02 December 2006

And the Winner Is....

Stephane Dion.

As many folks who know me are aware, Stephane Dion is a key figure in my political development. Back when I was in Grade 11 we had to write a letter to some level of government with some sort of important question of the day. This was back in late 1997, so Quebec separatism was still a pressing issue, so I wrote a letter to the Prime Minister with some question on the topic. Instead of a response from Jean Chretien, I received a sizeable package of material and a personally-written letter from the then-Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Stephane Dion. It was pretty cool, and I think I still have it in a box at home. The Clarity Act that he and Chretien put together was a fantastic piece of legislation that effectively defused the Quebec "question" for several years. I've always respected Dion and credit him for being an impetus in me taking a deep interest in the governance of my great country.

I don't think that Gerard Kennedy's switch to the Dion camp "will be studied in Political Science classes for years to come," as the folks on CBC suggested, but it will be an area of focus in the coming weeks and months, and no doubt Kennedy--presuming he runs in the next election, wins, and his party wins--will be given a prominent position in Dion's (shadow) cabinet. That move was pivotal in this day, deflating the Rae camp and putting Ignatieff in a difficult position in which he would have to glean a significant number of Rae's people over to his side. Naturally, given that people supporting Rae would ostensibly be the Liberals' left flank, I believe the appropriate expression would be "fat chance."

I wish Dion the best of luck because he's in for a hell of a fight. Having served as Minister of the Environment during Martin's tenure, he will be raked over the coals for failing to deliver on Kyoto by the Tories as they seek to shift blame for Canada's poor environmental record in the post-Accord world. He also faces the large task of getting the Liberals back in power; as was said earlier this weekend, Stephen Harper will not implode and defeat himself. So it's in his court. Good luck.

And now that this business is over, let's get on with the night's real main event: Habs vs. Leafs.


C. LaRoche said...

Rich: good post.

Whoever said this on CBC -- "Gerard Kennedy's switch to the Dion camp 'will be studied in Political Science classes for years to come,'" -- has obviously never taken a political science class :)

RGM said...

I bet that if we were all still in Dr. Turnbull's class we'd talk about it for a few minutes, but that'd be about all.