Stéphane Dion gave a glimpse of the style he will bring to the Liberal leadership this morning, calling Prime Minister Stephen Harper a “control freak” whose idea of social housing policy is putting teenagers in jail.

He said voters will have to choose whether to support Liberal attempts to reduce crime or support Harper’s U.S.-style policies such as an anti-crime approach that amounts to thinking that “social housing policy is to build jails and to put teenagers in them.”

There will be a choice between a Conservative party that thinks “the United States is not only an ally for us but also a model or the party that wants to preserve, always, the independent voice of Canada in the world.”

He said the Liberals will defend individual rights, promote peace on the international stage and defend the Kyoto Protocol.

“Do we want an additional, useless tax cut or do we want to pull 80,000 kids out of poverty in this country? Canadians will choose.”

12 thoughts on “booya!

  1. Rick Mercer called him a “Geek”, and I agree! And that is why I have great hope for Dion. He is a politician who did not get into it for the power/fame/glory/money/family, but because he was convinced to by someone who wanted him to contribute to the nation. That makes him a breath of fresh air.


  2. Dion, so far, sounds like a very interesting individual. i look forward to seeing what he can do and will do. i do not know much about him, so far, but i do hope he’s not all talk and no do.

    if that makes any sense.

  3. I have to say that I’m more than a bit skeptical of Dion.

    Yeah, they got YET another Quebec liberal. However, there’s three main things that worry me about this guy:

    – he’s a federalist. from Quebec. Are you kidding me? The opinion of Dion in the Quebec media is piss poor. He’s going to have to kiss a lot of babies to get them votes. Let’s not forget that it’s Quebecor that owns Canoe, which in turn owns The Sun chain.
    – nobody outside of Quebec knows who the hell he is. At least with Martin, we knew that he was Cretien’s lapdog for a few years before he was thrust upon us.
    – he’s going to have to fight a hell of a fight to overcome the corrupt image that he’s got. Not just because of sponsorship scandals, but his office has some questionable financing issues that are likely to be brought up at election time. Hell, the sponsorship scandal will hit him twice, since the ad agencies were in Quebec, and therefore right under his nose. If he says it wasn’t his fault, he’s stupid and ignorant for not seeing it. If he cops to it, he’s corrupt.

    However, he’s a poly sci prof. Can’t say that he’s not the best of the bunch. Question is, how is he going to pull this off?

  4. What corrupt image? I haven’t heard a bad word about how Dion handles his business. The Gomery Commission said that Dion wasn’t in a position to know anything about anything.

    As for Quebec, he’s polling higher there than he is anywhere else.

  5. What corrupt image? I haven’t heard a bad word about how Dion handles his business. The Gomery Commission said that Dion wasn’t in a position to know anything about anything.

    I was referring to the fact that he was a cabinet minister. Therefore, if he was there, he either turned a blind eye or was too dumb to know what’s going on.

    As for polling.. I don’t think this is truly representative. The French citizenship will keep him going with the hardcore francophones for a while, but the federalism in him will eventually make them hate him.

  6. I don’t think he has that kind of rep with him, to be honest. He’s one of the few people who was declared completely blameless by Gomery.

    As for Quebec, you might be right — but I don’t think the liberals are too concerned about Quebec, to be honest, as long as the Conservatives don’t gain ground there, and given Harper’s opinions on Iraq/Israel/etc, I don’t think that’s very likely.

  7. The Gomery inquiry bothers me. I know Canada is permissive, but damn. Insider trading got the Enron guys time in pound-me-in-the-ass prison, they even nailed Martha Stewart. Canada? Mike Coupland got a slap on the wrist, and a fine that was less than 10% of the money he made.

    The main reason why I think that Dion would have had his fingers in this particular pie is his politics. What better way to toot his federalist horn than by funneling funds into la belle province? These sorts of inquests and inquiries seem to be a means by which to placate the masses.

    The Gomery report explicitly stated:
    five agencies that received large sponsorship contracts regularly
    channelling money, via legitimate donations or unrecorded cash
    gifts, to political fundraising activities in Quebec,

    (from the Major Findings document, page 6)

    So, I’m not surprised that a Liberal from Quebec got the leadership nod. Moreover, on page 7:
    the refusal of Ministers, senior officials in the Prime Minister’s
    Office and public servants to acknowledge their responsibility for
    the problems of mismanagment that occurred.

    So, since they don’t have any direct evidence, further on page 77, they are left to say:
    On the evidence there is no basis for attributing blame or responsibility
    to any other Minister of the Chrétien Cabinet

    They can’t blame anyone else because they all closed rank. To make this point, you only have to check what post IN the cabinet Dion had at the time: Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs and President of the Privy Council. He was in the highest of the high level meetings. Again, he is passed over because the only evidence is testimony. The person who could possibly implicate Dion is Serge Gosselin, the guy who got paid off by the Liberal Party of Quebec. However, if he cops to being paid off, he goes down harder than Dion would. Therefore, all you hear about Gosselin is that he never got paid via GroupAction, despite the fact that Gomery report specifically states that it is abundantly clear that the Liberal Party of Quebec couldn’t pay him.

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