Bottomline, to suggest otherwise is delusional. The by-elections are just another item to put in the ledger, every other indicator suggests the same. Coming to the realization is a healthy first-step, if there is a glimmer of hope in the next election. The Liberals are now at their lowest seat total in Quebec since Confederation and Dion shows no signs of bucking the trend.
The question we should be asking today isn't whether or not to turf Dion, but how exactly the Liberal Party goes about selling its brand, with Dion as leader. Dion desperately needs to re-invent himself in his home province and recite Trudeauisms isn't the way to do it. Speaking highly, and defending Chretien isn't wise, personal opinion aside. The challenge for Dion, bring the Liberal version of federalism into the 21st century. The old arguments are largely irrelevant, and from all indications Quebecers are moving beyond the traditional dichotomy.
Dion is known to be stubborn, but I would argue that he needs to be pragmatic, because the Liberal Party has essentially wasted another year, with no real effort to re-introduce the party to Quebecers. As a matter of fact, Dion seems content to just carry on with the usual language, no new ideas to excite Quebecers and at least present the notion that party has moved forward. We have even heard whispers that Dion is prepared to sacrifice Quebec in the short-term, hoping the "Captain Canada" routine bears fruit elsewhere, for counter-balance. I like to refer to this strategy as the suicide pact, because it ensures defeat. You don't have to play footsie with nationalists like Harper, but you do have to confront the reality of a leader who is highly unpopular in his home province. Pretend that it isn't as bad as it seems, prepare for a Harper majority and the Conservative full-monty. Quebecers don't like Dion, and anything short of a complete makeover and acceptance guarantees future failure.