Thursday, October 16, 2008

Why Dion Should Stay

It's difficult to keep up with the stories about the Liberal party, it's leader, and the future of both today.
That said, I think what they are musing about and what those cowardly 'senior officials' are whispering in their ears, completely misses the where the party is and what the focus should be. Additionally, I'd like to know what the rush is? This to me is precisely the time when cooler heads should prevail and some conversation should be had as what the options are and how they might play out.
To that end, I can say after having thought about it, I haven't changed my mind since yesterday. I still support Dion and I see no merit in considering a replacement. My reasons take into account both the man and where we are as a party.
Obviously, the problems that the party is experiencing at the moment cannot all be laid at the leaders feet. If there is responsibility to assume that Dion can identify as his own, I am confident he will do so. The problem plaguing the party however is far deeper and broader than one person and they certainly did not begin when he took over the helm. There are many issues that should have been focused on since the last leadership convention, or in some cases, as it was going one, that have been ignored.
Party renewal is almost a generic term I suppose, but it's one that the Liberal party has not taken seriously enough, imo. Every aspect of how the party operates has to be evaluated. From policy, to really developing a strong grassroots network, to parliamentary strategy and election readiness and strategy. Renewal hasn't occurred and until it does and is implemented in a way that has everyone singing from the same song sheet, a new leader will be faced with the same problems. It's time for an overhaul of the back rooms, and to mangle a tired expression, I wouldn't be saving the old furniture, I'd be chucking it to the curb.
To go through a leadership race, in whatever form, would accomplish what exactly? Will it squelch the desires of those who were not chosen, yet again? Will it stop the constant vying and campaigning behind the scenes? Will it help the party rebuild and put together a message that is able to reach all of those in the country who do not share the current government's views? I don't think it will achieve any of that nor all the other things that the party should be addressing at the moment.
What it will achieve though is precisely what Harper set out to do. He more than anyone wants to see the party in disarray. A party that is consumed by leadership woes will be unprepared to deal with the issues of parliament, not to mention the economy at the moment will provide he and his team ample opportunity to push through whatever he wants.
Flanagan has told us Harper's strategy. He wants to destroy the Liberal party. Surely going through another leadership race, in whatever form it might take, is playing right into his hands. The party would be distracted and it certainly wouldn't be filling it's coffers.
We all know the results of this election are not what anyone wanted to see, but is that really all up to Dion? Hasn't he been through just about everything that Harper and the media could throw at him? Do you really think the Conservative party doesn't already have another attack campaign ready for whoever takes over, especially if it's the 2 front runners from the last go around?
Actually, when you think that through logically, Dion came in with no baggage, (except in Quebec) and they still managed to throw everything at him. What do you suppose they'll do to those that would arrive with a steamer trunk full of their past?
I suppose it comes down to what precisely do you expect in a leader? Dion is policy driven, intelligent, sincere, honest and willing to put himself out there for what he believes in. No games, no tricks, no gimmicks. Oh yeah, he's shy, perhaps a bit awkward, not slick and he speaks with an accent. Since when did that disqualify someone from having the right ideas?
Dion was chosen because he was different and I think that is exactly what we require right now. He developed some skills during the campaign that certainly showed up near the end, but he never lost who he was. Standing up to the machine that Harper built, (with the assistance of the able hammer wielders otherwise known as the media), I think would speak volumes, not to mention strength. It would prove the story tellers wrong.
Having the party unite behind this cause and outing those who have been handing the nails to the aforementioned hammer wielders, would go a long way in providing an atmosphere where the real work could be done with enthusiasm and purpose.
When I consider the possible choices for the party and it's future, I still stand behind Dion.

27 comments:

Steve V said...

"Additionally, I'd like to know what the rush is?"

It's like we have some crazy deadline. I haven't even processed this race, and anybody who has, should have their head checked.

Well said!

knb said...

No kidding Steve.

Anyone who thinks a quick decision will answer anything isn't thinking and quite likely is part of the problem.

Tyler R said...

I think Dion should not have obtained the leadership in the first place (the backroom deal with Kennedy being the only way he could win). That said, I would like to see a month or so grace period before Stephan steps down graciously and we work towards bringing the party back to what it was before.

knb said...

Tyler R. Back to what it was before? I think that is precisely the problem.

I'm not sure what specifically you mean, but as far as I'm concerned the party was fractured for years.

I want to move forward, leaving the past behind entirely. That does not mean disgarding experience but it does mean moving into the 21st century and leaving petty gripes behind.

The Right is Where it's At said...

You know me KNB I'M no fan of the liberal party,but I do think that he has to stay on until he has been voted out in a convention. The reason in my opinion is that he has said during the campaign that he wanted to stay win or lose. Now if he goes before the convention he would have then broken a promise he made.

