Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Doctor Dion wows locals with common touch

While the NDP and rest of the country are focusing their efforts on putting a cap on pollution, Stephen Harper, Premiers Stelmach and Wall and Stephane Dion are off working on their own side projects.

For his part, Dion is now wowing Canadians from coast to coast to coast with his “Let the Rich Pollute” carbon tax plan.

A recent eight minute visit by the princely Dion to Stratford, Ontario, left one 15 year old and her father agape:

“I had no idea what the Green Shift was at the end of it,” the Central Secondary School student said.

“Copies (of the Green Shift) should have been handed out so people could ask good questions.”
Ms. Arkett said advertising the event as town hall discussion was misleading because there was not enough opportunity to ask questions about the Green Shift and other topics.

The biggest frustration was a quick handshake and photo with Mr. Dion. She was hoping to ask a few questions that she spent a fair amount of time formulating with her dad.

People are right to feel sorry for this girl. She actually wanted to talk about the policy, not just appear smiling in a crowd. But the incident itself shouldn’t shock. Dion’s tour isn’t to promote the carbon tax … a policy that even Dion admits won’t reduce pollution on targets.

No, it’s about rehabilitating Dion – a leader with 12% approval rating and a history of saying things like “I have been celebrated as a hero”.

Which is why it’s positively bewildering that in the past month, he’s been allowed to solidify Canadians’ impressions of him as an out-of-touch elitist boasting about his doctorate from a Paris university, or appearing indifferent to the new costs his plan would put on families, or in the Stratford case appearing aloof at a contrived event.

This tour is a double liability for Liberals: not only are people walking away with the same questions they had about the carbon tax, they are also walking away having Dion’s air of aloof disconnect confirmed.