Now that Stephen Harper has pulled a McCain and successfully suspended parliament, a question seems to be on the lips of many both inside and outside the Liberal Party of Canada: is it time for Stephane Dion to step aside? As noted by The Economist, “the parliamentary hiatus might allow the Liberals to bring forward their leadership vote and replace the lacklustre Mr Dion.” Chrystal Ocean believes such a maneuver is imperative if the coalition is to succeed, because “when voters talk about the Liberal Party, in the end – after discussion of Martinites vs. Chretianites, sponsorship, party disorganization, lack of grassroots – it always comes down to Dion. And his leadership”:
The LPC needs, crucially, someone who can recapture the imaginations of the Canadian public, someone who can solidly portray competence. Dion can’t do that. Nor, do I think, can Iggy (who gives most lefties the creeps) or Rae or LeBlanc.
There must be a LPC emergency measure which could i) have the duration of the leadership race shortened, ii) allow all LPC members to vote for the leader (one member, one vote), rather than insisting on running a costly convention at which only people backed by money can attend and vote, iii) or find some other way to put a new leader in place quickly.
Look, even though I’m not exactly enamoured with Dion’s tenure as Liberal leader, at this point I honestly don’t give a toss. Regardless who helms the Liberal Party of Canada, it’s pretty much a given the Harpercons are going to use their deep party warchest to escalate the PR assault on Layton and Duceppe, the socialist/separatist toxic twins of the coalition troika. All parties involved need to maintain focus on the primary objective: replacing Stephen Harper with the Coalition for Change. And if that means sucking it up and (temporarily) giving the keys to 24 Sussex to Stephane Dion, so be it.
Anything else is simply an unnecessary distraction that plays right into the Tories’ brazen divide-and-conquer strategy–which, according to the National Post (grain of salt alert), may already be having an impact within Liberal ranks.
Update: Plz to be stuffing a sweat sock in Jim Karygiannis mouth. Kthnxbai. (Will update once footage of Karygiannis’ tirade is posted.)
Update 2: As promised, Jim Karygiannis, talking fast and loose to Rosemary Thompson of CTV News. Some of the things he has to say (eg, regarding Stephen harper) are dead on, but most of his comments are unnecessarily inflammatory and should not have been aired out in public.