Now about the liberal problems you're right it goes far deeper then just Mr.Dion.

Example:

The party is right now in far worse shape financially then they were before the election. I heard on one of the french network here in Montreal on election night that the liberals borrowed $18 million. This is going to be a big problem if it is true for the party. Also they will collect a whole lot less $$$ from Election Canada because they got a lot less votes then they had in 2006.What is your thought on this KNB?

The Right is Where it's At said...

Sorry KNB

I meant to say if he quits before the convention he would have broken a promise he made.

Not:

"Now if he goes before the convention he would have then broken a promise he made." LOL

Anonymous said...

When you Conservative partisans agreeing with you Knb, it probably means you're on the wrong trace. Dion's gotta go and pronto.

The next Liberal leader has to be on the center, center-right of the political spectrum. This unite the left stuff makes the Liberals a left-wing party. The Liberals are not a left-wing party. So no Bob Rae or Dosanj. Iggy runs afoul of the Liberal strong central government policy and because of that is rejected by too many party members ant therefore cannot win the nomination.

Anyway they need someone with proven political skills. Dion just wasn't up to the task. Before him, neither was Martin. Martin didn't move the party to the centre, centre-right. If anything he moved it to the left, which was as surprising as it was unsuccesful.

I don't know who that person might be, John Manley maybe?

penlan said...

I'm of the same mind knb. Let's NOT give Harper what he so desperately wants - a Liberal party in total disarray so he can ram through everything he wants to in the blink of an eye. An opposition who has its collective mind on other things is not watching Harper.

knb said...

Right, this issue goes far beyond any statement made on the night of an election.

As for the finances, I have no idea and I'm not about to take the media's word for anything.

It's no secret that the party is not flush with cash, but I wouldn't jump to conclusions either.

Lycan Stark said...

As a conservative supporter, I hope your party makes the decision to keep Dion. :)

knb said...

With respect anon, if the partisan was agreeing with me by supporting my arguments, you might have a point I suppose, but that is not the case.

I completely disagree with you though on going centre right. We do have a contingent within the party that is of that ilk and that's fine, but that is not what the party is nor should it strive to be.

The make-up of the country certainly isn't that, as confirmed by the results on Tuesday and the portion that is either content to get into bed with Harper or view things more broadly and find a home with the Lib's.

knb said...

Penlan, I believe focus is what we need now.

knb said...

Oh, such wit and insight Lycan.

Steve V said...

Lycan is to bloggers what a 10 watt bulb is too lighting, DIM.

penlan said...

LOL@ Steve V - good one!

Anonymous said...

There is definitely something about Mr. Dion that Harper fears. He wouldn't have spent tens of millions of dollars on attack ads if he hadn't been afraid of Mr. Dions leadership. One of the reason The Cons won was because of the non-integrity of the US owned Media who supported him with all kinds of coverage versus negative coverage for Mr. Dion. The very same ones such as CTV who reneged on their promise not to air bloopers on their taped interviews. I would hope that Elections Canada will look into this very serious matter.

Mr. Dion is the perfect man to be the PM & for that very reason,I sincerely hope that he does remain the leader of the Liberal Party. Canada & Canadians need him deperatly. The poor showing at the polls proved that. The only Liberals that do have to resign are the old school back benchers, the very ones that are leaking the chatter in caucus to the media for their own political gains.

Hopefully Mr. Dion & his team will be better prepared financially next election to expose Harper for the non-leader & liar he really is. A man with no polices of his own that steals the very polices of the party he is trying to destroy.

Anonymous said...

knob, I visited Morphs site this afternoon http://thewingnuterer.blogspot.com/ & with his approval & a few remarks of my own, I too sent it to Mr. Dion & to the MP's on why I believe that Mr. Dion should remain as the leader of the Liberal Party party.

If we ban together & send Zorphs letter with all our own comments attached to it, we will have given the Liberal Party a strong message as to why he needs to remain the leader of the Liberal Party. I wasn't too gentle either with the backroom stabbers in his caucus & how mush damage they have caused by leaking rumors to the media for their own political gains.

Tyler R said...

Knb

I meant back to the Center, center right position the party had before the Martin years. The Liberal party has always has an issue with infighting, something that even filters down to its youth wing. The party needs a strong leader to bring everyone together, back to taking red tories, staying center, center right when pushing election platforms that offers bits to the left to steal a few votes. The Liberal party needs to go back to what made the Liberal party so amazing.

Lycan Stark said...

