Saturday, February 03, 2007

Is Stephane Dion 'Prime Minister' material?

There are several voices emerging from MSM that question Stephane Dion's ability to lead the country.

A few days ago John Ivison remarked:

The Liberals issued a news release yesterday accusing Stephen Harper of being a climate change denier, accompanied by a number of the Prime Minister's own quotes. Many suggest that he was -- and likely still is -- unconvinced about the science of global warming. Yet with one quote, he hit the nail on the head: "As economic policy, the Kyoto accord is a disaster."

Either Mr. Dion knows this and is being duplicitous for political gain or, worse, he doesn't and has been duped by the environmental lobby. Neither explanation inspires much confidence in him as a future prime minister.



Then the Globe's Jeffrey Simpson took Dion to task (H/T Dr. Roy):

Polls show that most Canadians want us to fulfill our Kyoto commitments. In their minds, Kyoto equals concern about climate change. Presumably, such an equation led Liberal Leader Stéphane Dion to propose an opposition day motion calling on the government to "honour the principles and targets of the Kyoto Protocol in their entirety."

Great, except for one incontrovertible fact: There is no conceivable way that Canada can meet its Kyoto targets "in their entirety."

If Mr. Dion or the opposition MPs who agreed with him don't know this, they should be sent to a special cram school on Kyoto. If they do know this -- and chances are, they do -- they are being political disingenuous or intellectually dishonest or, worse, both.

Today we have Michael Coren going out on another politically-incorrect limb. (Michael, haven't they arrested you yet?) He dares to criticize Dion's English!


The most obvious problem about the leader of the Liberal party is that his English is appalling and he is often entirely unintelligible.

There. That which we are not supposed to mention. It's okay to lambaste English-Canadian politicians for their lack of French, even if they represent completely English-speaking ridings, but never point out that a man who wants to rule Canada and speak to and for 20 million Anglophones has an often-impenetrable accent and a bewildering vocabulary.

Of course, if that was Stephane's only fault, it could probably be forgiven. Chretien's English was somewhat grating on the nerves as well.

But Coren goes on to highlight Dion's foot-in-mouth disease and incredible flip-flops on such supposedly irrevocable values such as his French citizenship. (It was a gift from his maman, but he'll give it up if it means more votes...)


Is this a man who is qualified to govern a country as great and diverse as Canada? The question is rhetorical and the answer is obvious in any language.


Even the Globe's Brian Laghi is voicing some concerns!!! Here he questions Dion's tactical savvy:


As an aside, Mr. Dion probably did himself no favours this week when he moved a clearly political motion asking that the Tories reaffirm their support for the Kyoto environmental accord despite the fact that an increasing number of experts are skeptical that the agreement's provisions can be met.


In the Dec. 18/06 issue of Maclean's, Peter C. Newman wrote an illuminating article on Iggy's leadership loss to Dion ("Fearing the Man who would be King").

Like Clark, who assumed the Tory leadership in 1976, Dion won because he had the smallest number of enemies in the hall. Also like "Joe Who?", the newly branded "Stéphane Who?" brought little glory and less charisma to the job. The Clark comparison is apt, because both leaders share great intentions and have demonstrated commendable courage, but possess only a tiny dollop of star power.

Watching Dion perform at the convention, I noticed that like a developing Polaroid photo, his features materialize slowly, without much definition and no aura. His platform manner suffers from the fact that he is a mouth-breather. (His lips don't move, which makes his face expressionless, while his body language, feeble at best, shuts down when he rises to speak.) A gutsy Quebec federalist, the new Liberal leader infuses his public discourse with neither wit nor passion. Like Clark, he will only set the world on fire by accident.



Stephane Dion is quite likely very passionate about what he believes in, but he appears unable to communicate it on so many levels. The same, of course, was said about Harper, but the difference is that Harper has learned a lot along the way; both in terms of language fluency and strategy.

It's doubtful that Dion could evolve in a similar fashion fast enough to become an effective leader of our country - which is great for the CPC.


* * * *

Update: Oh good grief! I just came across this pathetic op-ed in today's Post by the man of the hour himself. I just don't know where to start to pick this apart, but the ending is so melodramatic and pretentious:

Most importantly, I call on the Prime Minister to do all this in a way that strengthens the Canadian economy, providing better jobs and a higher standard of living for our children.

Climate change is the single most pressing ecological threat facing our country and our planet. It is clear that Mr. Harper has neither the courage nor the conviction to meet our Kyoto obligations, and that we need a new government to do so.

In the meantime, I call on the Prime Minister to implement these initiatives. This country cannot wait, this planet cannot wait and the Official Opposition will not wait.


The man truly is living in a dream world.

On the plus side however, his pronunciation is not nearly as annoying in print.


* * * *

Upperdate: I feel quite honoured that Jack included this post in his Newswatch today.

