Monday, December 4, 2006

Competence or incompetence?

Things might appear to be very strange for Canadians, but Stéphane Dion got elected as the new leader of the Liberal Party of Canada (LPC) by of 54.7% of its 4,605 delegates who were present in Montreal after four rounds. As for Michael Ignatieff, the only remaining candidate in the final round, he collected 45.3% of the votes (2084). This leadership race might look very strange, but it is, above all, "the triumph of competence" (Stéphane Dion) against incompetence (Michael Ignatieff), as political columnist André Pratte said it.

Stéphane Dion drawn by caricaturist Serge Chapleau

The author of this text is definitely not a supporter of the LPC, but at least let's recognize that unlike what so many people think, Stéphane Dion, as a former professor of political science at the University of Montréal, knows federalism more than any Quebecker separatists out there. When certain Quebecker separatists used sophistic statements to smear his reputation, Dion always knew how to smartly reply by bringing arguments about federalism without boiling his feelings.

However, as time goes by, Stéphane Dion must not leave aside his intellectual skills; he should also learn, by himself, how to leave some rooms for a little bit of character. Indeed, what he does lack is charisma if you look at his thickly accented English and wooden speeches.

Despite his patent lack of charisma, Stéphane Dion is probably of one the bests debaters in the History of Canadian politics as many English-speaking Canadian political columnists observed it. At the next election, Canadians will be seeing a debate between two leaders, which means Stephen Harper and Stéphane Dion, who are both cold, who were both former academics.

For the moment, the public opinion didn't seem to change in Quebec. The day is still the day and the night is still the night. Many people believe that Stéphane Dion might not be able to get some seats in Quebec. In fact, it might not be wrong to think that the Bloc Québécois (BQ) still has a solid grip on most of Quebec's ridings, but who knows? After all, Stéphane Dion has always been underestimated in his political career and he always brought us so many surprises...

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