The post in which I give Liberals and the Liberal party my 2 cents worth of free advice. What can I say? I’m a giver, besides - the Liberals have been foiled in their most recent efforts in taking over the country so I can afford to be a little generous. I’ll sum it up this way: Don’t Dump Dion.
The biggest political plunder you can make is to attempt to replace Stephane Dion in the next 18-24 months. Leaving him exactly where he is as leader of the opposition and the Liberal party of Canada is your best option. In case you haven’t noticed, the Liberals are in no position to remain as a viable party unless the financial bottom-line changes immediately and significantly – as in winning the 649 Lottery kind of way.
Otherwise you risk being the first major party in the history of this country to have to declare bankruptcy. The last leadership debts of the last Liberal leadership race have yet to be paid off – let’s not even talk about current campaign debts. There is no significant money coming in and now that the ‘natural’ governing party no longer has unfretted access to the public purse, you need to raise significant grassroots funding.
Dion is your man to turn it around, although not necessarily the man to turn your electoral fortunes around but the man who has the most ability to rebuild your grassroots base and get the cheapskate liberal base to open their wallets because he’s ordinary and hokey. Dion has grassroots appeal and his nutty green side appeals to not only a significant portion of your base but the Green and Dipper base as well. Forget the Conservative base, you haven’t a hope but you do need to bleed off or poach as much support from both the Green and Dipper camps as you can.
Dion can do you no harm and is uniquely positioned to do the Liberal party a great deal of good. And why should Dion stay on? He is probably the last liberal standing who still sees the Liberal party as a party of ideals rather than of patronage and graft. Quite frankly, he is far more loyal to the Liberal party than the Liberal party is to him. He might be academic clueless but it’s in a bumbling and charming kind of way rather than the elitist off-putting ways of an Iggy. As a Conservative I would love nothing better to see a bankrupt Liberal party campaign run against the pro-neo-con policy papers of Iggy. Talk about turn around being fair play. Oh the joy.
Think of the brand you have in Dion. It takes a leader of integrity to stick to his principles in direct defiance of all common political sense a la Green Shaft. It takes a great deal of courage and perseverance to walk into a room in Alberta and insist on giving a speech whose substance preaches a direct decline in the quality of life for most Albertans. Give Dion credit for that and he didn’t even flinch while doing it - neither Turncoat Bob nor Iggy ventured in those waters. In fact, I distinctly recall both Turncoat Bob and Iggy suggesting that due to the current economic downturn, the Green Shaft would be suspended, in direct contradiction to message of Dion stumping on the campaign trail. Let him be your designated whipping boy for the next 18-24 months as you attempt to re-build your base and party finances. Then replace him.
Of course, I don’t expect any liberal to take anything I have to say seriously, which is why I don’t feel the slightest bit squeamish in saying it. And I will enjoy saying, “I told you so”. Believe me, being right never gets old.