"What he lacks in charisma he makes up for in common sense. He possesses a remarkably clear-eyed view of the possibilities. That he has been the most lucid on the crucial unity file is unsurprising, but he has also presented a compelling vision of a 21st-century environmental economy. If a leader is going to exercise mastery over any files, those are among the most important.
But Mr. Dion has mastered more than that. Through the campaign, he has shown that he has mastered the art of politics.
While he has been burdened with an image as a stiff academic, he has added humour, passion and humility to his defining attributes of intelligence and principle.
Globe and Mail endorses Dion 2006
"Which makes him a rarity in Canadian politics: a candidate for high office whose rise to prominence was fuelled, not by back-stabbing his colleagues or the patronage of powerful families, but by closely reasoned arguments.
Yet if Mr. Dion has exceeded expectations in this campaign, it has not been for parading his virtue, as the principled intellectual who floats above the fray. He has not campaigned as an "anti-politician," promising to "do politics differently" and otherwise advertising his disdain for his chosen profession. He has simply demonstrated a practical mastery of it.
"When Stephane Dion spoke, his [Cabinet] colleagues put down their coffees, stopped signing correspondence and listened attentively," Eddie Goldenberg, Jean Chretien's lifetime factotum, writes in his just-released memoirs. "He had learned a lot about government, a lot about politics, and a lot about how to get things done." This sounds right to me. Even as a political scientist, Mr. Dion's work had tended more to the applied than the theoretical. In office, his studies continued, only with himself as the research subject. He was learning how to do politics -- not differently, but better.
Or more precisely, how to do politics, while remaining true to himself."
Andrew Coyne November 2006
"Which brings us to Stephane Dion, our choice for leader because he was willing to fight for Canadian unity when it counted, despite the fact most of his academic peers in Quebec were separatists, who made his life hell. That took courage... we also think he's smart enough and tough enough to be a leader.
Toronto Sun Endorsement of Dion 2006
"A word to the wise: when the subject is Dion and the odds are long, it is generally a good idea to bet against the house... But there is an element of fearlessness to Dion that keeps surprising Liberals by how frequently it charms them.
Dion offers only confidence, encyclopedic interests, and a decade at the centre of the nation's most gruelling debates, a trial by fire that he endured, we can say now in hindsight, with extraordinary good grace. He has surprised his adopted party at every turn. It would be reasonable to expect he is not done surprising."
Paul Wells 2006
"Some say Dion is too dry and academic to win an election, a criticism we do not share. People said that about Stephen Harper, too, but he's PM today. Having both major parties led by individuals of undeniable intelligence is not such a bad fate for a country, after all.
Liberal grandees have been making their choices, and expect rank-and-file party members to follow them to this or that candidate. But this weekend, at least, each card-carrying Liberal still has some individual clout. Using it to advance the cause of Stephane Dion would be a service to the party, and to the country."
Montreal Gazette endorses Stephane Dion 2006
"Stéphane Dion, the most underutilized talent in the Liberal Party, was superb on election night, as he almost always is. The Liberals should do a lot more than they appear to do to hold on to Stéphane Dion."
Rex Murphy 2006
Has Dion really changed, or have you??