Tuesday, April 17, 2007

another nail in the coffin of Dion

Is Grit Dion a real political leader? Maybe
But Dion and May's coalition is presumptuous, naïve, cowardly and good for New Democrats

The Hill Times, April 16th, 2007 By Angelo Persichilli

TORONTO–No one should be surprised that federal Liberal Leader Stéphane Dion is a weak leader. One of the worst-kept secrets in Ottawa is that the Liberal Party, under Dion's leadership, doesn't stand a chance of defeating Prime Minister Stephen Harper's Conservatives in the next election. However, nobody would have suspected that Dion was going to admit it even before going to the polls and already looking for partners to form a government.

The Liberal leader's decision not to run a Liberal candidate in the riding of Nova Scotia in order to support Green Party Leader Elizabeth May, is first of all, a gift to NDP Leader Jack Layton (Toronto-Danforth, Ont.) and another nail in the political coffin of Dion (Saint-Laurent-Cartierville, Que.).

The agreement means he's abdicating the duty of his party to defeat Foreign Affairs Minister Peter MacKay (Central Nova, N.S.). It's a concession of defeat even before the vote.

This is unheard of in the history of a national political organization. Basically Dion is telling Liberals, "Sorry folks, we cannot win this one, let others try."

But this decision does not only illustrate Dion's weakness as a federal political leader, it also brings into question his political intelligence, and highlights, underscores and emphasizes his naivety. Most of all, it reflects Dion's lack of respect for the intelligence of voters.

Basically, he's saying he believes that agreements from the top can be imposed to the rank and file party members without any consultations, but with a stroke of a wand. This is not the first time he has bypassed democratic rules to impose his own views. He believes he can go into any riding in Canada and tell his candidates, not to run one of their own and vote for another party.

Yes, he is bending the democratic rules to facilitate the candidacy of women. Mr. Dion should know better that "imposing democracy" is an oxymoron everywhere, even in politics. Besides, instead of parachuting his supporters in safe ridings, like Martha Hall Findlay, why doesn't he make an effort to keep those that are already there, like Belinda Stronach, even if they were not in the list of his supporters?

Dion has to understand that making decisions from the top and signing papers, is merely a way to consider the job done.

One case in point is the Kyoto Protocol agreement: he and his government signed a bunch of papers and then proceeded to do nothing to make it work between 1997 and the date they were removed from government.

But from the top-down agreement in Nova Scotia, while it brings no surprise from the "don Quixotesque" leader of the Liberal Party, it is an opportunity to better understand the new leader of the Green Party of Canada.

When May decided to run in Nova Scotia against the political "giant" MacKay, I thought she was gutsy, even though politically naïve.

Through her agreement with Dion, she has confirmed her political naiveté, that she's presumptuous, and doesn't have guts. She is like the little David deciding to challenge the nasty Goliath but, at the last moment, asks her parents to go with her.

She is naïve because she believes that Dion can tell Liberals what to do; and she's presumptuous because she's telling the "green electorate" to vote for the Liberals in other ridings outside Central Nova, N.S.

Ms. May doesn't understand that there's no "green electorate." There are disgruntled voters unhappy with the conventional parties and looking for a new leadership. Most of them are coming exactly from the Liberal Party. Through her agreement with Dion, she's telling disgruntled Liberals–who in the last polls most likely appeared under the "Green Party" support and did not like Dion's leadership, to go and vote for Dion.

If they decided not to vote for the Liberals, it was also because they were unhappy with the way the Liberal government, and Dion handled the environment file. As mentioned before, signing a piece of paper, even if the letterhead says Kyoto, won't clean our space, air and water without any concrete action.

And, according to some environmentalists, the best government to deal with the environment, was not the one where Dion was serving as a minister, but prime minister Brian Mulroney's.

The agreement in Central Nova is nothing but a naïve attempt of desperate people who believe they can fool people and reach the top through short cuts and expediency.

There is a good chance that most of the people that thought to go to the Green Party in search for a new leadership, are now having second thoughts and, I'm sure, the name Jack Layton is often coming up in their minds.

Angelo Persichilli is political editor of Corriere Canadese, Canada's Italian-language daily newspaper based in Toronto.
news@hilltimes.com The Hill Times


janfromthebruce said...

All nots well in the friendly green giant land:
OTTAWA–Federal Green Leader Elizabeth May lost a political adviser yesterday over her decision to sign a non-aggression pact with the Liberals to help get her elected to the Commons.

Dan Baril, a party strategist, resigned his post.

On Friday, May announced a deal with Liberal Leader Stéphane Dion that the Liberals won't run a candidate in the Nova Scotia riding of Central Nova that May plans to contest. The riding is held by Foreign Affairs Minister Peter MacKay. In turn, the Green party won't run anyone in Dion's Montreal riding of Saint-Laurent-Cartierville.

"I strongly advised against doing Central Nova and against doing what happened on Friday," Baril told the Star shortly after submitting his resignation....
"Everything they're hearing (from political opponents) are things I advised them they were going to be facing after this and that it was going to hurt them, and so therefore don't do it or do it differently," Baril said. Green party officials decided Sunday their bare-bones budget could no longer support Baril's salary, but backed away from suggestions he'd been dismissed.

"He felt that I wasn't taking his advice adequately, and at the same time he was the most expensive person in the system – more than me or anybody else – so that was hard," May said. "He's worth every penny of it, but we're not that kind of party. We don't have those kinds of dollars."

May wasn't trying to spin this was she? He quit May. That's it and don't try to play nice. It's sooooooooo obvious.

janfromthebruce said...

Sorry, forgot to leave the tag for the above post. http://www.thestar.com/News/article/203833

audacious said...

thanks ...;
guess two coffin's are in order huh?