Tuesday, December 09, 2008

"DOING A DION:" RECOGNIZING THE AUTOCRAT AND STOPPING HIM IN HIS TRACKS


In this morning National Post columnist Don Martin shed crocodile tears over the departure of Stephane Dion as leader of the Liberal Party. See: http://www.nationalpost.com/opinion/columnists/story.html?id=9168b47e-017b-411c-b600-f1a5fa477d62&p=2

He found multiple tragedies of Shakespearean proportions in Dion’s political career and the manner and timing of his leaving the center stage of national politics.

Ah, but as the radio commentator Paul Harvey might say, you haven’t heard ‘the rest of the story.’

Before becoming national leader of the Liberal Party, Dion ate separatists for breakfast. He publicly and rationally beat up on the likes of Lucien Bouchard, Jacques Parizeau and Bernard Landry to the point where much of the Quebec population thought he was too mean to them. In the process Dion gave Canada the ‘Clarity Act,’ which forever demolishes any argument that Quebec can leave Canada as a result of a small victory in a referendum on a confusing question. Canada had been through the wringer in two such referendums precipitated by firebrand separatists in Quebec. The Clarity Act brought a stop to such foolishness. As a result, the separatist threat has subsided and Canadians feel far more confident about the unity of the country. By any standard, this stands as one of the great contributions to Canadian unity in the history of the country.

In addition to his masterful accomplishment on national unity, Dion was the first leader of a major political party in Canada to focus on the environment as an issue of the greatest importance and deserving of the utmost priority. This was another historic accomplishment in Dion's fine political career and another major part of his legacy.

Martin also attempts to coin a new phrase in Canadian political lexicon – “Doing a Dion.” According to Martin, “Doing a Dion” means “snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.”

I submit that “Doing a Dion” will mean something much different in Canadian political lexicon.
“Doing a Dion” will come to mean, “Recognizing the autocrat and stopping him in his tracks." This is what Dion did to Prime Minister Harper. He recognized Harper the autocrat. He banded together with the NDP and the Bloc – the only thing he could do in the circumstances – threatened a coalition, and stopped the autocrat in his tracks. This is another great component to Dion's legacy and is likely to enhance in significance in the years ahead.

It begs the question, what will “Doing a Don Martin” mean historically? It will mean the same thing as “Doing a Joe Clark” and “Doing a Stephen Harper.” It means not being good at math. It means confusing the terms “majority” and “minority.” It means not being able to count, or figure out percentages. It means not being able to identify what is over 50% or under 50%.

If you wish proof of the above proposition, read once again this very prescient piece: http://darrylraymaker.blogspot.com/2008/10/harpers-minority-government-remember.html

20 comments:

Dman said...

Well written Darryl.

Doing a "Don Martin" to me would mean sounding downright reasonable 20% of the time & shilling for Harpy for 80% of the time.

Richard said...

Dion failed and was booted in disgrace.

Darryl Raymaker said...

Dman You got that right. Of course, Martin works for CanWest. I know it's a dying company but it remains Harper's chief propaganda organ.

And Dick
Jesus, Dick, Give the guy a break. Dion has made a helluva contribution to this country. C'mon give the guy a break! He's spent his whole career fighting separatists effectively, and most recently has spent the last couple of years fighting a jack booted autocrat which he now has on the run. 'Booted in disgrace'!!??? Shame on you, you ungrateful weasel!

CfSR said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
CfSR said...

Darryl thanks.

That needed to be said.

We've seen one leader (Dion) spend his career fighting Quebec independence.

We've seen another (he who must no longer be named in mixed company) who doesn't give a damn about whether he provides comfort to separatists or not.

I have to confess that I have not seen anybody in Quebec (federalist or not) suggest that BQ support for the Dion-Layton coalition was a factor in the PQ's exceptional result last night.

I've seen more than one federalist (and God knows how many - dare I say - separatists) suggest that H****r's positioning helped the PQ.

I know which legacy is good for Canadian unity.

