Stephane Dion was in St. Thomas today making general announcements and announcements that will affect agriculture specifically.
He was introduced by Gerrard Kennedy, as the man he is. A man who has fought for the unity of this country and has remained in politics only to contribute to making the country stronger.
When he approached the podium, there was something a little different that I couldn't put my finger on. He seemed to cast aside his notes and certainly wasn't encumbered by a tele-prompter in the middle of a field. Very quickly, he re-capped why he entered politics then referred to Mr. Harper and the style, (if you can call it that), he adopts against his opponents.
He reminded us with a hint of disbelief of how, when Dion asked about the treatment of prisoners in Afghanistan, Harper called him a Taliban sympathiser. He went on to say, with justifiable resentment in his voice, that he thought Harper couldn't go any lower after suggesting that his Action Plan would divide the country. He then shared with us Harper's latest insult that I presume he uses to fire up his base and that is, 'Stephen Harper has now said that I am virtually cheering for a recession'. He didn't disguise his anger or his incredulity.
Harper, a man who is so driven to gain more power, he resorts to attacking the character and motivation of an honourable opponent, without any regard for the consequences is leading this country people and is asking for a blank cheque to continue.
Well, if today was any indication, I can tell you Dion is not going to take the barrage of lies and insults ling down. My words, not his, were enough is enough and I suspect those who saw Dion speak today could hear them too.
I saw the speech on CTV. It was also on CPAC, but the CBC in their infinite wisdom chose not to carry it. I don't know if you've noticed, but this is not the first time. It' also common for them to break into a Dion speech, in order to cut to Harper. If there is a company out there that is tracking exposure for these leaders, I'd be really interested in the numbers.
As an aside, this morning Dion spoke at a seniors residence that Gerrard Kennedy had arranged. It was not a grand affair, and the speech certainly wasn't as fiery, but it was fine. Immediately following the speech, the seniors themselves were given an opportunity to ask questions. A few did then it went to the scrum. After a couple of questions from the press about the Liberal candidate in Winnipeg, a senior stood and said, 'We don't care about that stuff. I thought this was for us!" Dion took his question, then it was back to the anointed story tellers, (am I getting cynical?), and more irrelevant questions, which got the whole crowd yelling at the media. I confess it made me laugh out loud.
Dion was in a tough spot, but being who he is, he said he was not Stephen Harper and we must respect the freedom of the press. What do you suppose Harper would have done in the same circumstance?
I later heard Susan Bonner describe the incident and she was quite indignant, saying she'd never seen anything like it. In other words, how could those people have done that to the press! She of course missed their message and what most of the country is saying.
We don't care about the trivial bits you are feeding us because it amounts to the level of debate we get from Harper. Mean spirited and meaningless. We're interested in the issues!
Note to Dion handlers: Let Dion speak as himself. Throw away the tele-prompter and speeches whenever possible.