Who's playing chess now? The best defence is a good offence, and Dion has successfully turned the tables on Harper. I view calling for a television debate on climate change as a strategic stroke of brilliance. Dion basically calls Harper out, leaving a simple question- what are you afraid of?
Nobody can dispute the merits of an "adult" conversation, to allow Canadians the opportunity to make up their own minds. Whether you think Dion "crazy" or not, the onus is now on Harper to rise to the occasion, put his inflammatory remarks to the test. Harper has characterized the Liberal plan in such a dismissive way, he should relish the opportunity to pound Dion with his reckless plan. Anything less, and Dion has successfully marginalized Harper as nothing more than paper tiger, spewing nonsense, but cowardly resisting a serious discussion.
Dion seizes the initiative once again, he has laid out the terms and Harper is forced to react. I would suggest, if Harper ignores the proposal, that Dion use that at every turn, as proof that Harper is "not a leader". What does it say about Harper, that he would refuse to debate a man, which his supporters constantly argue, lacks a basic grasp of English? Afraid to debate Stephane Dion, on an issue which apparently "screws" us all, how can one not jump at the opportunity?
Let's hope all the surrogates take up this theme, and constantly put out the idea of a debate. This ensures that every interview with a Conservative asks the question, leaving Harper and company to scramble with weak excuses, or take up the challenge. Either way, that dynamic is a political win for the Liberals. As people try to sift through the conflicting messages, what better way than to have the two principles engage each other? Match the bravado with action Mr. Harper, or risk being so marginalized that you aren't taking seriously, yelling from the bleachers, but afraid to take to the pitch. I fail to see the downside for the Liberals here.