Thursday, September 20, 2007


Dion’s tone in his interview last night is exactly what the doctor ordered. A fairly accurate read of the situation, with an honesty that tells us Dion might just get it afterall:
"I've never put my personality on the table, and I'm now realizing that a leader has to do that because if people don't know who I am and what I'll do for them, they won't be interested the Liberals.''
I've always focused on the stakes … but I've never put myself on the line and I understand now that a leader must do that.… A leader has to put himself out there and I didn't do it," he told Radio-Canada host Céline Galipeau during a candid interview in French.

The money quote:
"I think a lot of people in Quebec think I am not pro-Quebec, it's as simple as that,'' he said.
For Dion, the solution lies partly in overcoming the perception that he is overly bookish man with few concrete ideas.
"We have to focus the debate on Stephane Dion, who I am and what I can do,'' he said.
"The caricature has taken over the person.''

The last quote tells us Dion appreciates the challenge. Dion, the Mr. Clarity “rat”, vilified in editorial cartoons, the Chretien stooge, the enemy of Quebec’s aspirations, all that conventional wisdom has to be overcome. Talk is cheap, but I’m impressed that Dion doesn’t sugarcoat the landscape and understands that he alone must change his image, if the Liberals have any hope in Quebec.

Dion’s “very worrying” reference to the two francophone ridings is sober and accurate. Identifying the problem, and not spinning like Dion did after the vote on Monday, is a far better strategy. People appreciate someone who can admit his flaws, call a spade a spade and is willing to show a vulnerability. As a matter of fact, this frank talk is a nice contrast to the Harper approach. A good sign indeed.


900ft Jesus said...

I'm pretty damn happy with this proposed approach. I think Dion is a good politician - level headed, carefully considers situations before making a decision, creates bridges not chasms, doesn't flip-flop but is honest and open enough to set his ego aside and change his stand as he learns more and as situations change, consistent enough where it matters, loves his country.

He really needs to show canadians who he is instead of letting CPC draw a false picture and flash that around as his ID.

I think we will finally see a shift in the polls in favour of the Libs, as long as his party stands strong with him.

Gayle said...

Over the past few days I have been wondering why we have limited the definition of a "good leader" to a person who can marshall the troops and command loyalty. These are important qualities of course, but if that is all it took then wouldn't Hitler and Stalin have been good leaders?

I think the quality of ones ideas must also mark a good leader, and that has been lost in this debate.

I have always thought Dion had the latter quality, and it is good to see he is committed to working on the former qualities as well.

Anonymous said...

"loves his country"

Which country would that be?

Anonymous said...

rob r,

That would be Canada. You know, his country.

Next question, dumb ass?

Steve V said...


Wow, that's pretty lame.

Lept said...

Bit optimistic to think that spin is all that is needed...
It is clear that people here do not like the federalism that Dion has so clearly embodied and which - in the interview - he made it clear he has no inclination to change.
The old tired Liberal hard line.
There has to be another approach that is not the virtual abolition of the federal role which Harper embodies nor the Chrétien/Dion-Plan-B-Clarity-act them vs us rigidity?

Karen said...

lept, it's not about spin, it's about countering the spin that Harper has stooped to.

It remains to be seen if he can do it, but I too think this is a good move. If that one interview is an example, I'd say he's got a pretty good shot.

Gayle: I think the quality of ones ideas must also mark a good leader, and that has been lost in this debate.

Precisely. That is what Harper intended. He's going to hate this new strategy, no two ways about it.

Anonymous said...

Hey, I agree with him. After reading his comments about not being "out there" enough, I'm all for the new plan. I'd love to see Dion get out there in front of real Canadians and talk and talk and talk......

Gayle said...

"I'm all for the new plan. I'd love to see Dion get out there in front of real Canadians and talk and talk and talk..."

If by "real" Canadians, you mean the majority, I do hope you know you are not representative of that majority.

burlivespipe said...

Lept sed: "Bit optimistic to think that spin is all that is needed..."

Oh you are so right. It isn't the spin, especially with your hollow-pointed head leader, right?
Let's see, where to start... Accountability, right? Let's shout at the other guys, and when in gov't, we'll hide the books and redact anything that might hint at something. And we'll keep the media and any questions, heck, even people who could answer, away from any microphone or street corner...
Oh, how about ethics? First lets set incredibly stringent fundraising limits, and try to muscle that through for the other guy's leadership convention. And then we'll try to twist the rules about our own leadership convention expenses, and hey, why not do a little of 'its in this hand, nope in that hand' kind of switch and bait with election advertising.
And lets not forget promise-keeping, like Income Trusts and lowering personal taxes. But you know who cares what 90% of economists think when they want to do right by the economy. I'm Stephen H, and I know nothing about honesty, integrity, ethics or economics. And because it says right here, I must be a leader...
Oh, i'll get a new script when you blowhards do.

Lept said...

I never really thought of Pauline Marois as a 'hollow-pointed head leader' - but let me assure you that she doesn't hang much with Stevie boy.