Federal Election IX: The man in his element


Stephane Dion held a town hall earlier this week at the University of British Columbia and The Ubyssey covered it.

Without his teleprompter, and when not worried about the political scripting of his answers, Dion is a very strong speaker.

The Liberals be wise to hold more of these town halls across Canada and focus on earning positive local media reviews.


Federal Election IX: The man in his element

  1. Nah. I think the Liberals will continue to implode, no matter what, because:

    1. They did nothing during the last session of Parliament — unless you count the 43 times they propped up the Harper government. Canadians aren’t keen to reward people who don’t do their jobs.

    2. Canadians haven’t forgotten the sponsorship scandal. The Liberals cannot claim that they have integrity — let alone that only they know how to handle money.

    3. The Liberals’ elitism, arrogance, and sense of entitlement is positively sickening. Rae and Ignatieff as the champions of ordinary Canadians? Je dois vomir.

    4. Positive local media reviews aren’t going to save the Liberals, now. They’ve already rolled out their big promises. And they’ve already released their platform. The national campaigns are the focus of the nightly news, and that’s what people will be watching.

    5. Dion, scripted or unscripted, is a total turn off. Quebec voters detest him, by and large. Die-hard Liberal supporters and some urbanites might support Dion. But most people — the mushy-middle — hear Dion in much the same way as they enjoy nails screeching down a chalkboard. Rural dwellers, like those in my home community, do not relate to Dion one iota.

    6. There happens to be an exceptionally strong alternative articulating the concerns of everyday people: Jack Layton and the NDP. In BC, it’s a two-party race: Conservatives vs. NDP. Nationally, according to recent polling, the Liberals and the NDP are tied for second place — but Liberal support has stagnated while the NDP is still surging. NDP support is especially strong in various cities. Non-Conservatives are willing/likely to switch their vote for the party best equipped to oppose Harper. Positive media attention/discourse has shifted to the NDP as a viable centre-left option.

  2. Rick,

    Your points are well taken. There is no disputing that the Liberal party is facing many issues.

    I don’t give much wait to “stratgic voting”; I’ve never seen it work. One only needs to look at the 1999 Ontario Election where they was a “stratgic voting” list and Mike Harris still gained re-election.

    The idea that the Liberal Party, Green Party, and NDP are interchangable is wishful thinking for those who more oppose something than stand in favour of a set of ideals.

    As clearly shown in your comment, NDP supporters do not necessarily support the Liberals.

    I don’t mind seeing Layton’s appeals for “strategic voting” hurt the Liberal party; it’s a tactic they’ve used to great effect against the NDP in the past.

    In terms of Dion’s popularity in Quebec; you are correct, he is not popular. The reason? He stood up for Canada in the 90s and took on the separatist threat.

    Ultimately, this race will be decided on a riding-by-riding basis. Dion can move a percentage of the local vote if he can generate good positive press.

  3. Mr. Dion had 2 years to prepare for this election. Why did he yielded the traditional political center to the Tories? He made the Carbon Tax the center piece of his platform yet the result seems more a policy made up on the fly. Now in the eleventh hour he is shifting to major spending programs that may be ok when the economy was strong.

    There is now only one chance left for Mr. Dion to shine. The Canadian public will be paying the most attention and he will be contrasted with the other leaders. A make or break moment, but unfortunately for him, the best result may simply be a status quo keeping the Tories in minority and perhaps keeping his job for another day.

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