Thursday, July 24, 2008

From the home office in Toronto-Danforth, the top 10 reasons...

So I trekked out to Jack’s neck of the woods last night for the Kinsella Young Liberal event. First off, full marks to the Lang Gang for another fun event, to follow up their wildly successful time raiser earlier this month. I always like underdog campaigns because you can have some fun with them and it certainly seems like that’s their strategy.

Jeff gives a great recap of the event and Warren’s zingers here, while Aaron takes issue with Warren’s “rah-rah go Liberals” attitude. Since, you know, if there’s one think Kinsella is known for, it’s his rose-coloured-Dion-is-great-and-can-do-no-wrong attitude. If only he could look at Dion more objectively, like other bloggers.

For those curious what the hubbub was all about, the presentation was a more in depth look at this top 10 list of reasons people shouldn’t count Dion out. I’d say I agree with all of the points on that list to a certain extent, although a lot of them work more to the “stop a Harper majority” than the “elect Dion” end game.

Here’s the quick 10 points without explanation (to do that, go here) – I’m curious to see what people think.

1. Dion is underestimated and female voters don’t trust Harper.

2. The LPC has great brand and organization strength. [ed note: brand, yes. Organizational? I think the Tories have us beat there]

3. Dion will turn the focus away from “leadership” by emphasizing the Liberal team.

4. The Tories can’t run an outsider or scandal-backlash campaign anymore.

5. Campaigns matter and the Liberals have a good campaign pitch.

6. “Mark my words: Jim Flaherty’s anti-Dalton McGuinty campaign will go down in the political history books as one of the dumbest, most self-destructive campaigns ever.”

7. Team McGuinty will get involved due to point 6.

8. Picking Dumont over Charest will hurt Harper in Quebec.

9. The media are out to get Harper.

10. “Stéphane Dion is a decent, hard-working guy. Canada is full of decent, hard-working guys and gals. The more they get to know him, the more they will like him. Just watch.”

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  • "Team McGuinty will get involved due to point 6."

    Why would McGuinty want to get involved over that? It helped him and is probably going to continue helping him as long as Harper is PM. Unless Dion is going to give him what he wants in terms of funding, I wouldn't expect much. Same with Charest. He's not going to help him out but I doubt he's going to try and hurt him.

    “Stéphane Dion is a decent, hard-working guy. Canada is full of decent, hard-working guys and gals. The more they get to know him, the more they will like him. Just watch.”

    I believe that Dion is a decent, hard-working guy. However, I watched this argument being made after Dion won the leadership. I then watched his approval numbers plummet. They know Dion best in Quebec and he doesn't seem too popular. Maybe people are looking for more than a decent, hard-working guy.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:48 p.m.  

  • ...Maybe people are looking for more than a decent, hard-working guy.

    Exactly. It takes more than that to be a Prime Minister.

    Good communication skills, for example...

    By Blogger Joanne (True Blue), at 9:10 p.m.  

  • Oh, and about point 7.

    By Blogger Joanne (True Blue), at 9:15 p.m.  

  • Kinsella is a has-been and out of touch.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:03 p.m.  

  • Good communication skills, for example...
    I guess that leave Harper out of the race....

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:04 p.m.  

  • There's nothing you can say about Dion now that wasn't said about Harper circa 2005.

    I think he'll surprise a lot of people during the campaign. Kinsella makes some very good points. Leadership is a tough thing to run on.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:30 p.m.  

  • Love the Cherniak dig.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:10 a.m.  

  • Hello fellow Canucks! Looking for a blog with light subject matter to get you through the day?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:19 a.m.  

  • #3 made me laugh. It's like the Liberals are acknowledging Dion's a horrible leader and have given up. They'd rather emphasize the team rather than Dion. "How can we focus attention away from Dion?..."

    And how can the Liberals divert attention from leadership by mentioning the team? Rae, Ignatieff, Hall-Findlay, Trudeau, Kennedy, etc... When most people see those names, they think future Liberal leader, not team. It's a catch-22: Divert attention from leadership by mentioning MPs who are well-known to have leadership aspirations.

    By Blogger Mike514, at 9:50 a.m.  

  • I have to say, from Warren Kinsella I'm pretty disappointed. If these are the Top 10 reasons to not count out Dion this is very weak. I mean most of these are assumptions that voters will like the Liberals better than Harper.

    Thing is, the Liberals probably have the Best Cabinet ever created. They have Academics (Ignatieff, Dion), Veteran Leaders (Rae and Dosanjh), Youth (Hall-Findlay, Trudeau, Kennedy, Holland, Bains) and star power (Dryden and Garneau). They just need that one piece of the puzzle ... A LEADER!

    Maybe Kinsella should read a little book called the "War Room" ... Oh Ya! He Wrote IT!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:08 a.m.  

  • #2 - you may be right about Ottawa since the Tories have the resources of government behind them. However, outside the centre I think the Liberals are better at focusing their message locally because they have more leeway to do what they think is right.

    By Blogger Jason Cherniak, at 11:57 a.m.  

  • Dion may be underestimated, but it seems to me that people continually underestimate Stephen Harper.

    Also, are Canadians so disappointed with the Harper Conservatives that they will go back to voting Liberal after only two years? I tend to think not -- give it 6-8 years (they deserve their time in opposition anyway).

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:56 p.m.  

  • I am a female voter and while it is true that I may not trust Harper totally, I can assure you I trust him far more than I trust Dion.

    Be careful what you ask on surveys. You might just only hear what you want to hear.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:20 p.m.  

  • 1) I think the last comment says it all regarding female voters. Somewhat arrogant to think that pollsters and liberal party pundits feel secure in that attitude.

    2) The LPC has such great brand and organizational strength that 69% of voters don't like them, and they can't raise raise enough money to even bury their leadership race debts, much less raise campaign finance dollars.

    3) While the Liberal team is strong academically, it's riddled with the skeletons of it's own past, ranging from "Rae Days" (which those in Guelph will remember well), to "We didn't get it done" and "We (as in us Americans) were right to invade Iraq" from Iggy, and the list goes on of "on camera" snippets to choose from.

    4) The Tories don't need too, the Liberals are generally so busy ruining themselves that scandal's are not necessary, and "We won't stand for this, but will vote for it pass anyway" in session parliment moments will speak for themselves.

    5) I doubt the Tories are huddling in planning sessions so that they can't find a good campaign pitch this summer.

    6) There's mounting evidence from economists who don't necessarily support the Tories that while Flaherty is rather nasty about it, he's right.

    7) Team John Tory will as well, and but for a few mistakes in his last campaign, he too is well organized on the ground.

    8) Harper and Charest are best buddies again, so that's a non-starter, and the ADQ still have a strong ground team. If anything, Harper benefits from a double whammy there, while Dion has little in the way of ground team. I predict Westmount going to the NDP. Garneau might be a spaceman, but he's as boring as hell to listen to.

    9) Harpers new communications guru will fix that in short order.

    10) The last several "Decent, hard-working guys" to run for the PMO got their ass' kicked in the long run... aka Stanfield, Clark etc... the Canadian voter public has proven time and again that the academia milk toast look is not a ticket to the PMO.

    Add to that the fact that virtually the entire country doesn't understand his "Green Shift" plan, and he's certainly got his work cut out for him.

    I think Dions gonna lose two seats in September, if only as a message to get on track.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:59 p.m.  

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