Stephane Dion as Eric Lindros -

Stephane Dion as Eric Lindros


Ken Dryden has posted a Facebook note on the last month of happenings in Ottawa. He is typically succinct, coming in at just under 7,000 words.

The most interesting part might be this hockey analogy for the political career of Stephane Dion.

“I would also like to say a few words about Stéphane Dion. This has not been an easy last two years for him or for the Party. No one in Canadian political history has had to deal with the kind of abuse that Mr. Harper rained on Stéphane. But he hung in there and kept to those things he believed. In hockey, they say the “tough guys” are those who deliver thunderous bodychecks to their opponents. But to me, it’s easy to deliver the checks. The real “tough guys” are those who are willing to take a check to “make a play” – to make a pass to set up a goal. Those who are willing to accept whatever the punishment in order to achieve the bigger goal. 

“And that is Stéphane. He is as tough as they come. He went into politics not to get his name in the papers but because he thought those things he believed in most could be best pursued through politics. Now he is leaving as party leader, the public having delivered the message that he didn’t represent what they wanted as a Prime Minister but also, after all the blows, with his reputation for honesty, decency and intelligence absolutely intact, if not enhanced. A very significant achievement.”

Stephane Dion. Honest, decent, intelligent and completely unelectable. Do you suppose that assessment makes it any easier for him to sleep at night? 

Anyway. So you’ve got something to read over the holidays, the full note after the jump. It’s actually only 1,600 words. And offers ample opportunity to reassess his hockey career according to your current partisan interest.

Dear Friends,

I had originally drafted this letter after the events of last week. The events of this week have also been of great impact to Canadians so I will try to speak to them as well.

We now have a new Liberal Party leader, Michael Ignatieff. I support Michael and I support the process by which he was chosen as our leader. It is time for us to present to Canadians a permanent leader. Our economic situation as a country is such that world governments will be taking important decisions in the next months. The Harper Government, to say the least, has not responded to the global crisis in any real way. It is our job as the principal opposition party to push the Government to do more, and to do what is necessary. It is also our job, in this minority situation, to present to the public a party that is ready and able to govern. That requires a permanent leader who will plan and act like a permanent leader, and who is seen by Canadians as the permanent leader.

Michael has the overwhelming support of Liberal Caucus and of members across the country. I look forward to the important weeks and months ahead.

I would also like to say a few words about Stéphane Dion. This has not been an easy last two years for him or for the Party. No one in Canadian political history has had to deal with the kind of abuse that Mr. Harper rained on Stéphane. But he hung in there and kept to those things he believed. In hockey, they say the “tough guys” are those who deliver thunderous bodychecks to their opponents. But to me, it’s easy to deliver the checks. The real “tough guys” are those who are willing to take a check to “make a play” – to make a pass to set up a goal. Those who are willing to accept whatever the punishment in order to achieve the bigger goal. 

And that is Stéphane. He is as tough as they come. He went into politics not to get his name in the papers but because he thought those things he believed in most could be best pursued through politics. Now he is leaving as party leader, the public having delivered the message that he didn’t represent what they wanted as a Prime Minister but also, after all the blows, with his reputation for honesty, decency and intelligence absolutely intact, if not enhanced. A very significant achievement.

Now to last week. Let me try to tell you what I think – 

This is a time when we face the most serious economic crisis since the 1930s. It is a time when as Canadians, as a world, as Parliamentarians, we know we need each other. We know we need to come together. 

After the Speech from the Throne on November 19th, things began promisingly. All parties, knowing the expectations of Canadians, talked of working more cooperatively. There had been enough bad experiences in the past that MPs couldn’t be anything but tentative about this, still the words were there. 

Mr. Flaherty’s Economic Update, however, turned out to be fundamentally, economically, distressingly inadequate. It did not reflect the dimensions of our problem. Other countries were acting seriously and determinedly. We were not.

All that would have been bad enough, but there was something more. Again, this was a time to work together. There was just one thing to focus on – the economy; people’s jobs; the well-being of families. Nothing else mattered. We knew that. Everyone knew that. But Mr. Harper just couldn’t resist. He chose to do what he had done before, but never so outrageously as this time. It was the very wrong moment to do the very wrong thing.

