff: To much baggage. And he has barely lived in Canada. So now you want to lead it?
Brison: You've got to be kidding. Nice guy, but he has baggage too. Dean and I met Brison once. And we'll leave where and when out of it.
Boolinda: Baggage! too tangled of a past. she's coming into her own as an MP, but not as leadership material.
Rae: He's being 'wooed'. wooed? please. see above, re: baggage.
And the elephant in the room nobody is talking about: Sheila anyone? Anyone?
Perhaps the Liberals should avoid the big leader, the flashy leader, the charismatic leader. In fact, I'd say that they should try and make the party larger than the leader. Make it a party of ideas, with a vision. A party of one man will fail, as it just did. Whoever ends up leading the party should become great by circumstance, and not by ambition. You know, that line about great leaders having power thrust upon them. Naive likely. Idealistic, you bet. But that's how people think in moments of change and hope, before cold hard realities descend.
So who is best to make the party itself more important than the leader, and leave party leadership politics behind? Just prior to Martin's concession speech, they asked Dion about Martin's future. He said "I am always loyal to the leader". An admirable statement, but possibly also a dig at Martin. Loyal to Chretien, loyal to Martin, sure. But what he was really saying was, loyal to the party, loyal to the person who leads it. Dion understands that the party needs to be bigger than one man.
Another piece of wisdom: be suspicious of those who want power. Only give it to those who don't want it.
Dean and I agree: Dion for leader!