Second Thots

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

Thursday, April 12, 2007


Dion does an amazing flip-flop within 24 hrs

What Liberal leader Stephane Dion had to say about protest votes on Tuesday:

But Dion brushed aside concerns that the ADQ's rise is a bad omen for the Liberals, insisting the party simply capitalized on widespread dissatisfaction with the status quo.

"The votes for (ADQ Leader Mario) Mr. Dumont were in a large part protest votes," Dion said at a party nomination meeting in the Quebec City-area riding held by International Co-operation Minister Josée Verner.

Dion added that Prime Minister Stephen Harper shouldn't count on benefiting from a similar sense of dissatisfaction.

"Mr. Harper cannot channel a protest vote because he is the government," Dion said. "There are a good many reasons to protest against this government."

So, on Tuesday, there are many good reasons why Quebecers protest things.

What Liberal leader Stephane Dion had to say about protest votes on Wednesday:
The Bloc Quebecois is losing its relevance as Quebecers grow increasingly tired of protest politics, Liberal Leader Stephane Dion said Wednesday.

"Quebecers now have the taste for an action vote rather than a protest vote,'' Dion said after a meeting with local party organizers in Levis, Que., just south of Quebec City.

"In the next election, we'll ask who can form the better government,'' Dion said. "In this debate, between the right-wing politics of Mr. Harper and the centrist politics that we propose, the Bloc will no longer be relevant.''

The Liberal leader has been touring Quebec in recent days with the aim of readying Liberal forces in the province for a possible federal election this spring.

But, on Wednesday, there are not so many good reasons why Quebecers protest things.

The rise of the ADQ is an example of protest. The fall of the BQ is an example of a fatigue with protest.

Say what?

One day he's telling us that Quebecers just engaged in a protest vote. The very next day he's telling us that Quebecers are sick and tired of a protest vote.

Will Stephane Dion do and say anything to advance a Liberal position? Do things ever change with the Liberal Party of Canada?

Apparently, Paul Martin Liberals are advising Stephane Dion at the moment. I can believe it.

UPDATE (12:40 am): Just to complete the picture on the flip-flop, on Tuesday Dion is arguing that the ADQ has nothing to do with right-wing politics. On Wednesday, he's arguing that Stephen Harper has everything to do with right-wing politics. Yes indeed, some people will do and say anything to "go back to power again."

Speaking as someone with close ties to French Quebec, particularly the area in and around la capitale that voted blue in the last federal election, I can tell you why the ADQ did so well:

Quebeckers are tired of paying through the nose in taxes. Charest promised to do something about it, and didn't follow through.

The PQ openly loves tax-and-spend, and the Liberals secretly love tax-and-spend. But everyone knows it. Mario Dumont made promises - new, interesting, and bold ones - and he comes across as serious when he talks about cutting taxes.

That's why the ADQ did well.

Which is why 1) this bodes well for the federal Conservatives (new, bold, serious and credible); and 2) illustrates how Harper and Flaherty missed an opportunity with their stay the course budget last month.

Thanks for allowing me to throw in my two cents.


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