Apparently, it was decided a couple hours after the election defeat, that we MUST have an interim leader by Wednesday of this week. I'm not sure who determined that caucus must make that decision this week, nor have I seen it written in tablet form. An interesting suggestion, proposed by Liberal Leslie Swartman was to delay the interim leader until the summer. Some merit here, we only have a token Parliamentary session forthcoming before the summer break, plus everything seems to be moving a bit to fast for a lot of Liberals. I made the point that it isn't imperative to have an interim leader 9 days into a 1460 day, minimum process towards the next election. I think it is worth considering simply delaying naming any interim leader until everyone has the opportunity to digest, rather than jumping into another decision that will have lasting ramifications.
However, assuming our caucus does pick a interim leader Wednesday, I'd like to explore Stephane Dion as a possible pick. I mentioned Dion a few days ago on twitter, which solicited some support as well as smart ass responses. I note that Kinsella is also floating Dion as possible interim. I think Dion is an attractive option, for a number of reasons.
With the devastating result last week, Dion is strangely rehabiliated, no longer the leader who brought our "worst defeat", but now part of a process that was obviously much larger and corrosive. The decline began before Dion and continued on after him, so the blame game has caused some revision, and within that Dion can be seen in possibly a different. Some people have used vindicated, but I prefer better understood. Dion as leader again would have seemed absurd a few months ago, but now I sense a different atmosphere.
Dion is bilingual, while old guard in Quebec, he does enjoy core respect and the fact he retained his seat, despite the "wave" speaks to his stature. Dion is an honorable, honest man, nobody has ever disputed this fact. Dion is also devoid of future ambitions, as a caretaker ego not an issue, nor any distractions, other than leading during this transition. Dion also has experience, he's lead a caucus, he's lead a party, he understands the party beyond caucus.
I'm not sure Dion is the perfect choice, people will point to baggage and other issues. However, if I'm thinking seriously about what is best for the party in this intermediate period, who I would trust to tend to the party while we get our shit together, who would act with grace and class, I'm not ruling out Stephane Dion at all. Liberals could do a lot worse at the moment.
#LPC president Alf Apps says there will be NO interim leader chosen this week -- next week soonest. Someone should tell Chretien. #cdnpoli