Saturday, December 06, 2008

Adieu Stephane!

Manley says it's time for Dion to go

In the wake of what appears to be a failed attempt to set up a Coalition government, Stephane Dion's deferred resignation as Liberal leader may be rescheduled to a much earlier date.

John Manley, for one, can't see it happen soon enough.

"The first step for my party is to replace Stephane Dion as leader with someone whose first job is to rebuild the Liberal Party, rather than leading a coalition with the NDP," Manley wrote in today's Globe and Mail.

"The notion that the public would accept Stephane Dion as prime minister, after having resoundingly rejected that possibility a few weeks earlier, was delusional at best," Manley continued. "Mr. Dion had seemed to accept responsibility for the defeat (although somewhat reluctantly), and should have left his post immediately."

Manley's message is a simple one, indeed: Liberal party should not be looking for shortcuts back to political power. Instead, it needs to finally accept responsibility for its defeat -- this means it must stop blaming its erstwhile Coalition partner for its self-inflicted misfortunes -- and work on rebuilding itself into a party capable of winning and commanding power.

While Manley falls short on several counts -- for example, trying to blame the Conservatives for stirring up a national unity crisis while his own party hatches irresponsible and reckless deals with the separatist Bloc Quebecois -- his assessment of the Liberal leadership is spot-on.

The sooner the Liberal party divests itself of Dion's leadership -- perhaps as early as this upcoming Monday -- the better off it will be.

While Manley's comments should be considered anything but a declaration of intention to change his mind regarding seeking the Liberal leadership, they do suggest that Manley is precisely the type of leader the Liberal party needs right now.

Other bloggers writing on this topic:

Murphy's Point - "Liberals Between a Nasty Rock and a Ridiculous Hard Place"

Russ Campbell - "Sticky Dion Stuck to the Liberal Boot"

Ron Paul War Room - "What Would a Canadian Coalition Government Mean for NAFTA and the SPP?"

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