He decided as part of the Economic Update that there should be the elimination of public support for political parties. He argued that everyone needed to tighten their belts, and politicians should take the lead and set an example. What could be wrong about that? Except, of course, the impact of cuts like this relative to the economic crisis was practically zero; and further, the impact of this on what was his real intention would be anything but “practically zero.” 

Mr. Harper knew that this would mean all the Opposition Parties and any fledgling party such as the Greens would be affected far more than the Conservatives, and that in the next few elections at least (and with minority governments these elections happen more often), these parties would have a far harder time competing and potentially winning, which real and fair competition is the basis of our democratic system. Further, that this action, so wrong on its own, was doubly, triply wrong in the context of an economic crisis where everyone needs to work together. Where everyone needs each other. Where everyone needs to trust each other and focus on just one thing: the economy.

This was Mr. Harper at his absolute worst (one would hope) doing something so completely so utterly political, so completely so utterly partisan and non-democratic, so fundamentally, so disturbingly, so outrageously wrong. 

It was at this point, after knowing finally and forever there was no way of working with Mr. Harper, that the Opposition Parties began talking seriously about whether we could work with each other. 

Coalition governments are not what Canadians are used to, and that makes Canadians anxious and uncertain. That is understandable. But coalitions are not at all uncommon in other very successful, very stable Western democracies – e.g. Germany, Netherlands, Belgium. And given the fact that we have four parties represented in the federal House of Commons and both the Liberals and Conservatives are strong enough to elect many Members (unlike a few years ago when the Conservatives were not), minority governments are now more likely, even probable. For a party to govern, it requires the support of one or more other parties, not necessarily under a formal agreement as would be the case with a Liberal-NDP Coalition, but with other-party, often Bloc, support nonetheless. That was what happened with Mr. Martin’s Government. That has been the case with Mr. Harper’s.

As we go into the next few difficult weeks, let’s keep these things in mind:

First, this would be a Liberal-NDP Coalition, led by the Liberals with a Liberal Prime Minister, where the Finance Minister would come from the Liberal Party, where 18 of the 24 Cabinet Ministers would be Liberals and 6 would come from the NDP. This is NOT a Liberal-NDP-Bloc Quebecois Coalition. The Bloc is NOT part of the Government. Their part of the agreement is ONLY to vote for the Coalition when there are confidence votes during the next 18 months. They have no cabinet positions. They have no say in the direction of the Government or Government policy any more than, as an opposition party, they do now.

Second, a coalition government, though unusual in Canadian experience, is absolutely contemplated under our Constitution. In our Parliamentary System, a Government needs the support of the majority of the House of Commons. With a majority government, that support need come only from all the members of the governing party. With a minority government, there needs to be support from members of other parties as well. Mr. Harper’s Conservatives have 143 seats out of 308 in the entire House of Commons. A majority, therefore, is 155. The Coalition represents 163 seats. Just as it has been for the 141 years of our history, this Coalition would be a Government that represents the majority of the House of Commons. Again, different from what we are used to but entirely contemplated by our Constitution.

The last point – 

I have said all that I’ve said above because the situation we have before us is not just about Canadians deciding between a Harper Government and a Liberal-led Liberal-NDP Coalition Government.

There is no doubt the Coalition has its work cut out for it. Between now and when Parliament resumes on January 26th, it must demonstrate to Canadians that it can be a strong, stable, effective Government. It needs to begin planning and setting out its priority directions like a Government. It needs to be ready to govern if it is called on to govern by the end of January. That is its challenge. That is its bargain with Canadians. 

But Mr. Harper has a challenge too. And his challenge, I believe, is even harder. 

A Prime Minister sets the tone of the House of Commons. Respect gets respect. Disrespect breeds disrespect. The Prime Minister is now fighting to stay on to win a battle that need never have been fought in the first place. To preside over a Parliament whose dynamics, whose very relationships, he has poisoned and destroyed. It’s too late. This Parliament cannot work with this Prime Minister. All of us have heard the angry voices every day in the House of Commons, and now across the country. Shout and scream versus shout and scream.

