BTC: Free Dion (II)


Various footnotes.

1. As romantic as it may be to think that an Unpolitician is the answer, there’s a strong case to be made that only Proper Politicians win elections.

2. For that matter, there’s a case to be made that there is no such thing as the Unpolitician—those who claim to be proving themselves to be Proper Politicians in the process. This was the central struggle of David Foster Wallace’s writing on the McCain campaign in 2000. Of course, McCain was nice enough to render the whole argument, in his case, moot by becoming exactly the cliched, soulless, say-anything, lie-about-everything politician he was apparently supposed to stand in opposition to.

3. Dion is said to be very (too?) involved in the writing of his own speeches. So to say that the teleprompter was a problem for him is not to say that his speechwriters were necessarily a problem for him. Keeping in mind that almost everything to do with modern politics is a bit of a problem for him.

4. The general public is giving him almost no chance to win the two televised debates this week. It’s hardly an original observations, but that’s probably the best thing he has going for him.


BTC: Free Dion (II)

  1. Poor Stephan Dion has become the liberals Joe Clark (Joe Who). Comes across as clumsy, and disorganized but well meaning. Maybe the Liberals need to suffer a monumental loss before they can return to mainstream. Wait that happened to the Conservatives too? I guess that those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it.

  2. Well, I doubt the Libs will be Kim Campbelled.

    It’s also pretty easy to argue that Harper is following in Mulroney’s footsteps with Quebec pandering and centrist policies that his conservative base can only tolerate so long before becoming disillusioned or alienated once more. Now they are willing to suck it up because they were out of power for so long. That is a highly temporary state of affairs. If Harper wins a majority, I think they expect their due for their patience and discipline.

  3. “cliched, soulless, say-anything, lie-about-everything politician he was apparently supposed to stand in opposition to”

    From my perspective, Dion has got this mastered as well. He’s happy to throw the muck around as much as the next guy, he’s just not very good at it.

    And on point 4, I read a quote yesterday in an article, don’t remember author, and the gist was that’s crazy to base your campaign on hail mary pass at debates when your quarterback can barely throw the ball 10 yards.

  4. I don’t think the Libs have much alternative, jwl. I think that this election isn’t quite over yet, especially if ‘winning’ for the Libs can be holding Harper to his minority or smaller.

  5. “I don’t think the Libs have much alternative”


    Agreed. I happen to think that debates, in english at least, are not going to help Dion at all. Layton and Harper will run rings around Dion and voters will see once again why they don’t like him.

    I think the person with the most riding on the debates is Layton, if he performs well he could stop people from thinking strategic voting and make them comfortable voting NDP.

  6. I don’t know why you guys think that Dion will have such a problem at the debates. Unlike Harper (who evades these things like the plague), Dion continues to perform well in open forums, even with a hostile crowd or interviewer.

    You mean that odds are everyone will act below the temperance of a typical undergrad? Yeah…if that’s the case, I can see how flustered anyone could get at the sheer stupidity of it.

    Andrew, I wonder if Dion is involved in writing the speeches in english. Still, even if he is, trying to sound extemporaneous in your mother tongue, let alone outside your mother tongue, is not an easy skill to acquire.


  7. Shoot, the previous question was directed to Aaron, not Andrew…my bad…


  8. I’m watching Palin and Joe.

  9. Palin might not be around by then. Some heavy guns on the serious US right are going all Coyne and Nichols on her.

  10. Conbot: Dion has flamed out so thoroughly that a spectacular performance in both debates cannot save him now. Never mind the trifling dips in daily tracking polls. Tory majority all the way, baby!

    Lib-bot: Dion has artfully mastered the first part of the campaign, leading to such incredibly lowered expectations that any sign of a pulse and unassisted breathing will be seen as the spark that ignites the momentum wave all the way to the finish line of mixed metaph– uh, to the general election. Vote ABC everyone, by voting Dion!

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