Yawn. Insult me if it makes you're aching ass feel better after that electoral kicking it just received. However, until you can figure out exactly why the Tories want Dion to stay on, your party's problems, it is my pleasure to say, are going to continue.

penlan said...

Gosh, Snark Stark, that big yawn tells me you really do need to go back to bed. And stay there. As someone on another blog remarked about you - you are a DIM bulb. Go rest until your manners & intelligence are brighter.

Lycan Stark said...

Well, whatever. Keep Dion and same-old, same-old. Toss him now, and the Liberals rip each other to ribbons. Either makes no difference; both equally bring a smile to Tory faces. Either plays into Harper's hands.

As a matter of fact, it being a minority government with an uncertain life span is doing more to split the Liberals than it would if it were a majority, which would give you 4 uninterrupted years to get your act together. Still thankful its only a minority now?

No, I didn't think so. :D

Demosthenes said...

So the Liberals move to the center-right, right tyler?

So, uh, what is that?

Who defines it? You? Me? KNB?

Haha, no. Of course not. The person who will define that is the same person who defined Dion as "not a leader": Stephen Harper. No matter how far the Liberals move to the right, he will do exactly what the Republicans did over and over again: pocket the success, move the discourse farther to the right, and point at whatever dregs of progressiveness still exist in the Liberal party to paint them as "out of the mainstream".

(Which Canada's conservative media will happily help him do.)

Meanwhile, the NDP will Blairize themselves and scoop up the disaffected progressives, while the Greens get more of a protest vote and the Bloc absorbs all those Quebeckers who care about social justice and aren't consumed by the nationalist/federalist thing. So the Liberals STILL won't get more votes.

Or, alternately, Harper simply points to the Liberals, says "they've got no principles, they want to pretend they're a conservative party but they're still big ol' liberals", keeps the territory he's already staked out, and the Liberals completely fail. Which is very much likely, because he'll have a gigantic bully pulpit to do it with, and sympathetic outlets aplenty to help him.

So, uh, Tyler, other than the ridiculous irrelevant logic of moving along a two-dimensional line, can you explain to the peanut gallery why what you're advocating is supposed to WORK?

When it failed miserably for the Dems for a decade?

We're waiting.

Demosthenes said...

(But clearly Tyler there hasn't thought it out. He hasn't thought of anything. He's just another Young Liberal in the right-wing faction's pocket--probably Iggy--who thinks he can play with the grownups by bleating about "left" "right" and "center", without having the faintest clue what those things are.)

(Go read about "moving the goalposts", son, and then maybe you can contribute.)

kristin said...

Dion is anything but same-old, same-old Lycan.

quoting anonymous comment:
There is definitely something about Mr. Dion that Harper fears. He wouldn't have spent tens of millions of dollars on attack ads if he hadn't been afraid of Mr. Dions leadership. One of the reason The Cons won was because of the non-integrity of the US owned Media who supported him with all kinds of coverage versus negative coverage for Mr. Dion. The very same ones such as CTV who reneged on their promise not to air bloopers on their taped interviews. I would hope that Elections Canada will look into this very serious matter.

Mr. Dion is the perfect man to be the PM & for that very reason,I sincerely hope that he does remain the leader of the Liberal Party. Canada & Canadians need him deperatly. The poor showing at the polls proved that. The only Liberals that do have to resign are the old school back benchers, the very ones that are leaking the chatter in caucus to the media for their own political gains.

Hopefully Mr. Dion & his team will be better prepared financially next election to expose Harper for the non-leader & liar he really is. A man with no polices of his own that steals the very polices of the party he is trying to destroy.

Wow. Just, wow. I'm beyond speechless on that one, never ever ever thought of it that way. Wow.

Maudie Bones said...

This petition for Dion to stay on originated in Montreal.
Begin forwarded message:


URL is http://www.PetitionOnline.com/mod_
perl/petition-sign.cgi?Dion

knb said...

Thanks Maudie.

I've signed, I hope others do to.

bloggerbee said...

While I think you've made a good argument, I must say that I fundamentally disagree with your point. Dion has demonstrated, without doubt, that he is not a leader. He was unable to galvanize voters, let alone his own party, and failed to make a convincing argument or clear rationale for the Green Shift. This is precisely why he must resign at once.

Waiting until May allows the Conservative engine too much time to build a stronger case for majority. The fractions in the Liberal party are there for everyone to see. The issues did not go away under Dion, they merely quieted to a whisper. What the party needs, and I would argue the country as well, is a leader who will define a vision for the next 10-15 years.

While I don't disagree with Dion's vision for the environment, I saw little else by way of a plan that addressed the day-to-day concerns of the average Canadian. The NDP and Conservatives made great strides in this past election by addressing exactly these concerns.