Dion delivered his best joke of the campaign at University of Victoria this afternoon. (OK, there aren’t a lot of other contenders.) Asked about his policy for Arctic sovereignty, he criticized the Tories for emphasizing a military presence too much. That won’t work, Dion said, because, “We can’t win against the Americans, we can’t win against the Russians, and we’re too civilized to shoot the Danes.”
Beyond the comedy interlude, this was Dion’s slickest stop of the campaign so far. The old professor is still most comfortable on a campus. Endorsed from the podium by a trio of local environmental luminaries, he went on to sound confident fielding a bunch of questions from students. He seemed fired up in the post-event scrum.
I spotted David Anderson, the retired veteran Chrétien cabinet minister from Victoria, hanging around, and asked him for his review.
“He’s much more relaxed than he used to be,” Anderson said. “The answers are still longer than they need to be, but these are students and they were ready to listen.” According to Anderson, the “big risk of the campaign” for Dion is his bet that the Green Shift will lure NDP and Green votes as the race unfolds.