Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Is Stéphane Dion a worthy leader?

Is Stéphane Dion a worthy leader? Fiona Hughes of the The Vancouver Courier apparently believes he is.

Writing for The Vancouver Courier, Hughes puts up a spirited defense of the Liberal Party leader. She laments at the criticism, claiming “the harshest words coming from the Canadian Alliance, er, Conservative Party.”

Yet the one quoted example she gives is:

“‘If Mr. Dion were any weaker, he’d need a blood transfusion,’ screeched the Globe and Mail’s Margaret Wente last week. Ouch!”

Through what filtered lens would one have to use to see the Globe and Mail newspaper as a member of “the Canadian Alliance, er, Conservative Party?” To the contrary, that newspaper has long been a strong supporter of the Liberal Party, and yet its criticism is harsh indeed as evidenced by Hughes’s own explanation at the end of her quotation.

I’m not trying to split hairs. I’m simply trying to point out that criticism of Dion is coming from all quarters including from inside the senior echelon of the Liberal party itself. It was only a few days ago that some of the harshest comments to date came from Stephen LeDrew, a past president of the Liberal Party.

And what “worthy” political party leader would begin with the “Green Shift” as a central plank in his platform; then—when Canadians weren’t buying it—claim it was not he but the media who did that; then reverse himself again and leave it just as it was to be seen by all—at the centre of his platform?

Hughes writes, “I trust him [Dion] not to plagiarize other leader’s speeches.” An obvious example of misplaced trust, as evidenced by the following excerpt from the Globe and Mail (05/09/06):

Liberal leadership candidate Stephane Dion's campaign hastily changed part of the candidate's environmental platform as posted on his Web site today after a blog reported that parts of it were almost identical copies — without attribution — of a David Suzuki Foundation paper published the previous week. Mr. Dion plans to formally unveil his $10-billion energy and climate change plan later today, but he has already been trumpeting his "Clean Air Plan" since Sept.

The CBC just got its knuckles rapped for unbalanced reporting, The Vancouver Courier might want to rethink some of its own.

I’ll stick with Stephen Harper and the Conservatives, thank you.

You can read Fiona Hughes defense of Mr. Dion here and decide for yourself.

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