Stephane Dion claims to be the leader of the Liberal Party of Canada. I says “claims to be” because there are almost no signs of leadership behaviour. He has a party that is full of strife, former leaders Chretien and Martin fighting over history, Quebec liberals in complete disarray and a policy book which is being steadily raided by the Government of Stephen Harper. He is not communicating effectively with either his party or the country (at least if you live in the West). His policy on the environment, while sounding tough, is no different from the one he espoused when in office – he did nothing to act on it and the Liberals blew off Kyoto in terms of action (but was very strong on rhetoric).
More significantly – the Liberal party is making itself irrelevant (just as the NDP has been for many years). They are not at the forefront of twenty first century challenges, nor are they positioned to speak to the youth of today.
Dion should do the decent thing and resign. He should do it immediately after his party bottles out of challenging the government on their throne speech later today. Continuing his charade demonstrates his cynical regard for true politics and reveals his ability to insult the people of Canada. The party should then go for one man one vote election for a new leader - not the charade of a delegate conference which is how this particular leader was chosen. They should also start to rethink their role in politics – they will be out of office for at least a decade.
While we’re on politics, today is the big day in Alberta. It’s the day Premier Stelmach will tell us what the future looks like, at least as far as it relate to Alberta’s energy economy. Good luck to him. The behaviour of the oil companies has been deplorable. Threatening to pull out of major projects if royalties increase significantly. They will not. Stelmach knows this, but will find a middle course and do the right thing. I am having dinner with him tonight as the broadcast to the people is being shown. I hope we can cheer at his determination. I hope this is the real start to his Premiership.