Sunday, May 3, 2009

I am Dionacus

Jennifer Smith has a post on meeting Dion at the end of the Convention.
We all shook his hand and, when we realized how inadequate that was, gave him a hug and tried to tell him how much we all appreciated his leadership and how much he meant to us. One said that he was the reason she became a Liberal. 
I have read other sentiments expressed frequently since the start of Dion's leadership.  This inspired me to add my thoughts on Dion's tenure.

Churchill said:"History is written by the victors."  That may be true and the various "victors" will write the history of Dion.  Conservatives, willing to stoop to any depth for a minority, will list him as "Not a Leader".  Media pundits, whose preconception of what constitutes an acceptable PM Dion never lived up to,  will refer to him as hapless and a punching bag for Harper.  Ignatieff era Liberals, will write of him as an honourable man victimized by Conservative attacks. 

But there is a subset of Canadians who joined the Liberals because of Dion.  They realized that he is not telegenic but his honest passion appealed to them.  They could hear his struggles with English but respected his ability to nonetheless outdo Harper in the English debate.  They looked past his shortcomings to support the man and his integrity, love of country and passion for what he believes in.  These people are a part of the Liberal resurgence and should not be ignored.  The wind is at our backs but that chinook owes it's genesis, at least in part, to the grassroots which led to Dion's victory.

These people are not going to accept an unresponsive leader or party.  They will want to see real progress on the the environment, equity and other progressive issues.  They can be an energizing force that provides the push over the top to power.  Ignored and disillusioned, they could turn away from the Party

I am one of these people.  I joined the Liberal Party because of Dion.  My donations to the Party are a result of him.  His continued service is a signal that the Liberal Party remains deserving of support.

I am hopeful that OMOV will allow for more leaders with Mr. Dion's principles to come to the fore.  For now the grassroots rebellion is over.  Mr. Ignaieff is ascendant.  This is a good thing since it points to an end to the Harper regime.  But as the Conservatives are on a leash.  So is Ignatieff.  His Liberals must stand for something other than regaining power.  Obama has created high expectations for his administration. Ignatieff has set his bar similarly high.

The news that Dion plans to run again is a good sign that his voice will not be lost.  As part of a strong Cabinet, Mr. Dion will help Ignatieff be a good PM.

In the movie Spartacus, there is a scene at the end of the Third Servile War where the followers of Spartacus express solidarity with what they all fought for by claiming to be the defeated leader.

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Anonymous said...

Geez, would it have hurt Dion to thank his supporters, etc. in his speech.

Instead, he rambled on about his vision and his policies and made a total fool of himself.

Shame. Although I didn't support having him as leader, when he became the leader I didn't attack him and donated to the party.

After his speech, I realized how pathetic he came across.

Anonymous said...

What an interesting post. Food for thought.

sassy said...

I do agree that Dion has a lot to offer the party and in turn, Canada, and he must feel that way as well, or it wouldn't be running again.

Anon - Dion is a man of vision. We need some of that (vision for the country, not vision for his own political future - unlike the current PM)

Nice to see that even though you did not agree with him being party leader, you continued to support the Liberal Party. Good on you for that.

sassy said...

or it wouldn't be running againStrike "it" should be "he"

The Rational Number said...

I'm Dionacus!

And I joined the party because Dion inspired me. But I'll stay whether or not he does. I hope he sticks around, I think he can a great deal of good.

IMHO, he's a better leader than a politician; consider a man who's a better politician than a leader to see what I mean.