Thursday, November 29, 2007


I would characterize this decision as a strategic stroke of brilliance:
Liberal Leader Stephane Dion says he will travel to Bali, Indonesia, next month for the United Nations climate change summit to ensure that the Harper government doesn't push the world in the wrong direction in the fight against global warming.

"I will do everything possible to make sure this conference works well," Dion said. "I don't have a mandate to negotiate, but I know a lot of people [from other foreign delegations] and I take the cause of climate change to heart."

Dion said he has asked the government to accommodate him as part of the official Canadian delegation, but he has not received an answer yet. He did not say, however, how he would pay for his trip if the government refuses.

Might I suggest a "Send Dion To Bali" fundraiser on the Liberal website?

This decision is an aggressive move, because clearly the stakes are raised when you have the Leader of the Opposition attending, as opposed to the environmental critic. Dion does have clout with this crowd, a measure of credibility despite what the naysayers argue. Great public relations to have Dion speaking with delegations, undermining the Conservative spin, and ultimately defending Canada's good name on the international stage. Dion will emerge as the spokesman for the gathering anti-Conservative delegation that will be attending, which now includes Quebec, the other opposition critics and the environmentalists.

If Dion is questioned on his decision, if there is a hint of trying to embarrass the government on the international stage, Dion can claim the moral high ground, arguing the matter as urgent. In a sense, this bold move could act as a springboard, which allows Dion to re-take some lost ground, on his supposed strong suit. I don't see much downside, but plenty of potential from a political perspective. Couple that with the obligation to articulate to the world that the Canadian majority is not represented within the Conservatives policies, and you have a win/win. I like this move, no matter the angle.


Paul Hillsdon said...

Sounds like Dion's first smart move in a while. I'm glad someone will be out there defending Canada as a progressive nation.

Anonymous said...

Holy sh*t this is a good idea. I would donate up to $100 to a 'Send Dion' fund.

Anonymous said...

Well, he should be going to Afghanistan, but I guess he might get boo-ed there by the troops. I guess a climate conference is safer. A fundraiser sounds good. I think a lot of Liberals would pay to see him go away.

Karen said...


Steve I'm with you and had not seen this before I wrote. I'll link to you because your post and Dion's action speak to what a fraud this current government is.

Karen said...'re an ass.

I love to see the Con's out in full force defending what cannot be defended...switching the channel, then making their point on what is irrelavent.

The Con's are the masters and this anon demonstrates this in spades.

Anonymous said...

Yes! maybe he can even book another meeting!

Steve V said...

"switching the channel, then making their point on what is irrelavent."

The last thing they want, is for anyone to focus on what amount to absurd claims. That's why Baird still talks about "13 years" because it deflects from the "last 2".

Susan said...

I hadn't heard that - that's terrific. I'd give in a heartbeat - could we start something through Liblogs.

Steve V said...

"I'd give in a heartbeat - could we start something through Liblogs."

We really should have something setup for these things. It would actually create some buzz for Dion, nevermind the online community.

Steve V said...

I emailed Jason, and he said he would bring up the idea to the Party this weekend at the gathering.

A View From The Left said...

Hopefully the party does do some fundraising out of this, because I think it's something a lot of liberals would get behind (myself included). Hell, I have some Green friends who would probably donate.

Anonymous said...

It might be a better use of party funds to pay off Dion's leadership loans to.....who?

Wheatsheaf said...

I agree with the idea that the Liberals should fund this. I would hate to pay for any opposition leader to go on the international scene to bad mouth a democratically elected government. If Dion is so concerned with with Harper implementing the wrong policies (which he is), then why can't the Liberals vote against the government?
Dion should spend more time at home getting the Liberals in order to win the next election instead of trying to embarrass Canada internationally.

Steve V said...


I view Dion's trip as an attempt to mitigate the damage to our international reputation. The simple fact of the matter, the Conservatives are embarrassing us on the international stage, and someone needs to tell our partners that Harper doesn't represent Canadians on this matter.

Harper didn't seem to mind embarrassing the government, with his letter campaign on Iraq, despite the majority situation. Were you equally concerned then? I suspect not.

Anonymous said...

NDP'ers like Wheatsheaf sure are a curious bunch, aren't they?

They claim to oppose Harper more the the Liberals do, yet when the Liberal leader is going to take action on this issue, they turn around and claim how it will embarrass Canada internationally by pointing out how ludicrous the Conservative government's position is.

..which just goes to show you that the NDP is less concerned about opposing the Harper policies and more about gaining seats off the Liberals, regardless if the action taken benefits the progressive position.