Mr. Harper has scorched the earth of civility and trust for all of us. For him, it is over. He cannot be trusted. He cannot repair what is irreparable.

We need a new Prime Minister.

That is what I believe.

In the next days and weeks, we will be preparing ourselves for the return of Parliament on January 26th with Michael as our leader. It is our job to provide to Canadians the best that is in us whether in opposition or in government. That is what we will endeavour to do.

Thank you for letting me know what’s on your mind. Thank you for the chance to let you know what’s on mine.


Ken Dryden


Stephane Dion as Eric Lindros

  1. As a life-long Boston Bruins fan ( the name Sisyphus matters ) I was never enamoured of Mr. Dryden as a player.

    But as an author I have great respect for him. Read all his books over the years.

    Particularly recommend “The Moved and The Shaken”. Also ” In School.”

    He’s another man who seems too good for the HoC. But I’m glad he’s there.

      • On inspection …….. no.

        Anne Coulter ? Really?

  2. As a life-long Canadiens fan I worshipped the ground this guy walked on when he protected the nets for the Habs.

    But as a politician, I find him ponderous and cliche-ridden, a throwback and yesterday’s man. It may be time to metaphorically hang up the skates yet again Ken. The Liberal Party will needs new ideas, not the soft-lib nostalgia that Dryden serves up. Honest, decent and intelligent but as relevant as Stephane Dion himself I’m afraid. And no, I didn’t read the 1,600 words – this guy’s always needed a good editor.

  3. Like everybody else, Stephane Dion has positive and negative qualities. I respect him for his positive qualities, such as his earnestness and the courage he displayed in a difficult position.

    The problem is that Stephane Dion was not competent as a leader. He was disastrous as head of the Liberal Party, as most of my Liberal friends now readily admit. Like most Canadians, I also believe that Stephane Dion would have been a disastrous prime minister.

    After the infamous video, I was surprised by the vitriol that was thrown at Dion, sometimes in public but mostly privately, by Liberals who had been staunch defenders of Dion throughout the election. The Green Shift was criticized for being “unsellable and unworkable”. Stephane was criticized as someone who “couldn’t organize a two-car funeral”. A common refrain to these criticisms was that Harper had doomed Dion from the start with his barrage of negative ads that branded him as “Not a Leader.” Harper was usually brought up at the end of an anti-Dion diatribe, as a way of deflecting the anger away from Dion and onto a more worthy target.

    This is where the logic fails. Those Liberals who roasted Dion for his failed leadership would in the next breath attack his political opponent for daring to run ads stating “Dion is not a leader.” Perhaps those ads (distasteful as they were) could be viewed as a public service announcement, in that they helped prevent a well-intentioned but incompetent bungler from becoming our head of government.

    • The fact that those adds were accurate was purely accidental.

      • The accuracy of the ads was anything but accidental. The Conservatives were deliberately targeting Dion’s weak points. Why those annoying “Not a leader” were so effective? Because they highlighted genuine deficiencies.

        • No. It was accidental. Are you seriously asking me to believe this crowd could spot a ‘genuine defiency’ ?
          I;m just surprised it didn’t read: Dion needs specks, not a leader.

  4. To further the analogy, he got no support from his defence or wingmen.

  5. Jarrid no like Liberals.

  6. BC – I like Iggy.

    • For now.

      • You’re right, it’ll depend on how he performs, I had high hopes for Paul Martin but I was bitterly disappointed. One of the things I like about Iggy is the source of some criticism directed at thim: that he spent most of his adult life outside of Canada. I actually think it’s a feather in his cap, Canadians live in a bubble divorced from the real world, Iggy doesn’t suffer from that national handicap.

        But as it stands, Iggy or Harper, with either one in charge, I’ll sleep well at night knowing that our national leadership is in good hands.

        • What is the real world? Can you describe it to me.

          Anyways… that fact that Ignatieff helps you sleep, is why I care not for this distinguished gentleman. It was plenty smart for Michael to shorten the leadership campaign, last time, he lost to Dion. (I hear Ruby Dhalla was seriously considering a run this time)

  7. Even as a Liberal, I agree with Jarrid on this one.

  8. I find him ponderous and cliche-ridden, a throwback and yesterday’s man. It may be time to metaphorically hang up the skates yet again Ken.

