Wednesday, February 27, 2008

1-2-3-4 … Dion for the count

Anyone who hasn’t read Aaron Wherry’s blog on the Maclean’s site has been missing out on some of the sharpest coverage of Ottawa. His latest post here describes in excruciating detail the blow-by-collapse-motionless-on-the-canvas of Dion’s pathetic and desperate (albeit mercifully short) climb down of yesterday.

Wherry’s clever turn of phrase paints the embarrassing pathos of Dion's spectacle just so:

This did not, at first, sound like a man ready to once more capitulate. Sure, all conventional wisdom and off-the-record rumour had the opposition willing to let the budget slide, but perhaps something had changed. Perhaps Mr. Dion had consulted his own beloved canine companion and come away realizing his time was now.

"At least in the direction that the government accomplishes, it is going broadly in the direction that we recommended, especially in the last months. For example, more investment in infrastructure. More investment for the auto sector, for public transit. The gas transfer for municipalities becomes permanent. And more police officers."

Oh, never mind.

"Under the circumstances, I don't see enough in this budget..."

But wait, hold on.

"... that would justify..."

Propping up this government?

" ... that we precipitate an election that Canadians do not want."


"For now. We see by circumstance."

Of course.

"For the exact process that we will follow in the House, I will discuss it with my colleagues in the caucus," Dion concluded. "Merci beaucoup. Thank you very much."

One intrepid reporter dared a question, but the back of Dion's head had no response.

While some bloggers like Wherry are finding the humour in this latest surrender to Harper's agenda, others are finding the reason to distance themselves from the Dion Liberal pack.

In a gesture to be admired for its honesty, BCer in Toronto has had enough.

And in a gesture to be admired for its courage, former Liberal MP Francoise Boivin shows leadership for fed-up Liberals by joining Jack Layton’s campaign against Harper.


matttbastard said...

"We're not afraid to face the electorate; we're just afraid to face them in the context of an election.".

Bailey said...

But what about the rest of the article from Wherry where it seems like he praises him in the last paragraph or so:

A year and a half later—having stumbled and bumbled and flirted with any number of tangents—he seems now to have returned to the premise of his leadership. As if, no joke, he really did have a word with his dear Kyoto.

So, sure, he has let another opportunity pass. And, yes, he will endure all the usual circumspection and speculation that comes with that. But on a day when he would once more have to take a pass on confrontation, he seemed remarkably at ease—smiling and laughing with colleagues and enthusiastically sparring with the government side.

And so perhaps, while everyone was talking about everything else entirely, he's also figured out what it is he wants to do with himself.

Blogging Horse said...

He "praises him"? Really?

If anything, Wherry appears awestruck by the peculiar spectacle of an opposition leader who through the exercise of his own will and/or resignation rendered himself impotent to either oppose or lead.

Tim Webster said...

Dion has now capitulated so far on various bills such as the horrible Conservative crime bill that he is actually supporting the things he says he does not.

Dion is worse than a useless opposition leader. He is sabotaging his own causes. I don't know why, has he had mental breakdown? Perhaps he has. In any cause he is not able to serve in his post and needs to be removed immediately.

Blogging Horse said...

But Tim, is Dion the problem, or really just a symptom?

As disguntled Liberals will tell you, the Liberal party has been rudderless for decades. It wasn't noticable when they were moored to power, but without that they bounce from side to side on every major issue - including keeping Harper in 24 Sussex.

With the NDP you know where they stand. The same can even be said for the Conservatives. Not so with the Liberals. There are some MPs for private health delivery and some against. Some who are for the war in Afghanistan and some against.

As has been said here before, there is as much consistancy of opinion on a city bus than in the Liberal Party. The only difference being that the people on the bus at least know where they want to go.