For some reason, Stephane Dion as chosen to frame this issue as a pivotal test of his leadership and caucus loyalty, even though Liberal opposition to his three-line whip and subsequent threats is well known and even extends into the Liberal-dominated Senate:
Ontario Liberal Senator David Smith denied that the Liberal caucus is divided or that this issue is affecting the morale of the caucus members.
"I haven't sensed that. These things aren't totally black and white. There's a range of opinions on it but our caucus is very supportive of our leader. I support him 150 per cent and he'll get through this complicated, tricky issue in a way that's reasonable and responsible," Sen. Smith told The Hill Times.
Sen. Smith, who chaired the special Senate Committee on the Anti-terrorism Act last week, recommended that the two controversial measures be extended for three years.
Excuse me, but I detect a disconnect somewhere there. I suppose though, in the world of Liberal-think it makes some kind of sense.
In any case, as the Hill Times has apparently talked to a top Liberal source who supports a renewal of the anti-terrorism clauses:
..."It's a mistake, it's divisive and has affected the morale of the caucus. If this was brand new legislation and the Liberals didn't have their fingerprints all over it from before, then it would be different but it's not. The majority of the people who are in the House now on the Liberal side were there when this legislation was passed by the Liberals"...
Since Dion has threatened to refuse to sign nomination papers for anyone who opposes him, his caucus now has no option. They either follow the leader or they cross the floor.
And in the case of Senator Smith, he must feel that party solidarity trumps all else, and thus his 150% support.
Why this issue Stephane? Why??? What are you not telling us?
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Update: Courtesy of National Newswatch - Charles Adler - "Stephane Who?"
Check out Olaf's latest post - Dion and the ATA...
CNews - Grits say no to changes. Dion has his heels dug in.