    Such bilious arrogance. They must take classes in it.

    • ‘ i find him…’ Isn’t that just: ‘ ponderous, cliche-ridden.’

  9. FWIW, this analogy makes more sense using Steve Moore, not Eric Lindros.

    No one in Canadian political history has had to deal with the kind of abuse that Mr. Harper rained on Stéphane.

    Oh please. It’s pathetic listening to the crybaby Liberals still complain about how roughly Harper treated Dion; that’s Liberal politics at its finest, being rained back down on them. Grow a pair or get out.

    Preston Manning, Stockwell Day, and Stephen Harper were all opposition leaders that were treated as poorly or worse than Stephane Dion was. The Liberals under Chretien and Martin mastered the politics of fear and division; the Conservatives under Harper learned and are now as good or better at it. Dryden wants it to change? I’ll pay attention when he calls on his own party to clean up their act.

    • I don’t remember the Liberal Party launching a multi-million dollar marketing campaign to denigrate Manning, Day, or Harper. Yes, Chretien was a street fighter who could dish it out, but did the Liberal Party ever launch attacks on a scale to compare with the number the Conservatives did on M. Dion?

      With buckets of money available to the Conservatives, they destroyed M. Dion before he ever got an opportunity to establish himself.

      • I recall a Liberal ad infering that if elected Harper would invoke martial law and put armed troops in the street to quell the riots.(that was a couple of elections ago) They infered that from Harper’s campaign pledge to rebuild our military after what Rick Hillier refered to as a decade of darkness for our troops. There wasn’t a risky overseas mission that Cretian refused to send our troops as long as it was wrapped in that noxious phase “peacekeeping”. He sent our troops to Afganistan without #@#$#$ boots. They were also sent with uniforms that were meant for a European conflict instead of the desert. When Brit troops rotating out offered their uniforms to the Canuks the Liberals nixed that idea as it would make them look bad. So our troops were sitting targets for months until proper uniforms arrived. The men and women over there were bying boots with their own money. SO you think were supposed to feel sorry for that moron. Don’t hold your breath. BooHoo mean old Harper called Dion names. Oh on another front the cops just arrested another Liberal croony over the sponsorship fiasco. You know that was when the Liberals were too busy funnelling money to their friends and then getting a kickback, instead of properly provisioning the troops they were sending in harms way. Dion was part of that government. And now they are trying to portray him as a misunderstood saint? Good luck with that.

        • Take a pill Wayne. The Liberal ad you are referring to was during an election campaign. I believe, that it never actually aired on television, execept as a news item. It was a reprehensible ad.

          The conservative marketing campaign was started the day after M.Dion won the leadership of the Liberal Party.

          • Well ,if anything Tory ads attacking the nutty professor were a waste of money. People saw Dion for the out of touch nitwit he was and voted accordingly. The liberals got the worst drubbing in 100 years. Oh I guess that only the left wing elite should rule this country. When they are not in power it’s because of a vast right wing conspiracy aided and abbeted by right wing media organizations like the CBC(lol). Or else the rest of us are just not smart enough to see the light. Huberous, not attack ads did in the Liberals. Tell the troops the Liberals sent off to war with inadaquate equipment if they should “take a pill”. Look themin the eye and say that Ed.

  10. Preston Manning, Stockwell Day, and Stephen Harper were all opposition leaders that were treated as poorly or worse than Stephane Dion was.

    No they weren’t.

    • How often was Presto! Manning laughed at for his unfashionable glasses, his out of date hair and his squeaky voice? He gets a new hair-do, changes his glasses, and gets voice lessons, and is laughed at again for being shallow and concerned only with image.
      How often we we reminded of the Sea-Doo entrance of Day? How often were his Christian views mocked?
      How often has Harper been called a secretive bully? An anti-democratic near fascist?

      Even Dion got a smooth ride from the press in comparison.

