It appears the jury is still very much out on whether the Liberals made a good choice in electing Stephane Dion as their leader yesterday.
I still feel he was the best among the choices given with regard to his policies and his personal style, vibe, that intangible whatever.
(Charisma? No. But I don’t expect anybody will ever top Trudeau in that department. Canada had its first love affair with Trudeau, and no subsequent love is ever quite the same.)
Dion might not be the most electable or winnable leader for the Liberals but I think it is to their credit that he came out on top instead of a Harper-lite (Iggy) or a recycled failed NDP Provincial Premier who was nonetheless supposed to be the *one most feared* by the Conservatives.
Editorials are understandably quite mixed: my local English paper, the Montreal Gazette, says the result will be “good for Canada”.
The Ottawa Sun’s columnist is less optimistic about the wisdom of the choice, naming Stephen Harper as the ultimate winner.
Many French Quebecois are not at all happy, even though Dion is part of their “Nation”, because he has a passion for a united Canada rather than a concept of an association of nations, such as Harper’s or Ignatieff’s.
I came across this article in the French media which expresses some displeasure (putting it mildly) at the result.
The Quebec Liberals would have preferred Ignatieff despite his having absolutely no history in Quebec and his hawkish neo-con leanings which generally do not go over well here at all. It must be because of the Quebec-Nation thing but I am disappointed that they would place so much weight on that and so little on important issues such as foreign policy and the environment.
After all, whether part of Canada or its own Nation, or both, Quebec still resides on Planet Earth and has to breathe, eat and drink what the rest of us do.
Finally, to inject a little perspective, the Liberal Leadership Convention was largely ignored by US mainstream media. Understandable in a way, since the Liberals aren’t even in power, but shouldn't it at least be worthy of a short mention?
CNN and MSNBC have nothing at all on their websites, while the New York Times and Washington Post do have articles but you have to search for them.
The Post’s write-up pretty well covers it, except for one thing: it claims Harper is fluent in French which is definitely not the case. As for Dion’s English, well he is vastly more comprehensible than Chretien and that is enough for me.