As we see again, Chantal Hébert surveys the political landscape in Quebec and finds, big surprise, everything is bad for Stéphane Dion. His prospects in Quebec are about as gloomy as Jean Chretien's were in 1992, go figure. She even takes a swipe against Dion's appointment of Gerard Kennedy as Intergovernmental Affairs Critic, widely seen as a great move for Ontario.
And by the way, if indeed the NDP are at 15% support in Quebec, do they have the ground troops and the local campaigns to sustain that kind of support? Or is this support merely a blip, people parking their votes while disenchanted with the Bloc? Normally that kind of discourse would find its way into a fair journalist's analysis of new poll numbers, but not today.
Anyway, I've given up looking for fair assessments from most political pundits, many of whom have their own agendas it seems. Take former Tory advisor L. Ian MacDonald today. The headline says it all: "Dion and his Liberals are in deep trouble in Quebec." Yes, the Liberals seem to be at a low ebb in that province for the moment. The leader has a lot to do to resuscitate his reputation after months of attacks and, yes, federalist voters seem to be parking with the party that's now forming the federal government. In reality, the Liberals are at the same level they got in 2006, and the Tories are only four points higher than 2006.
But what disturbs me is how these commentators seem to only be taking snapshots of the current political situation and pretending nothing will change until voting day. They seem to think Stéphane Dion is not going to do anything to improve his bad numbers, as if he's never shown any ability to react to difficult circumstances, face adversity, plan ahead and come out on top in the end. Have they not been watching this guy over the course of his career?
Of course they have, but these pundits don't care. They're trying to scare English Canadians into buying their anti-Dion bias, to make us believe things are so dire that Mr. Dion should probably step down right now. Of course that won't happen. Nor will things remain as bad as they are now. It's politics.
Over at Bourque, more links to anti-Dion stories.
But all is not bad - check out this column in the Sun of all places.
I truly hope Dion takes this pummeling to heart and fights back soon. It would sure make me feel better.
NDP Leader Jack Layton seems to want more by-elections soon. This is strange for a guy who just saw his vote collapse in two Toronto by-elections, plus go nowhere in Vancouver Quadra and northern Saskatchewan. Of course of the possible by-elections on the horizon - Westmount-Ville-Marie, Saint-Lambert, Guelph and Don Valley West - none hold any prospects for NDP breakthroughs.
I know the NDP have talked optimistically about Guelph recently. They shouldn't. More on that later...