Friday, April 13, 2007

Dion's brilliant move in Central Nova

I'm tired of listening to all of the amateurs masquerading as political experts (Jane Taber, Jim Travers, Don Murray, to name but three) and other Tory stooges continue to spout their fiction about Stephane Dion.

These are the same idiots who completely wrote off Stephen Harper until December 2005 as a leader with any potential in this country. These are the same dolts who continue to spout their subjective histrionics on every talk show and opinion page they can get their grubby, over-paid hands on. The good news - Canadians aren't listening or reading anyways.

But you'd think that after getting it WRONG for so long, the political chatterboxes would learn to temper their comments with a little "well maybe I'm wrong, maybe I'm not so smart after all, I have no idea what may happen but I look forward to seeing what happens." But don't count on it.

I'm sure most of the political commentators will have no idea at first what to make of Dion's decision not to run a candidate against Green Party Leader Elizabeth May in Central Nova in the next election. The Liberals had no chance of winning that riding to begin with. And now May has an excellent shot of actually knocking off Tory dimwit Peter MacKay. Those political commentators have been repeating ad nauseum how strong a Tory bastion Central Nova has been historically. They're correct, however not so much in recent elections in which MacKay's victories have been shrinking steadily. He barely beat the NDP candidate there in 2006, a year in which you'd think a Tory like Peter MacKay in a Tory bastion like Central Nova would've swept to a landslide.

Since the beginning of the year, the Harper Tories have taken the tact of attacking Dion in English Canada using manipulated visuals and sound bites that emphasize Dion's less than obvious charisma. They have exploited clips from Dion that, when viewed in isolation, might give the impression his English is ten times worse than Jean Chretien's ever was. They have portrayed Dion's genteel physical persona, which I admit defies the typical big man/big leader image that most Tories and their ilk have mistaken for "strong leadership" for years, and used it to infer that Dion is somehow "weak."

Those who are educated about Stephane Dion know all too well that the image the Tories have presented is a fiction. Dion has more moral courage than Stephen Harper could ever muster. Did Dion sell out all of his principles in search of victory? Has Dion flipflopped on every major position he ever held in his quest for greater power? Dion took on longstanding separatist orthodoxy in the late 1990s, when Canada needed a defender most, and won.

The public is luckily still unwilling to jump to conclusions about Dion based on the attacks of his partisan opponents or the opinions of talky political commentators. I do still believe in the inherent wisdom and ability of Canadians to objectively assess their political leaders' strengths and weaknesses.

Dion's decision not to run a candidate in Elizabeth May's riding is a genius move. It speaks to the 97% of Canadians who are not partisan and just wish that the parties would put aside politics to work together on the greatest issue facing our generation. It is a profoundly bold move.

The notion that political parties might work together for the common good is of course foreign to most backroom political partisans. Even the NDP regularly refuses to cut any other parties any slack if there is a cheap political point to be gained.

Dion's decision will help to paint a portrait of himself to Canadians that is genuine. It will show to Canadians that Dion is a different sort of politician, a man who puts principle ahead of pointless partisanship.

This is why Dion won the leadership in the first place. He is the first Liberal leader since Trudeau who is genuinely guided by principle. This is refreshing following the empty and amoral years of Jean Chretien and Paul Martin.

Liberals needed to restore integrity to their leadership after years of corruption. They have done that by electing a different kind of leader in Dion.

As Robert Frost brilliantly wrote, "Two roads diverged in a wood, and I...I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference."

I am not worried one bit about Stephane Dion. I fully expect that he will be Prime Minister one day very soon. It might even be far earlier than any Liberal or commentator ever predicted. I look forward to watching them eat their words on the night of the next federal election when either Dion almost knocks Harper out of office, or wins outright.

Ignore the idiot chatterboxes on CTV's Question Period or in the Globe & Mail or the Toronto Star. They know not of what they speak (at least not today.)