Sunday, October 12, 2008

Stephane Dion is Not a Quitter

But his prospects of continuing leadership are not for him to decide

In what some may consider to be a bit of a bombshell, Prime Minister Stephen Harper has said that he doesn't expect his leadership to endure a loss in the 2008 federal election.

"I'm running to win this election. If I don't win this election, I'm sure my party will look for another leader," Harper mused.

Stephane Dion, however, has very different ideas about his tenure as Liberal leader should he fail to become Prime Minister on October 14.

"Well he's a quitter; I'm not," Dion announced. "I will never quit. I will stay for my country. But I am working hard now. We are working for a victory. For a progressive government. This is what is at stake."

"I am the leader. I am the leader. And I am working to win. I am not a quitter."

Of course, with strong potential successors -- in the form of Bob Rae and Michael Ignatieff -- waiting in the wings to take over from Dion, and many Liberals remaining quite eager to hand either man the keys to the party station wagon, Dion would be remiss to assume that just because he wants to stay on as leader he will stay on as leader.

Dion may find himself in the same position as his Green party compatriot Elizabeth May -- having assured a breakthrough under his leadership, and unable to deliver. Just as Elizabeth May's leadership is unlikely to survive her impending electoral defeat with her leadership intact -- she's already announced she won't seek to substitute herself for any Green candidate who does win a seat, likely understanding that the NDP and Conservatives may decide not to extend leader's courtesy to her under such circumstances -- Dion is equally unlikely to accomplish this feat.

If Dion and May each find their leaderships terminated, the great many Liberals and Greens who opposed their alliance of convenience will likely shed few tears over their respective fates.

Stephane Dion may not be a quitter, but that doesn't mean he won't be fired if he loses this election.

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