BTC: Your official fall general election preview


The pivotal question is wind turbines. The arguments are as follows.

On the one hand, while not a solution in and of themselves, wind turbines could be a large part of a new economic model—a cleaner, more stable, more efficient source of electricity at a time of great environmental challenge and deepening energy crisis. As part of an otherwise fulsome approach to the problem, they could play an important role in the necessary transitioning of the nation’s infrastructure to a more long-term, sustainable system, ensuring the health, well-being and security of the population for generations to come. Canada can wait no longer to advance measures such as this if it wishes to keep pace with environmental and legislative change elsewhere in the world.

On the other hand, wind turbines are noisy.

It is easy folly, of course, to divine great truths from small samples (unless, of course, you’re the Justice Minister of a large Western nation and don’t believe in statistical analysis anyway). But I suspect if you spent the next month touring the country, you’d hear a fair numbers of conversations like the one they’re having in Harrow.

Therein lies the challenge for Mr. Dion. And therein, if this summer is any indication, is the debate upon which the next election will hinge.

As I’ve written before and, fair warning, may write again, for whatever Mr. Dion’s myriad faults, the best part of his candidacy (at least from this perspective) remains his ability to make a referendum of himself. He is a stiffly walking, awkwardly talking series of questions on what we want in a politician, what we value in a leader, what we think of politics and, with his signature policy, how seriously we consider the warnings of climate change and what we seek from our government on this and all else.

That’s not at all an endorsement. Or a condemnation. It’s entirely unclear to me whether this makes him more or less qualified to be Prime Minister.

But there is possibly something to be said for forcing difficult questions upon the population. Sooner or later there’s going to be an election. And one might as well give the voters something to vote for or against.

(See also: Paul Wells. Who actually speaks with the Liberal leader in question.)

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BTC: Your official fall general election preview

  1. The irony is everyone expected Harper to be THAT kind of PM with bold (maybe even controversial) ideas.

    And yet, his legacy will probably be the number of lawsuits he has launched which I think is a record for any G7 political leader in history.

    What a wasted opportunity!

  2. Bill Clinton liked to say that by election day, he wanted everyone voting against him to know precisely why they were doing it. I think you’d get broad agreement that he usually delivered on that.

  3. Wind Stable???????????? Since when. Has anyone read the analysis that the German energy industry has recently completed and published. They have acknowledged that it requires 100MW of wind power to displace 3MW of traditional sources, chiefly because of the lack of reliability of wind, and the need to ensure the the entire grid doesn’t collapse on a calm day. This is based on over 20 years of experience by the energy consortium that published the information.

  4. I agree that Dion has proposed some bold ideas but I don’t think he has ability to make the election about him. I think it’s more to do with the fact that he’s the leader of the Liberal party, which dominates Canadian politics like no other.

    If Dion were leader of NDP or Conservatives, I think Green Shift would have got some coverage but nowhere near what it actually received. Hasn’t every Liberal leader, since Blake I think, become PM? And I constantly hear people refer to the Liberals as the government, even though they have not been in power for 2.5 years. There is the sense that whatever Dion’s proposing is going to happen because Liberals always win.

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