Shorter Richard Gwyn in today's Toronto Star: Sorry, Quebecers need not apply.
Longer take: At least Richard acknowledges the contradictions in his thesis at the end of his column: It's quite crazy. But it's wholly Canadian. And what is that thesis? OK, hang on here.
First of all, he said being from Quebec is a handicap for Dion (I prefer to see him as differentially-abled myself) because Canadians are tired of all those Quebec PMs…he's one Quebecer too many is how Gwyn put it. Poppycock.
But we'll get to that in a moment, because there's more. He goes on to say Canadians are also tired of Quebec issues dominating the national debate. I'll agree with Richard on that. And he goes on to rightly point out Dion hasn't been obsessing over Quebec issues, Steve Harper has. Dion has been environment and global warming, Harper fiscal imbalance and open federalism.
Despite this fact though, Gwyn says because of the Quebec fatigue people will punish Dion, and I guess support Harper, even though it's Harper talking about Quebec issues and not Dion, because Dion is from Quebec.
Outside of Quebec, what Canadians want to hear being discussed is stuff like global warming. Instead, they keep hearing Charest talk about Ottawa and Harper talk about Quebec.Richard seems to have an exceedingly low opinion of the intelligence of Canadians. Sorry Richard, but we're not near as dumb as you seem to think.
And who do they get mad about because of this? Dion, of course, because, even when he talks about global warming, he does so in a difficult-to-decipher Quebec accent.
First of all, let's dispense with this being a Quebecer is a handicap nonsense, as we heard that often enough during the leadership campaign. Most Canadians could give a flying-you know what where a party leader is from.
They're NOT going to vote for him because he's French? Maybe a very small percentage of people would cast their ballots along such, shall we say, racially-motivated lines; they'd likely never vote Liberal anyway and I'm fine not having their support. The vast majority of Canadians are concerned about policy, ideas, experience and competence, not ethnicity.
Secondly, as I said, Gwyn's opinion of the naivety of Canadians is off base. I think they're perfectly capable of deciding who is talking about the issues that are important to them and voting appropriately.
I'll freely admit Stephane has some challenges to overcome, but his place of birth is not one of them. Recommend this Post on Progressive Bloggers