As was expected Dion stepped down as Liberal leader today.
Dion endured smears from the beginning. About his ability to converse in English, his light frame, his backpack and even his ability to answer incredibly poorly worded questions. Conservative ads consistently showed Dion as weak and ineffectual, it was the modern day equivalent of the big dumb bully kicking sand in the face of the nerd.
Though not a Liberal supporter I do think Dion is a man of honour and integrity. And while I don’t necessarily support his policies I do believe he has a great respect for both the country and the environment. In that he showed himself head and shoulders above Harper.
What may be the unkindest cut of all is that so much of the campaign to oust him came from within his own party. He was lured into the shadowy corners of the Big Tent and shived in the back.
John Manley, seen as a possible successor was quoted as saying, “If I were to be critical of Stephane, I think he took the party in a direction where it was fighting in a very crowded field for too few votes on the left side of the spectrum and that’s not where you win elections” The Star
This would seem indicative that the Libs have decided to follow the Conservatives on the track to the right wing fringes. With the majority of Canadians who did vote voting in support of ‘progressive’ parties, and so many choosing to abstain from voting, one wonders what makes them believe this move to conservatism is something the Canadian public wants. After all previous liberal governments have shown that campaigning from the left has served them well.
A move to a right wing agenda would of course be a move away from Dion’s plans for environmental protections and the Greens already represent right wing market based environmentalists. It will be interesting to see where on the political spectrum the Liberal power brokers place the party.
Shortly before the election, in response to Harper’s taunts to the other leaders about quitting if they were not elected as PM, Dion said, “I am not a quitter”. I don’t believe he is. It is too bad though that his party quit him.
I wish Mr Dion well in his future endeavours.