  11. Ti-Guy: yes they were. nyah nyah nyah.

    • No they weren’t, Mercers trashing of SDay was hilarious

  12. Ti- guy is wrong again—-His Lib–Blinders do not allow him to have any perspective. Manning , Day , and Harper are real men—able to take a serious pounding from opponents and bounce back because they really believe in what Canada should be. Dion portrayed himself as Captain Canada but had no backbone. When the opportunity for power came along, he allowed Jack Layton to talk him into signing a deal with the separtists.
    Dryden may have been readable at one time but like a lot of Harper Haters, he`s just becoming an old annoying windbag. When people are laughing at you, that means nobody takes you seriously.

    • I think the laugh may be on Harper these days. I never approved of that Harper=Bush campaign. I don’t hear to many cons disapproving those Dion adds. Adds run outside of the elrctoral period. that they turned out to be true was purely accidental. Incidentally i think that demonizing Harper was wrong and ineffective. It always backfires on you – remember Chretien[1993]

    • Manly-man, men-among-men, bloody-red-of-tooth-and-claw, when I cry, I cry testosterone.

      Where do they find these jerks ?

      Some men play hockey , some men write about it ( maybe).

    • Blah, blah, blah…

  13. I’m laughing at you William.

  14. Well, B.C. if that`s the best you got, guess I`ll assume you agree with me.

    • I’m still laughing. I Your original post was funny. Real men, sounds like a porno link. Real big & hairy men take a serious pounding…

  15. A world not handed to you on a silver platter. We Canadians take so much for granted. We are buffeted by hostile forces because we live next to a benevolent neighbour. We are sitting on a virtual pot of gold of natural resources. A country built on western democratic principles and traditions like the rule of law. A country built with a hard work ethic and a sense of responsibility to country and neighbour alike.

    We think peace and prosperity is a birthright. It’s not. It takes work, we can’t just wish to make it so.

    Harper and Iggy seem to get this. And no one can seriously dispute that Iggy has the royal jelly.

    • Jelly and silver platter, indeed, Jarrid. We are on the topic of Ignatieff, so of course those words seems fitting.

      Judgment is also quite important. Something both Harper and Ignatieff have proved in the past to lack.

      (Self-righteousness is an ugly trait don’t you think?)

      • Are you saying that we are double-f***ed with Iggy and Harpy at the helm?

        • Not really… as a leftard I just can’t get excited about either of the two.

          “With Harper reaching out in a bid for compromise, Ignatieff’s 2006 platform suggests the two may not be far apart on key issues”
          – The Globe and Mail
          December 10, 2008

  16. The above comment was meant as a reply to BC’s1:09 a.m. post.

  17. Stephane Dion as concussion boy? That’s a little mean.

  18. What Stephen Harper did was not wrong.

    What Stephen Harper did was deliver was a warning shot across the bow of the opposition.

    Stephen Harper wanted the opposition to put a leader he could respect at the helm or for the opposition to go under.

    In the hockey analogy, he wanted not only someone who could take a check, but someone who could check back. That was not Mr. Dion.

    Now that Mr. Ignatieff is at the helm of the Liberal Party and the opposition, I foresee two men who can give just as good as they can take working to solve the problems of the country.

  19. Dion =Lindros? Would that make Harper =Claude Lemieux?
    I always thought he looked more like Mad Dog Kelly….

  20. If Dion is Lindros, Steven Harper is obviously Scott Stevens.

    And, yes…I believe Ken Dryden should go back to the hockey world. He’s like a fish out of water as a politician. He has no business sticking around in politics. He’s in way over his head.

  21. Stephen Taylor brilliantly pointed out a few years ago that the Dion couple would not appeal to the average Canadian family because the wife was too educated. The winning propaganda for a real leader is a big man who parades a blonde, who appears not to have enough wit to say anything of substance (*), with him while seating the pretties broads around him in the house of commons so that it looks good on TV. You see Harper with his blonde, timid-looking wife. You see Harper in the house with Guergis, Raitt, and some other nicely put together broad sitting around him. The not-so-pretty ladies are sitting far away from Harper.

    That is the image people want to see – just a REAL as reality TV. It is the image of the REAL-LEADER-AS-THE-REAL-MANLY-MAN.