For those moving their lips as they read this, it's not H****r's.

Krieber said...

Merci Darryl.

Janine

Darryl Raymaker said...

CfSR
I like that - H****r. I think I know which one you're talking about.
Thanks for the note. Dion is a great Canadian by any standard. He waited for his chance to slay the dragon and when he had it, he did it.

And Janene - Thanks for the note. Stephane has already established a fine political legacy. He has much more to contribute to this great country and I know he together with you at his side will continue to do so.

Patrick Ross said...

Hmmmmm.

Indeed. Then, in the name of political power, Dion formed a Coalition with the Bloc, and put them in the perfect position to demand a repeal of the Clarity Act.

Stephane Dion has discarded his legacy of fighting separatists and has cozied up to them in the name of political power.

That's your idea of a "great Canadian", huh?

So utterly typical.

CityBrokers said...

I hardly think what Dion did was "cozy up" to separatists. Regardless of whether some people like it, Quebec has some interesting characteristics which make it and its people distinct. The province and the people need a voice; perhaps Duceppe has a fairly one-track perspective but, whether or not some people like it, our Canadian personality is very much informed by French Canadian culture.

The reality is that Quebec would have ceased to exist via all sorts of forces, many of them internal, were there not people like Duceppe.

However, where it comes to Dion, he has made it clear time and time again that this country's solidarity was paramount.

As this relates to the coalition, better to coalesce than to remain fragmented when clearly fragmentation would result in a very, very poor outcome.

I would caution those in the west from simply jumping on the bandwagon of repeating clich├ęs without having any real knowledge of what life and politics are like in Quebec, why the Bloq and the Parti Quebecois are critical to the preservation of one of Canada's significant cultures, firstly but critical also to the preservation of this country as a whole given Mr. Harper's brand of dictatorial politicking.

I suggest that without the voice they have through the Bloq, nationally and the PQ provincially, there would be catastrophic unrest in Quebec, and yes, I can speak to this on a personal level: I was there during the Oui/Non campaign and I heard that argument from both sides in both languages. People with a voice are far less likely to rebel.

Mr. Dion, through the formation of this coalition (which the Bloq agreed to support, not to join, by the way) has delivered this country a wake up call and, to parliament, a major shake up whose time was due.

Darryl Raymaker said...

Ross, you ungrateful weasel,
the Bloc, NDP and Grits are in this coalition because your guy is an ideological zealot who is out to screw the oppostion parties so that there is only one party - namely, your party - the RAT (Reform, Alliance, Tory) Party. Get it into your thick skull that the coalition is all about controlling a guy who is bent on creating a one party neocon state in our country. I know you neocons don't really give a shit about democracy, but most Canadians do, including the Bloc. The coalition has formed to preserve democracy! Get it! And by doing so, they are all great Canadians. Anybody who wants to destroy parliamentary is a lousy Canadian! I can't make it any clearer than that. Even a twit like you should be able to grasp that.

And CityBrokers, right on! Duceppe has worked for a better deal for his province in this country and no one can deny that. Furthermore, the wonderful cultural identity of Quebec must be preserved because much of it makes Canada what it is today - the greatest country in the world.
Duceppe has not been destructive of Canada to be sure. But he has looked out for the protection of the culture of his province. And we give him kudos for all of that.

Jim said...

Correct me if I'm wrong, but my gut feeling about Mr. Dion is that he is a kind-hearted, thoughtful, humble and deeply intelligent man. The more he spoke, the more I liked him. He made Harper's personality deficiencies obvious. I like your description of stopping the autocrat in his tracks. My thoughts go like this: Mr. Dion gracefully withstood Harper's mean-spirited vomit-spewing, then straight-armed Harper and dropped him to his knees. Harper whimpered and had to crawl to the GG. Nice.
I will always think very well of Mr. Dion.

Darryl Raymaker said...

Jim
You're right on - in every respect!

Dman said...

Patrick Ross claims : "Dion formed a Coalition with the Bloc, and put them in the perfect position to demand a repeal of the Clarity Act".

