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.)