    I think it is true now as it was true for Joe Clark whose wife Maureen MacTeer had not only the audacity to keep her maiden name but she did not have the look of the woman a man overcomes – worse, she was successful in her own right. I am an old woman and I vividly recall the cruel jokes Clark had to endure because of his wife. She made him look weak, just as Dion’s wife made him look weak.

    We’re not that civilized, you know. There is something definitely tribal at play here. And the Harper were smart enough to realize this – I think Laureen Teskey became Harper only after the hubby won his leadership bid.

    (*) I used the word ‘appear’ as I am convinced Mrs. Harper is more intelligent than her husband.

    • So I Assume you must conclude that American voters are far wiser than Canadian voters. They elected Bubba for two terms and he had a pretty smart wife called Hillory. You know the woman who would be President now if Obama hadn’t taken the electorate by storm. She is now Sec. of State. Obama’s wife doesn’t strike me as a dummy either. What I more likely think is going on here is that for some reason the left feels they have a hereditary right to rule perpetually in this country. If they are not in power it must be because there is a vast right wing conspiracy with the aid of a right wing media like the CBC(lol). If not that it’s because the rest of us are just a bunch of stupid cretens than need to be told what to do by left wing eletes. The truth is you have contempt for average Canadians, don’t you. Huberus has caught up to you and a lot of Canadians are sick of you. Until the Liberal party learns this lesson the only way they will get back in power is through the back door, making deals with sepratists and kooks like Jack Layton. I wonder if you noticed how pissed off people were with the senanigans of the last couple of weeks.

  22. This is sick, truly sick. Dion didn’t make it as a leader – but does everyone have to continue to draw blood?

    It’s over folks, leave the guy alone.


  23. Men are a means to an end for women; for men, women are the end, money and power is the means.

    You need to start dating.

  24. White male under attack: “Meaning that men are largely biologically incapable of being misogynist”

    Dude, you’re getting hysterical. How about you not worry your pretty little head about things that are clearly beyond you?

  25. I read something the other day where the the LIberal party is becoming the party of urban elites and single women. Even if you throw in a few die-hard Dion defenders like those above That`s going to be a tough way to win an election.
    The people who select leaders for the Liberals know this and they really believed (stupid) that they had a winner in Dion—you know French guy`s turn—got that environment thing down—and women like that he`s kinda wimpy. Well I`ll tell you why that didn`t work out—it`s just a matter of numbers—there is just not enough elites and single women out there. You can call it tribal or whatever but instinctively most of us know what we want in a leader and it`s not Dion or Clark. I can see you self–righteous elitests reaching for the keyboard but don`t bother—the majority will no longer be ruled by the minority.
    The difference between LL above and WMUA is that she really believes that dribble she writes—he knows he has issues and probably says things he regrets—she`s wrong and doesn`t know it.

  26. I can see you self–righteous elitests reaching for the keyboard but don`t bother—the majority will no longer be ruled by the minority.

    Isn’t that what we have now? A government lead by a party that appealed to 22% of the eligible electorate in the last election?

    You seriously overgeneralise about what people are looking for in their political leaders. Anyway, “Dion=Wimp” is about as juvenile a sentiment as I can think of. Frankly, as a society, we’ve become way too tolerant of immature behaviour.

    You often wonder if Conservatives have ever really left high school.

  27. It was the Liberals who thought they could use Dion`s wimpiness ( I like that word) to contrast with Harper`s harsh decisivness. Maybe you`re high school reference might apply there.
    Listen , if it would make you feel better, why don`t you use sheep ( kinda like Liberal voters) as part of the eligible voters list and you could play some more with numbers—- maybe get a four–way coalition going.

    • William it’s really unhealthy and unwise to put all your hatred and vitriol in one basket [liberals]. Maybe you should have a word with WMUA. I’m sure he’ll have a few useful tips for you.

  28. It was the Liberals who thought they could use Dion`s wimpiness ( I like that word) to contrast with Harper`s harsh decisivness.