Please read Don Martin - The blunt talk that got MP next job. Jean Lapierre unplugged!

Sunday Update: BBS - Not Ready for Prime Time Politics. (no kidding!)


Progressive Conservative - Some Liberals Don't Like Dion Either. (so much for unity)



MOST IMPORTANT UPDATE!!! Thanks to Mainstream Canadians, we now have the FULL article by Randall Denley. Read it and weep, Stephane. You're done.

25 comments:

Swift said...

Joanne, Im going to sneak in an off topic update, if it's Ok with you.
More doubt is being expressed over the accuracy of the Finance Department's estimate of tax leakage becausew of trusts. The Bank of Montreal calculated the tax paid for one hundred and fifty trusts and the corresponding taxes that would have been paid if they wewre corperations. They couldn't find any leakage, so they put in a freedom of information request for the Finance Department's figures. The pages were blacked out. The trusts financial information is a matter of public record and the tax rates are also public, what's secret about this?
Back in November, there were some who critized my investment strategies. Not all my invewtments were trusts, but like many others who need regular income for everyday living expenses I had a large percentage of my po0rtfolio in trusts. In the three trading sessios after Oct. 31, my portfolio dropped 20.7%. Monday will mark the three month anniversary of that low point. A good day on Monday will also mark the complerte recovery of my losses. Unfortunatly, like other's who depend on income for living, I still need to more than double my portfolio value after taxes and living expenses to avoid using some capital for everyday needs.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Swift - So are you saying that there seems to be some kind of coverup? I saw the press conference with some of the folks who had suffered huge losses. My heart goes out to them.

I think the CPC will lose some support on this one.

Frank Cybulski said...

This post summed up my feelings about Dion almost exactly. You hit it on the nail here.

Once we get into an election campaign, I'm anticipating Liberal support to gradually erode and then plummet. Their current polling numbers are a Potemkin village: are show, no substance. Environmentalists will turn to an surging Green Party; why should they vote Green-Lite?

Our support has barely changed at all; the real problem has been that the Liberals are stealing NDP support while retaining some right-leaning voters. The task ahead is to lure the latter group to our side.

Once Dion starts fumbling and speaking unintelligibly, and we run the same tight-ship campaign we did last time, the majority will arrive.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Frank, I like your confident attitude!

Brian in Calgary said...

The Clark comparison is apt, because both leaders share great intentions and have demonstrated commendable courage, but possess only a tiny dollop of star power.

Another similarity with Clark is that both have a habit of shooting themselves in the political foot. And I voted for Clark on both leadership ballots in 1998. Do you suppose there's a support group for Tories like me?

Anonymous said...

and we run the same tight-ship campaign we did last time

For one thing, i think our negative ad campaigns dont really help us much with running a "tight-ship" campaign.

The ads are very weak, they don't even put a dent in Dion. Also, it questions whether or not the conservatives have made any achievements. Why else would they be resorting to a negative ad campaign?

Anonymous said...

Also, i'm not sure you can really truly say that we ran a tight ship campaign.

I mean, it is more plausable that the liberal voters were put off by the sponsorship program... and this made way for a conservative minority.

But with Dion as the new leader , things may just change. Plus, he's already making harper a believer in kyoto again...

Anonymous said...

or, at least a believer in climate change.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Do you suppose there's a support group for Tories like me?

Brian, I'd hate to have to admit who I've voted for over the years.

Calgary Junkie said...

To quote an NDP pundit, "Harper has the money, the machine, and the power of incumbency". Plus many other advantages, while Dion has what--a Senate majority and a somewhat friendly MSM. Even the media could be turning on him, as in today's Globe Editorial. And re Dion's editorial in today's National Post, someone with a better command of English clearly edited Dion's draft version. It's the same thing as when Chretien was reading prepared statements--they were clearly written by someone else.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

CJ- Je suis absolument d'accord.

This piece was written for the anglais. In fact it was too anglais for the anglais. It was a speech to be delivered before the House by someone who had a perfect grasp of the language.

Anonymous said...

The editorial above Dion's column stated that the summary of the IPCC report is based on a longer report that has not yet been finished. Hmmm...They also state that the evidence of climate change is "unequivocal", and that it is "very likely" human activities is causing most of this warming. However, this has been toned down from their language in an earlier edition.

Then, Dion states in the first paragraph of his column that the report "concludes" that the evidence of climate change is "unequivocal" and that human activity "is" the cause of that change.

I stopped reading after that.

When he takes "very likely" to the point of "is" (it depends on what your definition of "is" is)....then the rest of the column is based on a false conclusion. Surprise. Surprise.

anon #83

liberal supporter said...

Would anyone who did bother to read it like to "pick it apart"? Something more substantial than saying it is "pathetic", "melodramatic", or "he must have had an anglais ghost writer".

