Monday, October 20, 2008

Dion Not Quitting ... For the Moment

Stephane Dion has just delivered his much anticipated press conference. He was expected to resign, allow the caucus to appoint an interim leader, and announce to the next wave of leadership hopefuls (same as the last wave?) that they can start their engines. Game on!

Well not quite. Dion will step down as leader, but not until a new leader is chosen at the party convention in May 2009. He will not run for a new term as leader. By his own admission he has failed to present himself and his policies to Canadians in a way that they might embrace both. Okay, that's somewhat admirable. Less admirable, I suppose, is his suggestion that the fault for Canadians not opening up to him or his policies rests with the Stephen Harper and the Conservatives. Had they not been so mean to him, had they not campaigned so hard against his policies, Dion might have won. After all, as Dion insisted in his press conference, a Liberal government would have been the only best outcome for Canadians.

Really? Has Dion learned nothing from this election? Has the Liberal party learned nothing? On this latter question, the next six months will tell the tale.

In the meantime, Kelly McParland dissects the Liberal party's current challenge brilliantly, and offers some sage advice as the former "natural governing party" (now the 'natural opposition party'?) goes through the painful process of party renewal redux.

You are not Canada. People with different views are not unCanadian. You do not have an inborn right to run the country. God did not invent Canada to ensure Liberals a full-time job in Ottawa. The party had a healthy run of power for a long time, and you should be proud and grateful, but the country has grown and changed, times have evolved, and you have not evolved with it. It is your responsibility to listen to the country and develop policies accordingly; it is not the country's responsibility to read the Liberal platform and nod obediently.

A timely piece indeed. Read the rest here.

Related: Syncrodox offers a clever satirical political obituary for Dion -- only a bit prematurely. Mark Twain now comes to mind, as it seems that reports of Dion's political death are greatly exaggerated.

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