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stephane dion

High-ho, high-ho, it’s election time again in Canada. And it sure does feel an awful lot like 2008:

  • 4 out of 5 of the party leaders are unchanged. Only Iggy is new this time around, though his post-election political days are probably as numbered as Stephane Dion’s were.
  • The party positions and platforms are largely unchanged since 2008 as well, at least on the big issues.
  • Elizabeth May is once again angry about being excluded from the debates – and, like last time, I predict she’ll probably get her way.
  • Jack Layton is still sporting his used car salesman ‘stache.
  • The Tories are once again sitting in comfortable minority-government territory, at once unlikely to lose and unlikely to form a majority.

So remind me again why we’re going to all this expense and trouble?

I would love to see the Tories get the boot. Between the long-form census debacle, the convenient-for-Harper prorogation of Parliament, corruption scandals, arts funding cuts, attacking women’s right to choosesocial engineering in the guise of economic policy that punishes anything other than the “traditional” family values, and Harper’s megalomania, the reasons abound. I simply cannot believe I live in a country where we keep electing this party.

Unfortunately, the only hope for replacing the Tories, the Liberal Party of Canada, is still in shambles. Ignatieff’s personal popularity is fairly low (no doubt made worse by those horrible Tory attack ads), the vote-splitting on the left bolsters the NDP and Greens at the Liberals’ expense, and the Bloc is standing at nearly 50% popularity here in La Belle Province.

My vote, which I have no problem saying will be for the Liberals, is a wasted vote, since I live in Gilles Duceppe’s riding and unless he gets morphed into an alien and starts singing Vegas showtunes in the shower, he’s going to run away with it here. But I will still trudge out and cast my ballot – on my birthday, no less – even though I know it won’t do any good at all.

No, I’m not a huge fan of Michael Ignatieff. I liked Stephane Dion a lot better, even though he failed to rally widespread support. But I’d much rather have a party in power that I agree with ideologically on most points, as opposed to one that I believe is steadily taking the country in the wrong direction.

The CBC has launched a short but fairly accurate online tool to help you gauge your political positions vis-a-vis the major parties. Check it out. And make sure you vote, because if we’re paying for this pointless election anyway, you might as well get your voice heard.

(Even if I do sometimes wish I could vote for the onion ring.)


Dion hangs on


They’re calling for his head on a platter from all sides, but Stephane Dion won’t quit yet:

The Toronto Star had cited Liberal party insiders who said Dion would make the announcement on Thursday and then stay on as leader until a successor is chosen.

But a spokeswoman for Dion said the Liberal leader would make no such announcement on Thursday and that her office would inform the media when Dion is ready to speak.

[ . . . ]

The paper quoted one well-connected party member as suggesting that if Dion didn’t announce his departure promptly, the party should move the furniture out of his office.

“How do you do a putsch on a guy who doesn’t understand he’s being putsched?” the Globe quoted the unidentified Liberal as saying.

Erm… Milton?

Seriously, though, while I think that Dion knows all too well that his days as Liberal Party leader are over, I think it’s disgraceful how he’s being treated by the media and his own party. He led a bad campaign, was the victim of circumstance, and unfortunately has the charisma of a turnip, but I don’t think Dion is a bad guy.

Dion took on the party leadership at a difficult time and dared to lead an environment-based campaign in a time when people were voting with their pocketbook. I think Dion was an ineffective leader, but is overall a smart man, and deserves a lot better than what he got.

Even he knows his time is up, though. This stand is just for the media. I doubt he’ll keep it up for longer than a few days.

(Via Damian Penny).

Update 10/20: That didn’t take long. Dion has announced his resignation.


The English debate


Well, it was lively and even funny at times. That’s all I can really say about the debate format that provided more of a chance for attack zingers than real reasoned debate. Still, I guess it made for good TV, since we were all glued to the screen for a couple of hours – the […]

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And North of the border…


A massive ice shelf has broken away from Ellesmere Island, in Arctic Canada… just further evidence that we’re soon going to have the climate of the tropics. And just in time for an election, too! Stephane Dion ought to be all over this news. Except that polls still put Harper ahead, with Dion’s personal numbers […]

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Playing chicken


With the Conservatives’ popularity rising, and Harper so far refusing to cave to the opposition parties’ throne speech demands, the only question in this high-stakes game of political chicken is: who will swerve first? Hard to say, but I’m betting Harper is sleeping better than Dion, these days.

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Unite the Greens?


No, not a merger, just some limited cooperation. The deal between the Liberals and the Green Party that will see the Libs step back so that Elizabeth May can compete seriously for a seat, is, on the surface, a smart move for both parties. The Liberals have made it clear that, under Dion’s leadership, the […]

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The Gender Equity issue: a refreshing perspective


While much is being made of Nancy Pelosi’s comments on the relative lack of women in Saudi politics (see below), here at home, under very different circumstances, we’re hearing some of the same issues – and criticisms. Stephane Dion is actively seeking female candidates to run for the federal Libs – he’s even stated that […]

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Justin Trudeau will run


He’s been denying it with lessening intensity each year, and now, as most people assumed he eventually would, Justin Trudeau will run for the Liberals in the next federal election: Trudeau will run in the Montreal constituency of Papineau, currently held by the separatist Bloc Quebecois. Trudeau, like his father, opposes those who want independence […]

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Lines in the sand


Stephane Dion is wasting no time clarifying the policy differences between his Liberals and Stephen Harper’s Tories, with his promise to scrap the GST cut to fund the environment: He told the university audience that he would not follow through with a promise by Prime Minister Stephen Harper to reduce the GST to five per […]

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Dion under scrutiny


After Stephane Dion’s “surprise” win, the media and the opposition have been scrambling to make up for lost time by putting him immediately under a microscope. They’re questioning his loyalty to Canada given his dual French citizenship, his commitment to centrist politics given his left-leaning tendencies, his ability to win support in Quebec given his […]

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