Wow! I never thought I'd read something like this by Toronto Sun columnist Lorrie Goldstein.
I don't normally agree with Goldstein on a number of issues, but I have to commend him for such an unbiased and fair assessment. He went to the trouble of reading both Linda Diebel's 'Stephane Dion, Against the Current,' published earlier this year, as well as Dion's own collection of essays 'Straight Talk,' published in 1999.
Supporters of Stephane Dion have always known how tough he is. That's why the Conservative bull-sh*t message this year that Dion is "weak" continues to sound completely dishonest. The public will soon catch up with the truth.
The most revealing part of Goldstein's column is at the end. I had never heard of this anecdote as I'll admit I haven't yet read, 'Against the Current.' I can assure you I'll be reading it very soon.
EXCERPT FROM GOLDSTEIN'S COLUMN:
"The most revealing anecdote, however, is in Diebel's book -- an interview with Stephane Dion's mother, Denyse, recalling the 1997 death of Stephane's father, Leon, a decade later.
Leon Dion, a respected political scientist in Quebec, died in a horrible drowning accident at home.
Recalling the tragedy, Denyse Dion describes with contempt articles in the media and separatist talk hinting her husband's death was the result of his shame and disappointment over his son becoming the chief Liberal federalist spokesman in Quebec. "There were people who said he drowned himself because his son went into politics," Denyse angrily notes, calling them "idiots."
Think about that. At that time Stephane Dion -- who had followed his father's footsteps into academia -- was a political neophyte, whom the separatists were calling the most hated man in Quebec.
He was being depicted as a rat. Then his father, whom he clearly loved, dies in a terrible accident and his critics imply his father committed suicide because of him?
Never mind that Leon Dion wasn't a separatist and was proud of his son. What a cheap shot.
Even a strong person might understandably have said, "who needs this?" and retreated from politics.
Dion stayed. And fought.
To any Conservative (or Liberal) who thinks this guy isn't tough enough to be prime minister, maybe you'd better think again.