Monday, December 04, 2006

anti-Dion hysteria

While expected, the negative talk coming out of the other parties is ridiculous.

The Bloc is actually arguing that the Liberals picked a francophone leader from Quebec on purpose, so as to beat up the province while claiming it's not anti-Quebecois.

The NDP is raising the complaint that Dion didn't actually get much done on Kyoto while he was minister of the environment. A valid point, one I've often wondered about as well. But I'd suggest that a simple answer to that critique is to remember who was at the head of the cabinet table when Kyoto obligations were being neglected. If I had to pick between Dion doing nothing, or Dion arguing in favour of meeting Kyoto targets, and Martin ignoring him for fear of losing votes or a simple inability to make a decision, I'd bet on Martin's dithering any day. But the NDP's general line of attack seems to be that they can place all past Liberal failings on Dion's lap, simply because he was at the cabinet table. It's a fine strategy, but with Dion, I don't think that's going to find much resonance with the public.

Finally, fears are being raised by disaffected Liberals, saying that Dion will lead the Liberals to devastation in Alberta and Quebec. Firstly, the Clarity Act was enormously popular in Alberta, and Dion's arguable #2, Kennedy, has developed a significant network there, as evidenced by his delegate votes. It's not hopeless for them. Hey, if Harper can achieve a breakthrough in Quebec, I think Dion can pull off the reverse with Alberta. As for Quebec, well, Dion was re-elected easily in his own riding during the last election, and after the Clarity Act was passed, the Liberals got their highest vote in years, reducing the Bloc to near insignificance (no coincidence that Bouchard retired from politics shortly afterwards). Preliminary polls coming out of Quebec seem to support the notion that Dion as leader is far from being a slap at Quebec, but quite the opposite.

Conventional wisdom was wrong. Conventional wisdom will continue to be wrong.

And don't get me started on the 'pundits'. That's for a whole other post.

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