Sunday, April 15, 2007

Why I decided to support Stephane Dion

From Paul Wells:

“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!"

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.
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.

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13 comments: said...

I would think I am a grassroots liberal, as I am young and fairly new to the party. And most importantly I am not as biased as you are, and do not claim to speak for all grassroot Liberals; but I do not agree with disenfranchising a riding from voting Liberal, or for that matter taking away the rights of that riding association (ie look at the purposes of the Liberal Party as stated in it's Constitution: "To promote and support the election of Liberals")

Steve V said...


That is a blanket statement, but it is true, online "grassroots" anyways, that the majority of reviews have been favorable.

I think some "senior Liberals" need to remember the leadership race is over.

Oxford County Liberals said...


I reject the use of the word "disenfranchising".

The dictionary term for that is : to deprive of a franchise, of a legal right, or of some privilege or immunity; especially : to deprive of the right to vote

Liberal voters in Central Nova have not been deprived of the right to vote. I think comparing the fact that a Liberal leader has asked them to strategically vote for someone whom he considers an ally in a riding doesn't do justice to the term when you're using a definition applied to describe what Canadian women, first nations, and ethnic minorities experienced until various times in the 20th century.

Gayle said...

I am glad you posted this. I posted similar sentiments over at Fuddle Duddle.

If I were a member of the liberal party I would be calling for some heads. It is absolutely shameful the way some anonymous members are screwing with this party. I understood the whole point of the leadership campaign was to heal old wounds and unite the party. Seems some people do not want that.

It makes me angry because they are not only screwing their party, they are screwing their country.

While not a member, I do donate. Many times I ask myself why I do so when it is painfully obvious the party is on self-destruct mode - but I like Dion, and so long as he is leader the party will have my support. If the powers that be engineer a coup, I am going with the NDP, because it appears some senior liberal members feel just fine about handing the reins over to them.

propatria said...

Does Dion have the right to say, as leader of the liberal party, who the liberal party will support in central nova? If so, whats the problem? Ya it sucks shes not a liberal. But Dion thinks its better for the country if she wins central nova. So instead of playing games hes being clear about it.

I think a lot of this "disenfranchising" talk is by people who either already have a problem with dion or else have a fetish with the number 308. To choose to put a throwaway candidate in the riding and hope they lose rather then clearly saying "yes, May is the liberal party choice in central nova" is like choosing hypocrisy over clarity.

Jeff said...

And most importantly I am not as biased as you are...

How do you figure that Alexander? I'm quite curious.

and do not claim to speak for all grassroot Liberals...

I don't claim to speak for all grassroots Liberals, or any grassroots Liberals, besides this grassroots Liberal. And it's the evaluation of this grassroots Liberal that most other grassroots Liberals will like this move. You have a different evaluation. That's cool.

Gayle, I agree, the leadership race is over and I hear a lot of back room maneuvering is going on behind the scenes. It pisses me off. Long story short, the need for party reform hasn't gone away.

biff said...

This grand strategy involves aligning himself with a party, and an individual, who is incapable of winning a single seat in parliament. It's bizarre and shows deperation.

What is clear is that there are liberals willing to follow Dion off a cliff. They agree with everything he does, wait to offer an opinion until Dion acts for fear of opposing a move before it happens. Then say "I've thought about it, and while I had concerns, I think its a good move."

BC'er here is one. He's a good Dion foot soldier.

It's those Liberal insiders that BC'er chastizes, who have the long term interests of the party in mind. They can see the mistake Dion was, and can see the long term damage Dion is doing with his desperate moves for short term gain.

If Liberals think this is freakish and deperate, what do you think the average non-partisan Canadian is thinking?

March on good Dion foot soldier.

Gayle said...

Yeah biff - because we all know you have nothing but the interests of the liberal party at heart.

Why of course Jeff here should renounce Dion on your sage advice.

I think that this move by Dion worries you - I can think of no other reason for you to travel from blog to blog complaining about the liberal constitution and prodding people to abandon Dion.

I still think you are Harper, having a little "fun" after downing a few cold ones. Shouldn't you be watching the Sens? Or have you converted to a Habs fan, along with all your other recent conversions.

Dr. Tux said...


You can also represent me as a grassroots liberal in this discussion. I'm in agreement. Come to think of it, so is Scott, Steve, Politique Vert, Cherniak, Ken Chapman, Indiescribe, Knb... anyone I missed?

Solidly we stand behind Dion.

Gayle said...

I am not a liberal, but I am behind him.

I almost composed an email to send to the entire liberal caucus complaining about the disdain with which some of them have treated their rank and file - by undermining their choice for leader - but then I wondering what would be the point.

I do think the rank and file should let their displeasure be known though.

petroom said...


Will you post your letter here or on your own blog? I'm curious to read it. Or, you could post as a comment on my blog.

canuckistanian said...

a fine notion, that i share incidentally. nevertheless, there will always be the liberal hacks who feel "entitled to their entitlements" and will invariably put themselves before party and party before country.

memo to those liberals: you are why the libs lost the last election.

Gayle said...

I did not actually write a letter - I just felt there would be no point. Maybe if enough people got together and decided to do so...

I agree with canuckistanian, but the party does belong to its members, and I suppose to a lesser extent those of us who support it financially, so if enough people speak up can they ignore us?