Second Thots

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

Tuesday, May 29, 2007


Stephane Dion keeps digging his own grave

For those who are waiting for Liberal leader Stephane Dion to finally find his leadership legs, it looks like you're going to have to wait a lot longer. His proposal yesterday to essentially stop the economy in order to deal with the bogus foreign takeover issue appears to be yet another example that the man just doesn't have a clue on how to be a national political leader.

There are times when public policy offerings are so bad that any political gain you hoped to accomplish simply get flushed down the toilet. This appears to be one of those times.

Remember, Dion has been trying to stake some credibility on the issue of global competitiveness when it comes to both the environment and economic productivity. Yet here he is offering politically motivated solutions to serious economic issues that I don't think any expert would go anywhere near with a ten foot poll.

I'm not sure what exactly goes through someone's head when they come up with stuff like this. It's understandable when it comes from someone like NDP leader Jack Layton, since he's a socialist leader of the fourth party in Parliament. Yet when it comes from someone who claims to be capable of leading Canada further into the 21st century, I think it just makes you scratch your head.

I predict that no credible economist will endorse Dion's madness on foreign takeovers. Furthermore it will only serve to erode his credibility even more when it comes to leadership, judgement, sincerity, and public policy.

I have said this before and I'll say it again. Dion became leader of the Liberal party without an understanding of what the job entails. Now, six months into the job, he's still showing that lack of understanding. How many more chances is he going to get?

One more thing. As much as foreign takeovers might be a difficult issue for the government right now, I think that Dion has just given Harper a gift when it's time to respond to some of the attacks on this issue. Dion's proposals are nonsensical. I know I'd have a lot of fun with that if I were his opponent.

No wonder Professor Dion reminds me of Pierre Trudeau. It's the Foreign Investment Review Agency all over again.

It's funny, but Liberals don't seem to mind the idea of foreigners holding Canadian debt, but hate the idea of foreign ownership of domestically-operating companies. Which, really, is the greater hazard to the economy (if either at all)?


And the thing about Dion is that he's billing himself as a champion of the 21st century globalized economy, but these policies on takeovers is more akin to 20th century interventionist nationalism.

Not only that, but I think it further dispels the myth that he's some kind of man of integrity or sincerity.

At almost every opportunity, all he's shown me is that he's as opportunistic and shallow as Paul Martin was.

For all the Canadian liberals who claim to embrace fiscal conservatism as their own, they should denounce this move for what it is: silly policy.

But I doubt you'll here a peep.


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