One of the questions I keep hearing about Stephane Dion is yeah, he's great, but isn't he a pariah in Quebec? Not at all, and the evidence is mounting.
I've maintained for some time he is absolutely not, and that he is, in fact, that he's the ideal Liberal candidate to make gains for us in his home province. (Scroll down to What about Quebec? for my theory.)
For those of you still harbouring doubts about Stephane's popularity in Quebec though, I'd like to invite you to read Lysiane Gagnon's column today in the Globe.
I'd also like to point-out this graph from a recent Paul Wells column, on Steve Harper and the Quebec Fete Nationale:
Several pundits -- Rex Murphy, Chantal Hébert, even Michel Vastel -- say Stéphane Dion is the surprise of the Liberal leadership race. Quietly, Conservatives admit they would rather not have to think about that, because Dion would present them with something besides an empty net in Quebec. Fortunately for Harper, Liberals have worked hard lately to make his life easy. Why would that stop?
From Monday's Globe and Mail
For years, Stéphane Dion was the most-reviled politician in Quebec. He was the so-called “arch-federalist” that all sovereigntists and nationalists loved to hate and whom most francophone federalists were unwilling to defend. He was the father of the Clarity Act that even Paul Martin dared not support. Because of his mousy face, La Presse cartoonist Serge Chapleau used to represent him as a rat, with small pointed ears, its mustachioed muzzle contracted in an arrogant sneer, and the tail emerging from beneath his suit.
One would wonder how anyone could survive such treatment. But he did. The frail, bespectacled academic obviously had nerves of steel and an unusual resilience. And, in an unexpected turn of events, the former Liberal minister has become the surprise of the Liberal leadership campaign.