Second Thots

Sometimes one has to step back, take pause, and have some "second thots"

Friday, March 02, 2007


Dion starting to enter dangerous territory

There are two comparisons people like to make when talking about Stéphane Dion's current woes. One is with Stephen Harper when he was in opposition. The other is with Stockwell Day when he was in opposition. I believe that what Dion is currently experiencing is more like the latter, which is why Liberals should worry at least a little bit, if not a lot.

Put aside for a moment all the political factors going against Dion, such as the poll numbers, the lack of money, the recovering from an election loss that split the party, etc, etc. As bad as much of that is, I think that Dion is suffering from an even bigger problem: people are not taking him seriously any longer.

He's clearly not where Day was when he reached a point-of-no-return, but he's starting to flirt with one himself. And the problem with Dion is that it's unclear that he has what it takes to start changing the perception people are having of him.

With those attack ads, the Tories have been very successful at re-focusing the spotlight on Dion. And what people are seeing is a man who has trouble coming across as a leader and, maybe even worse, who for the life of him can't communicate properly in the language of the Canadian majority.

I don't think Dion has reached his own point-of-no-return. Yet Canadian politics can be such a cruel arena for the unprepared and naive. Dion is not only looking unprepared and naive, he's looking like he'll never be anything but. That's something he and his people need to work on before it's too late — if they can.

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