Stéphane Dion, the current leader of the Liberal Party of Canada, is off to a bumpy start to his campaign to become Canada's next Prime Minister. Party insiders are very concerned:
Behind the scenes, Liberals worry about a "loosey-goosey" operation that staggered out of the gate, minus an airplane, to sell a complicated Green Shift plan that bears the heavy stamp of Stéphane Dion, professor. Nobody seems to have even Googled the name to see if it was taken.Grumblings from Toronto, normally a bastion of Liberal support, has got to be troubling. To say that Dion is out of touch with ordinary Canadians is a gross understatement. Dion has made himself and his unpopular shifty green carbon tax a major issue in this campaign and these two things will turn out to be his biggest miscalculations.
"Dion is in another friggin' world," says a Toronto Liberal MP. "I could go on ad nauseam about how he won't listen to anybody.
"He's not a political animal and he just doesn't get it."
In this time of high energy costs, Canadians are justifiably leery of any new tax that would be applied on all forms of energy because of the impact it will have on not only energy prices, but on everything that depends on energy in one form or another, i.e. the entire economy. Canadians are also justifiably skeptical of Dion's claim that his carbon tax will be revenue neutral.
Only Stephen Harper's Conservatives stand to gain from Dion's ill advised Green Shift plan.
Couple that with Dion's image as an academic elite who is out of touch and who accomplished absolutely nothing as Environment Minster in the last Liberal government and Dion is in big trouble.
Dion portrays himself as the "green" leader. Unfortunately for him, that adjective has more than one meaning. And the one that's starting to stick is not the one he intended.
Even Liberal insiders are asking themselves what the heck were they thinking when they selected the dark horse Dion as their party leader:
As the Liberal Leader begins his second full week of campaigning, one veteran MP said there is “a lot of soul-searching right now about what the Liberal Party did” in choosing Mr. Dion as leader.The Tories already enjoys a significant lead in the polls. With a month to go, the big question is whether or not Stephen Harper can grab the big trophy and land a majority government.
After October 14th, the Liberal knives will surely come out and the green professor Stéphane Dion will become a rather insignificant footnote in Canadian political history.