Friday, March 07, 2008

From the Desk of the Unelected Senator

Michael Fortier explains to Canadians what Stéphane Dion is really thinking and spins it that Dion is “turning into an adviser to [PQ Leader Pauline] Marois”.

That’s a bit of a stretch, mainly because I don’t know why anyone would want strategic political advice from Mr. Dion…


  • I posted this on Forum Liberal last night. There were a dozen replies. It was taken down as ‘off topic’ this morning.

    “This is a discussion. The same is being said in living rooms and meetings. We might as well discuss it here. Can you find a reason why Dion should stay?

    Let’s be clear about why Dion has to go. It isn’t that Dion is the worse communicator in Canada, a poor leader, and doesn’t understand politics. I have said as much months ago.

    It isn’t that the LPC doesn’t oppose government legislature or won’t fight an election. Dion is being logical. He doesn’t have the issues to take to the people.

    Dion has to go because he is unable to create a winning edge. He has failed as a strategist to forge a green alliance with the NDP and Bloc. He could have given them Afghanistan to seal the deal.

    He has failed as a leader to create a new and better brand for the LPC. And, he has failed as an organizer to revitalize the LPC.

    Compare with Barrack Obama. He started as the underdog, and hopelessly outgunned. In six months, he has gained momentum and a movement. He has out-organized the Democratic Party establishment.

    He started as a brand and an idea, and firmed up his platform as he went. He started by marketing himself, and an organization now has life of its own. Is this a winning business model?

    On the other hand, Dion’s brand and mini-movement evaporated after the Montreal convention. He has not been able to transfer the brand to the LPC, or create a new one.

    Harper may be in trouble over the Cadman affair. Surely that means that we must present a winning leader to the electorate. It would not be fair to the electorate if they had to vote for Harper again because they had no choice.

    I’m a new member in Delta. I hope that Harper and his idiots are defeated. That Canada will return to moderation.”

    By Blogger JimTan, at 5:19 p.m.  

  • I wouldn't want to belong to an over-caffeinated party that skitters nervously from leader to leader. Dion has not even had ONE election yet. Jimtan, with all respect (honestly), what you are suggesting does not seem to me to be in the best long-term interests of the party. Leadership races are really expensive as well as emotionally divisive. If we were start dumping leaders before even one election, it would, I suspect, promote open warring between rival leadership factions and seed unsustainable amounts of bad faith and mutual distrust in the party.

    I would say the same regardless of who was presently the leader.

    Also, in principle, it is the party that sets the policy, not the leader. If you don't like the current policies there are ways to advocate alternatives that do not include the somewhat drastic measure of dumping the leader.

    By Blogger Aaron, at 8:35 p.m.  

  • "He has failed as a strategist to forge a green alliance with the NDP and Bloc. He could have given them Afghanistan to seal the deal."

    Because selling out the people of Afghanistan to the Taliban is such a small price to pay for the greater glory of the Liberal Party.

    By Blogger nuna d. above, at 8:36 p.m.  

  • I didn't even read your post, just the title...but please remind us how many of our senators are unelected, please?

    By Blogger Jim, at 12:38 a.m.  

  • "Because selling out the people of Afghanistan to the Taliban is such a small price to pay for the greater glory of the Liberal Party"

    Afghanistan is an American problem. They're the ones who want to remake the Muslims in the American image. The Americans can easily replace Canada’s contribution. In fact, the Americans are sending 3,000 marines to Southern Afghanistan on a short tour of duty.

    Note that a Liberal government will enable much climate change legislation. This is critical for Canada and the world. Similarly, it was the LPC that enabled same-sex marriage; not the NDP.

    Do you want a conservative government for another year?

    “Leadership races are really expensive as well as emotionally divisive.”

    True! I was thinking of a different arrangement. After the March 18th by-election, the caucus could give Dion a vote of no confidence. Dion would resign. The caucus could elect an interim leader, probably Iggy. Iggy would take the LPC to an election against harper.

    At the next convention, Iggy would be crowned if he won the election. The field would be open if Iggy lost the election. That would be Bob Rae’s chance. Either way, we would be rid of dion.

    By Blogger JimTan, at 3:24 a.m.  

  • Although I completely agree that it'd be a massively divisive, expensive and destructive thing to do, i'm willing to play with jimtin's theory.
    I can't recall any kind of similar situation in Canadian politics. Maybe the situation isn't the same, but remember the 1980 election -- Trudeau had already tendered his resignation and while a leadership convention hadn't been called, Rae's motion provided the impetus for the caucus to ask for Trudeau to remain (with an election coming on he had little choice)...
    So say Dion is saddled with a non-confidence motion from his caucus. He decides he can no longer carry on but in the meantime, there is no time to call a leadership contest due to the fall of the gov't. Couldn't Paul Martin then step into the breach? I mean, there's 'fresh' and 'positive' words flowing out now from the late Chuck Cadman that almost could be turned into an endorsement, and no recording of Cadman saying anything different on Mike Duffy, although I would expect Duffy's next guest to be a medium trying to get something on the record...
    Okay, maybe i was kidding. But after the anti-charisma of Harper and the psuedo-economic traipsing of Team Harper-Flaherty, i'm thinking Martin would look pretty good right now...

    By Blogger burlivespipe, at 3:50 a.m.  

  • >>That’s a bit of a stretch, mainly because I don’t know why anyone would want strategic political advice from Mr. Dion<<


    By Blogger Sean Cummings, at 9:00 a.m.  

  • “I can't recall any kind of similar situation in Canadian politics.”

    Hmmm! What about Stockwell Day? In 2001, he steps down as party leader after a mutiny. He was party leader for only one and a half years. Any parallels here?

    BTW, Paul Martin stepped down long before the leadership convention. Bill Graham was interim leader for many months.

    Would Paul Martin return? I doubt that since he received severe shell shock after the controversies and electoral defeat. Should Paul Martin return?

    That begs the question, “What is a political leader?” IMO, a leader must have credibility. Anyone can have a manifesto. That is merely a document. The electoral must believe that the leader can and will fulfill his promises. Obama hit a bump in Texas and Ohio.

    A leader must be trusted. King Ralph puts on his old clothes, goes to the rodeo or barn dance, and says howdee to the folks. Howard Taft puts on a suit and makes speeches to the smart people.

    The problem with Taft is that he has credibility. People believe that he will do what he says. So much for the protest vote against the PC!

    A leader must have electoral focus. Trudeau campaigned about a ‘just society’. He locked in eastern and central Canada. He lost western Canada. Chretien’s emphasis was on the economy. Today, urban Ontario remains the last stronghold of the LPC.
    Can Paul Martin rebuild the old coalition? You can’t just step back in time.

    Where is dion’s focus? He could win 30% of the vote in every constituency. But, that won’t win many seats in parliament. Can dion win an election without Quebec? What lessons can we learn from Outremont?

    By Blogger JimTan, at 1:24 p.m.  

  • I think parties that are quick to drop kick their leaders as soon as things look bad, quickly find that that isn't a very good strategy in the long run.

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 9:34 p.m.  

  • Does dion have a real strategy?

    By Blogger JimTan, at 3:25 a.m.  

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