    What you call “wimpiness” I call moderation and civility (which are considered basic skills for adults) and what you call “harsh decisiveness” I think of more as being stubborn and petulant. There was a time (in the distant past) that I could appreciate the clarity that political conservatism brings to challenge liberal pragmatism (which is complex and can meander all over the place) but that’s been eclipsed by the ineptitude, the dishonesty and the appalling immaturity of the current Conservative party.

    I really wanted to be voting Progressive Conservative at this age, but alas and alack…

    • moderation and civility (which are considered basic skills for adults)

      Irony alert.

  29. Lee Kwan Yew famously said that you cannot have democracy in a multiethnic society because people will vote along racial lines.

    Given that Canada has been a multi-ethnic society since forever and is one of the oldest democracies in the world, this appears to be utter nonsense.

    The modern State has no other choice but to embrace diversity and rally people around a set of common, civic values. Even the Conservatives appear to understand this.

  30. Ti- Guy

    I sense your inner conflict concerning your receny voting pattern. The maturity and wisdom needed to make proper decisions comes naturally to most of us—don`t dwell on it too much—you should just vote Conservative—you`ll feel better.
    Remember—-you have no heart if you are not liberal at the age of 20, but if you`re still liberal at 40 you have no head.

    Oh Yeah, a whole lot of meandering going on with that Liberal Pragmatism.

    • Pragmatisim has served this contry well for more than a century. Maybe that’ why SH has tacked to the middle. But i’m sure if enough idealogues get together you will be able to drag him out into the poliyical margins, where he and you are most comfortable. Don;t be too surprised if most Canadians decline to join you.

  31. Grow up, William.

  32. Getting back to Ken Dryden:

    Fact of the matter is, he’s a guy for whom loyalty’s a virtue. If loyalty to the Liberals demands that you slam Harper, then fine: you slam Harper. That’s the mark of a team player. That’s what’s expected.

    It’s not necessarily, however, the mark of a team leader. Sometimes the team leader has to do the unexpected — even if it means offending the guys on his own bench. Like what Obama’s done for his inauguration, for example.

    The best thing Iggy can do, right now, is tone down the anti-Harper rhetoric and keep it toned down for the holidays. That way, if Harper sounds super-partisan, it’s the same as if he’s charging a player and ends up slamming against the boards: the action hurts himself worse than the opponent, and Iggy gains public respect in comparison.

  33. Nice. Discussions about political leadership boils down to vanity and appearance.

    Funny how people like to project their insecurities on the world around them to help them deal with their inadequacies (shout out to white-male-under-attack with the tiny penis).

    Dion had huge problems with the Quebec wing. No one can overcome external and internal pressures questioning your authority in any organization. And most people (particularly these effete arm-chair commenters from the CPC) would have quit a long time ago faced with those kinds of obstacles.

    No one can question Dion’s commitment to the betterment of Canada and his vision, and I suppose given that the CPC has adopted everything that he has come up with, neither can the CPC.


  34. Austin

    Dion`s vision did not stop him from entering into an agreement with socialists and separtists

    I agree Dion had much to do to rebuild the Liberals
    Harper had much to do to rebuild the Conservative party in 2004—he succeeded—Dion failed—let`s see how Iggy does—liberal bloggers could help by reaching for their cheque book.

    • “socialists” and “separtists [sic]”, eh? I see…

      Well William, it boils down to who ones thinks is more of an immediate threat to the Canada. On one hand, you have the BQ, who represent the regional interests of Quebecers, who, despite sharing the platform of the Liberals with the one exception of advocating separation as a long-term goal. And on the other, you have Harper and the CPC, who have systematically attempted to bypass the function and the will of Parliament, who has displayed over the past two years an absolutely appalling level of incompetence on the economic file, who, rather than present something…anything…to address this oncoming train-wreck of the economy that they single-handedly exacerbated over the past year, and finally, who threatened the House to make all bills confidence measures, at a time when stability is of paramount importance.

      Under these conditions, I have no doubt that Dion clearly felt that despite the aspirations of the BQ, the immediate problem was Harper. And what happened with the coalition? The BQ agreed to put sovereignty off the table for 1.5 years. This is an unprecedented concession by the BQ: it agreed to put aside its basic purpose of existence.

