Saturday, September 27, 2008

Dion Leads, Harper Lags

Over the past few months and in this campaign, Harper has had many chances to show himself to be a “strong leader”, but time and again he has failed. Instead, despite the media narrative, it has been has been Stéphane Dion who has stepped in to fill the void and act as a Canadian Prime Minister should….

- Dion was the first to release the costing of his environmental platform and spell out what it would cost Canadians and what it would achieve. Still waiting for Harper to do the same….

- Dion has put forward a plan endorsed by environmentalists and economists. Meanwhile, environmentalists are ashamed of Jack Layton and surely economists are appalled by Stephen Harper.

- Dion was the first to call for an inquiry into the Mulroney-Shreiber affair. Harper railed against the idea before caving (but of course shows real leadership by stalling the inquiry until after the election).

- Dion led in Montreal to establish a 182 country consensus on post-Kyoto framework. Stephen Harper and John Baird instead obstructed an over 100 country consensus at Bali and earned us condemnations across the globe.

- Dion called for Maxime Bernier’s resignation as Foreign Affairs minister for months. Harper relented only after a dozen more embarrassments.

- Dion was the first to call for a public independent inquiry into the listeriosis outbreak. Harper still insists on a private closed door one and staunchly defends his incompetent and horribly insensitive Agriculture minister despite calls from numerous scientists and food safety representatives for strong action.

- Dion was the first to raise the troubling practices of the Conservatives relating to the In and Out scandal. Harper has stonewalled at every turn trying to prevent Canadians from having all the answers.

- Dion was the first party leader to call for the repatriation and a fair trial for Omar Khadr (as every other western leader has done for its citizens), while Harper stands essentially alone in the world in his belief that Guantanomo Bay is a place where 'justice can run its course" (not even McCain and Obama believe this).

- Dion was the first to come out in favour of having Elizabeth May in the leader’s debates. Harper waited till he stood alone before caving.

- Dion was the first to call for a Commissioner for Gender Equality and his party has fielded the highest percentage of female candidates (36.7%) in this election. Harper is dead last in his commitment to women’s issues and giving an equal voice and equal representation in the House of Commons.

- Dion has proposed economic solutions to get our economy rolling again, while Harper offers no plan and says only "don't worry, be happy" when more and more experts are saying Canada has serious troubles ahead that need to be tackled.

- Dion has stood firm in casting out any candidate who have run counter to basic Liberal party principles. Neither Jack Layton nor Stephen Harper can say the same. Or do these candidates they are hanging on to actually reflect their party’s principles?

- Dion was the first major party leader to release his full platform and its costing in this election and economists, environmentalists and numerous stakeholders from across the spectrum (cities, infrastructure, education, crime, farming) have endorsed the numbers and the plans. Harper may not even have a platform, let alone a costed one. When Stockwell Day was asked for the costing of some of their proposals his response was “Doing the math on these things isn't easy.” That’s the steady hand for our economy? That’s Conservative leadership?

With Canada’s economy in trouble, our standing on the world stage never worse, and a climate crisis worsening we need a Prime Minister who leads, not lags.

A Prime Minister who would govern with convictions and purpose, not through focus groups and polls.

A Prime Minister who leads a team ready to do the heavy lifting of running a government along with him, not a one-man show.

A Prime Minister who promises serious solutions, not pie in the sky ideas that aren’t affordable and won’t work.

A Prime Minister who has a plan for the next 10 years, not just until October 14th.

Canadians deserve a lot better than the Prime Minister we have now and only Stéphane Dion is ready and able to take his place.

We just have got to be reminding Canadians who the real leader is in this race and who is the one that is obviously most prepared to get down to work on tackling this country’s challenges after all the votes are counted.

For all the talk of the media the fact remains that a large majority of Canadians do not want Stephen Harper as their next Prime Minister. I hope that majority can work to see we don’t still end up with him on October 14th, but Liberals need to keep working to ensure that more and more Canadians see over the last half of this campaign that Stéphane Dion would be a Prime Minister we could all be proud of.

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liberallatte said...

I've come to like Dion much better as I read more about him and his policies. He will be the most progressive leader in any major Western country in a long time.

Sorry this is off-topic, but do you know if the leaders' debate is going to be broadcast online? I'm in the US but I still do want to watch Dion conclusively beat Harper in the debate!