Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Kennedy Vs Dion

Maclean's has an article, which details the potential Dion-Kennedy split over the "nation" question. The horror, two grown men who have differing opinions, how will they overcome?:
it's still entirely possible that Stephane Dion and Gerard Kennedy will make nice on the convention floor this weekend long enough to propel one of them to the Liberals' top job. But it appears a whole lot less likely now that the latter has supplanted the former as the great hope of the party's Trudeauite wing.

But if Kennedy wants to be friends, he has a funny way of showing it.

By announcing his opposition to Stephen Harper's motion recognizing the Quebecois as "a nation within a united Canada," the former Ontario minister hasn't just isolated himself from most of the Liberal caucus - he's also aggressively made a move onto Dion's turf.

Frankly, I think what we have here is a bored reporter concocting some spice. I don't know how you conclude the "political courtship" is over, especially when you acknowledge that Kennedy spoke with Dion about his decision. According to the author, Kennedy should have agreed with the resolution because it afforded him his best opportunity to curry favor with Dion and his delegates. Surely Dion has no time for Kennedy now because he dared to offer his own view. Under this logic, count on Volpe and Dryden to walk hand in hand over to Kennedy after the first ballot.

I never put much stock in the secret bargain speculation revolving around Kennedy and Dion, because I think there are too many balls in the air to think of substantive tactics. However, if any chance of an alliance is now destroyed because of a difference of opinion, then no candidate could every support anyone.

The only constructive part of this piece, it offers further evidence that Kennedy's choice was one of principle, not political opportunism as the mindless critics have argued:
That lends some credence to the Kennedy campaign's claims that, contrary to popular belief, the candidate's suddenly strident opposition to the motion was not just a strategic ploy to finally get him some ink from the national media.

"I think if we'd been making this decision from a purely tactical point of view, the decision would've been, 'Don't do this Gerard - it's just too risky,' " a senior source within the Kennedy camp said Monday.

"Most of us were telling Gerard not to do it. From a principled perspective, I agree with what he did one hundred percent. But boy, from a tactical perspective, it's a risky move that's hard to see how it all plays out."


knb said...

I think you're right on the bored reporter comment.

The press get's all wrapped up in the issue of the day. My feeling is, once the convention starts, all the other issues that the Lib's are passionate about will surface and the media will be scrambling to catch up.

This is NOT a one issue convention and those who write about the "nation" issue making or breaking candidates, are missing the big picture, IMHO.

They'll likely push it, because that seems to have consumed them. I look forward to seeing the Lib's push back with what matters, so that they are knocked off their stride a bit.

There is nothing like seeing the media run after a story, (and I do mean that in a good way), because then we see reality, not "their" story of day.

PS- I don't hate the media, I'd just like to see more real reporting, but in fairness, it seems to be coming back.

Steve V said...

The media loves this issue. I'm sure they will try hard to make this the centerpiece of the convention.

MississaugaPeter said...

I have a lot of respect for Adam Radwinski and I read all his posts.


You say: "Frankly, I think what we have here is a bored reporter concocting some spice."

I say: "I disagree."

Olaf said...


I can't believe you're citing an unnamed senior source from within the Kennedy camp as evidence of his principled stand. Couldn't you have gotten a quote from his mother?

Steve V said...


Come on.