Patrick, how much longer can you and your type continue to deliberately mislead Canadians on mission critical facts, with anything resembling a clear conscience; with anything resembling credibility; with anything resembling integrity; AND with even an once of believability ?? The ANSWER IS … you can’t, yet indeed you will, as you appear to possess the same helpless arbitrary & dictatorial illness traits as Harpy !!!

Patrick, what qualifications do you possess to make such a spurious & disingenuous leap of logic ?? The ANSWER IS … you don’t and never will possess such qualification.

While on the one hand we can appreciate that your being 27 years old may indeed be reason for your possessing an apparent maturity / responsibility deficiency; on the other hand this does not excuse your making this reckless statement, which we have every reason to believe you know not to be true.

Being still a student at 27 is a bit much for most of us … why don’t you go get a job and experience some reality.

Your comments are wildly inflammaTORY and contribute NO VALUE to this most important and meaningful debate. Please cease & desist in your assholism, immediately !!!

Darryl Raymaker said...

You Dman, Dman!
I love that new word, "assholism." Has a ring to it. It reminds me of neoconism and naziism.

Patrick Ross said...

"Patrick, how much longer can you and your type continue to deliberately mislead Canadians on mission critical facts, with anything resembling a clear conscience; with anything resembling credibility; with anything resembling integrity; AND with even an once of believability ?? The ANSWER IS … you can’t, yet indeed you will, as you appear to possess the same helpless arbitrary & dictatorial illness traits as Harpy !!!

Patrick, what qualifications do you possess to make such a spurious & disingenuous leap of logic ?? The ANSWER IS … you don’t and never will possess such qualification.

While on the one hand we can appreciate that your being 27 years old may indeed be reason for your possessing an apparent maturity / responsibility deficiency; on the other hand this does not excuse your making this reckless statement, which we have every reason to believe you know not to be true.

Being still a student at 27 is a bit much for most of us … why don’t you go get a job and experience some reality.

Your comments are wildly inflammaTORY and contribute NO VALUE to this most important and meaningful debate. Please cease & desist in your assholism, immediately !!!
"

Quite frankly, I don't understand how individuals such as yourself and Mr Raymaker can attempt to mislead Canadians on this matter.

For example, Darryl, the Coalition is being built to "preserve democracy"? How precisely do you plan to defend that considering what the presence of a separatist party in that Coalition -- at least Darryl seems to understand that they very much are party to this Coalition -- will do to the federal government's ability to live up to its obligations vis a vis national unity?

No Coalition government with a Separatist participant could ever be fully trusted to do that. Furthermore, no Coalition government with a Separatist participant could ever be legitimate. Nor could such a government ever be stable -- it would, one way or the other, rely on the rest of the Coalition's will to make concessions to the separatists in order to survive.

This is not rocket science, Darryl, the Canadian people are wise enough to understand what is stake. They oppose this Coalition.

So allow me to challenge you on this, Darryl: how is toppling a government elected by a plurality of Canadians in order to replace it with a Coalition supported by a minority of Canadians and opposed by a majority of Canadians defend democracy?

To anyone who understands the meaning of the word democracy, that seems very undemocratic indeed.

Darryl Raymaker said...

The fact is Rossco, that a poll in a particular time is not an election. How the hell do you know that a minority of Canadians support a coalition? Because of a poll? Remember what the Great Canadian Progressive Conservative Red Tory John Diefenbaker said about polls - Polls are for dogs! he could have added "and for stupid neocons like Patrick Ross!"

Oxygen Smith said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Patrick Ross said...

Well, considering that up to 51% of Canadians are ready to support the Conservatives in an election (according to some of the most recent polls), I'd suggest this:

Why don't we put it to the people in the form of an election?

You know, like we do in a democracy.

Darryl Raymaker said...

The next election will be your worst nightmare pal.

Patrick Ross said...

You don't know anything about my nightmares.

And I'm not your pal.