“But our campaign message in Quebec is that people should vote for the candidate who's best positioned to beat the Bloc Québécois. In Sherbrooke, that's Jean Charest, not the Liberal. Don't make me campaign against Charest!"My country before my party. Exactly. That's why I'm confident that, despite the comments of cowardly “senior Liberals” lamely giving anonymous comments to the media, real Canadians and grassroots Liberals will like this. Dion wasn't elected leader by these “senior Liberals”, they were largely backing other candidates. It was the grassroots that was behind him. Recommend this Post on Progressive Bloggers
I don't know whether he won that argument. His line of argument stuck with me. After the election, some Liberals were upset that Dion had, in general, been so reluctant to criticize Charest. One asked him a question about that in March 1998, at the cabinet-accountability bear-pit session at the Liberals' biennial convention. Hey, Dion, why so soft on a Conservative?
Dion stepped forward and prepared to make, maybe, three points. He ticked off his forefinger and began: "My country before my party." The hall erupted in a standing ovation. He looked surprised, shrugged, and went back to his seat.