      And the NDP? There is no difference between the LPC and the NDP on the environment file. On the economic file, the “anti-business” party put aside its demand to eliminate corporate tax cuts for 2.5 years. This is also unprecedented concession.

      And they agreed to do this without any votes of confidence for 1.5 years. 1.5 years of stable government, in contrast to the whiny threats of the CPC.

      A testament to Dion that he could get this from the BQ and the NDP and be in the driver’s seat while grabbing Harper by the balls.


      Did that even register?

      • No. What a bunch of malarkey.

  35. “First, this would be a Liberal-NDP Coalition… This is NOT a Liberal-NDP-Bloc Quebecois Coalition.”

    “The Coalition represents 163 seats.”

    Anyone else see the contradiction in those two statements?

    • Yes, and that’s glaring enough to realize the whole thing is a long-winded heap of garbage. I think Dryden and Dion are similar, apart from the fact that Dryden is an athlete.

  36. “Stephane Dion as Eric Lindros”

    Neither one is welcome in Quebec City?

  37. Ken Dryden is a politcal amateur and it shows. If this were hockey, Dryden would be lucky to be in the ECHL.

    Dion was playing in the big leagues where it sometimes gets rough along the boards. Does Dryden think his hero Obama is going to ask his opponents to play nice? Obama got to where he was the old fashioed way…by playing the game and learning to take the hits. If Dion wanted to become PM he should have done it the old fashioned way…by wining the election. He didn’t do so and cannot get away with pretending the Bloc is part of the coalition when it suits him and not part of the coalition when it doesn’t.

  38. Alex,

    Lots of Canadians get this. If the Bloc is in, then the coalition has 163 seats, but in for a penny, in for a pound. The Bloc is isn’t formally “in” because it is politically too dangerous, but that means the coalition has 114 only. The old goalie is just being a typical immature lefty, he wants to have his cake and eat it.

    If the coalition had the stones to actually include the Bloc, the GG would be compelled to allow them to meet the house, but if they don’t have the courage to do it, they shouldn’t expect her to back door it for them.

    Dion: Hello GG, we’re here from the coalition.
    GG: Who’s there?
    Dion: Me and Jack
    GG: You only have 114 seats, why should I hear you?
    Dion: Gilles is in the car but he can’t come in for political reasons
    GG: I won’t listen to you
    Dion: Why not?
    GG: Political reasons
    Dion: That is unfair!

    • No peter the block signed a document expliciately promsing NOT to pursue their goal of leaving. they have in fact agreed to lend their support short term to the coalition. We should have been much more concerned if the terms had been different. You point out that excluding the bloq shows cowardice, when in fact it’s confirmation of responsibiity, not wisdom i grant you. Your arguement turns logic on its head.

      • KC,

        With respect, no. GG can’t put the coalition in power with 114 seats. The Bloc is in, or out. With 114 it is a new election. If, and only if they then run on a platform which includes the deal can the GG accept the deal. What fascinates me is the belief of some Canadians that the GG should or would operate in a vacuum. Political reality is part of her stock and trade. The fact that they can’t run on this deal because Canadians will slaughter them is the exact reason she can’t accept it as constituted. She has a responsibility to Canadians.

        • i don’t think it’s a given that the GG has promised an election. you don’t see any anti-coalition adds and ignatieff doesn’t look worried; Harper does. Still that could have something to do with a looming depression. iggy will play this for all he can and drop the evil twins down a deep hole.[ apologies to Ndp and bloq voters – they’re Canadians too.]

          • Supporters of the Bloc are indeed Canadians. But the Bloc cannot be half in and half out. If it is part of the coalition, the game changes, but Dion and comapny wanted to have it both ways. That’s precisely why the GG would have no qualms saying no to the coalition. It is not a real coalition. It is a sham and Iggy understand this.

          • Two Yen

  39. The mental gymnastics Liberals must use to justify their party, their “beliefs”, and their behaviour are astounding.

    if such a thing were an Olympic sport, they’d get gold.

  40. Big Ken: “But coalitions are not at all uncommon in other very successful, very stable Western democracies – e.g. Germany, Netherlands, Belgium.”

    Anyone who includes Belgium in a list of very stable Western democracies is on something.