Or are you still in a huff because he said Steve could use the refurbiished exercise room after Canadians send him back to Stornoway?

The title says "Stephen Harper, build a carbon market now". Are you offended, like you are by the "climate change denier" tag, because this title sounds a lot like "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall"?

So now you'll say Dion called Harper a Communist dictator, and in the process, dishonoured the millions of people murdered by communist dictators.

And in that way, you can avoid addressing what the op-ed piece says.

Anonymous said...

Dion's biggest problem:

he's a raving socialist.

liberal supporter said...

Oh come on, call him a frog and a communist.

You know you want to.

Mac said...

My goodness, liberal supporter! I can't believe you would be so politically incorrect. I'm shocked!

Anonymous said...

I didn't read past the first incorrect paragraph that Dion wrote.

Instead I used that time to read the summary on climate change put out by the IPCC.

I know that Dion didn't read the summary, because if he had, he wouldn't have written what he did.....unless he's playing politics. (Shock!!!)

anon #83

Tony said...

I just watched Craig Oliver interview Bob Rae on Question period. He was very articulate and persuasive in getting his views across. Even if you did not agree with what he was saying, he came across as very intelligent and credible. Stephane Dion, in comparison Bob Rae is a joke.

I bet there are a lot of Liberal delegates kicking themselves for not voting for Bob Rae in the leadership debate.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

I bet there are a lot of Liberal delegates kicking themselves for not voting for Bob Rae in the leadership debate.

And I bet there are a lot of CPC members breathing a collective sigh of relief!

Anonymous said...

And I bet there are a lot of CPC members breathing a collective sigh of relief!

Bull, you know CPC members are running scared!

How would you explain Harpers 180 degree turn on Environment?

Why is the CP resorting to Negative ADS?

Dion will burry you...

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Dion will burry you...

With what? His green scarves? Or maybe with those cute green ribbons ripped off from Child Find?

Anonymous said...

It is becoming clearer everyday that the sheen of Mr. Dion's election as leader of the Liberal Party is wearing thin. Even the left leaning media is getting tired of his incessant talk about the environment. Mr. Dion has defined himself as a one trick pony who has little substance to talk about the many issues facing Canada. There is no talk about how he would re-equip the military if he were leader. Maybe he wouldn't. We should know that. There is no talk about how he will improve the environment, who would have to sacrifice and how much it would cost. He questions the income trust decision but will not say what he would do if elected. Mr. Dion is having a very difficult time with his English and most people after he talks ask the question "what did he just say". So in a political debate during an election campaign with Harper, Duceppe, May and Layton after him about his lack of policies he is sure to stumble and be incoherent. Canadians will then ask themselves is this the kind of person we want representing us on the world stage? The answer will clearly be no.

Anonymous said...

It is becoming clearer everyday that the sheen of Mr. Dion's election as leader of the Liberal Party is wearing thin. Even the left leaning media is getting tired of his incessant talk about the environment. Mr. Dion has defined himself as a one trick pony who has little substance to talk about the many issues facing Canada. There is no talk about how he would re-equip the military if he were leader. Maybe he wouldn't. We should know that. There is no talk about how he will improve the environment, who would have to sacrifice and how much it would cost. He questions the income trust decision but will not say what he would do if elected. Mr. Dion is having a very difficult time with his English and most people after he talks ask the question "what did he just say". So in a political debate during an election campaign with Harper, Duceppe, May and Layton after him about his lack of policies he is sure to stumble and be incoherent. Canadians will then ask themselves is this the kind of person we want representing us on the world stage? The answer will clearly be no.

Anonymous said...

How would you explain Harpers 180 degree turn on Environment?
---
How do you explain previous flip flops of the Liberal party?

ie. GST, SSM, 2005 Federal Budget Tax Cuts, Bank Mergers, Income Trusts, etc

Why is the CP resorting to Negative ADS?
---
Negative ads? They are just reporting what other Liberals had to say about Dion's record as Minister of the Environment because the MSM is dishonestly giving him a free ride on that issue without asking him to account for his failures when he held that position. The Canadian public who only rely on the MSM deserves to see both sides of the issue before making a decision on Stephane Dion.

BTY, What about the Liberal ads about Stephen Harper being scary?

What about the Liberal and the MSM assertion that the Conservatives would make decisions based on the influence of socially conservatives members of its own caucas?

What about the Liberal and the MSM's assertion that the Conservatives would ban abortion and take away woman's rights if elected into office, when Stephen Harper was Opposition leader?

What about the "Soldiers .. in the streets.. in Canadian cities... commercial?


Dion will burry you..."
---
I am afraid not. Everytime he opens his mouth, he manages to shoot himself or his party in the foot. If he continues doing this, he will hand the next Federal Election to the Conservatives on a platter.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Anon at Mon Feb 05, 09:48:00 AM EST - Very well said.

The Liberals can dish it out, but they can't take it.