Dion and the Liberals
I’m not a Liberal, but apparently there’s a bit of a grassroots campaign to try to stop the onslaught against Dion within the party. This disgusting rush to blame their leader for the party’s poor showing in the election is misguided at best, and just makes people like me (admittedly, there are probably few) less likely to support the party. As I listened to the higher ups in the party talk about how badly they’d done while blaming Dion for this, all I could think was how arrogant and comfortable this party had become. The Liberals are a bit washed out at this point, at least in my view. To me, and again, maybe I’m part of a very small minority, it seems like a lot of people are still not over the whole sponsorship scandal or simply not over the long years of Liberal rule. The party leaders seem to think it’s all Dion’s fault that the other parties did better while the Liberals’ seats were drained away. Personally, I like Dion better than I like his party. I’ve sometimes thought his policies might be a little too far left, a little too bold for the Liberals, like the Green Shift plan. All I can say to the Liberals who want to blame their leader or gain the leadership for themselves, get over yourselves. Dion may not have been that popular this election with many, but this rush to blame him for the entire loss of seats is not endearing, especially to those voters who chose to vote further left rather than further right, when they decided not to go with the Liberals. I’m sure the ones who swayed Conservative are loving it. I talked with a conservative friend a couple nights ago, and she related how she “couldn’t stand” Dion and how someone whose English is worse than the French President’s shouldn’t be leading an English speaking country. (She also called Jack Layton a sleazy car salesman. I didn’t hear much about policies, but about an apparent fear in her conservative family that the Liberals would win power. I confess I found this all a bit mysterious, even though I might be sort of fiscally conservative. Still, the government is the only one who can and would be willing to spend money to stimulate the economy in times of recession, which we appear to be in. No wonder the Conservatives called an election, possibly an illegal one, now. They might not be so popular if people start losing their jobs and are at the mercy of the government for assistance.)
But it’s probably already too late, since Dion has already apparently called a press conference, presumably to announce his resignation as leader of the Liberals. Hopefully he’s not put off politics altogether. At least he had the courage to try to promote and implement the sort of policy that climate change activists (anyone heard of Al Gore?) have been calling for, even if most Canadians, especially in the west, didn’t seem to get it, or the merits of this plan over the Conservative one (no one talked about the Conservative plan at all, it was as if nobody even knew it existed, much less what it was). The election happened too fast. I suspect if the Liberals had worked harder in the west to get the word out about how the Green Shift actually compared to the Conservative green plan, things might have been somewhat different. Then again, some people obviously couldn’t get past Dion’s poor English, and that’s something he might not be able to improve in a usable time frame to gain the kind of support he seems to need from the general population in order to quiet his angry, eager-to-blame party.
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