It’s just a year since Stephane Dion succeeded Paul Martin as leader of the Liberal party.
Anyway you slice it, it’s been a tough year for Dion. His party lost a crucial Quebec by-election, it lost its director-general because of a racist remark, its having a rough time raising money, it is in fact propping up the Harper government by not voting against it in the Commons and its not faring well in attracting star candidates for the next election.
Still, this dark cloud has some silver in its lining. Despite all their fumbling the Liberals are close to the Conservatives in the polls. Dion is off to Bali this week to try to regain his stature as the “green” leader. His anti-poverty p olicy wherein he pledged a Liberal government would reduce the number of Canadians living below the poverty line by 30 per cent and reduce the number of children living in poverty by 50 per cent has been well received.
And it might be noted that both Jean Chretien and Stephen Harper had a first rough year when they became opposition leaders. Yet Chretien went on to win tnree majority governments and Harper is the current prime m inister.
Many commentators who have written Dion’s political obituary never thought he would win the leadership in the first place.
Now the word is that Dion will help defeat the Harper government before the next budget some time in February setting the stage for a spring election.
Do you think Dion can win a general election?
Would you prefer that someone like Bob Rae or Michael Ignatieff were leading the party?