With the recent political catastrophe in Quebec, the Liberals are no doubt silently kicking themselves. With four more by-elections coming up, the view for the future of the party looks grim. I do not expect them to make up for their recent losses. Even if they do manage to take one or two of the four empty seats, nothing can make up for the fact that they were utterly routed in Quebec, losing a long-time stronghold to the NDP of all parties.
Dion: the Liberal leader that just couldn't. Why was he ever elected? I just have to ask how could anyone not have predicted that Dion would be nothing short of a total disaster for the Liberal party? As much as I dislike Quebec, they are probably the most politically savvy province in Canada. The idea that they would embrace the Liberal Party just because they selected a native of the province to lead it was always laughable. Furthermore, with his tenuous grasp of the English language, he never had a hope of wooing the rest of Canada. So what were they thinking?
I'll tell you what they were thinking.
They were thinking Bob Rae was still "too NDP" and Ignatieff was "too American." They wanted a compromise, something everyone could agree on. What everyone ended up agreeing on was political suicide. That is what happens when you don't stand for anything specific and try to please everyone.
To be honest, I never really considered Rae to be much of a threat. He has too much baggage from his days as Premier of Ontario. It does not surprise me that he has fallen into line, and really, we don't hear that much about him.
Ignatieff, on the other hand, was always a power player and was the one person who could have unseated the Conservatives. That there is even so much as a hint of political in-fighting between himself and the Liberal non-leader is proof of this. This isn't the first time it has been suggested that there is some level of rivalry between Ignatieff and Dion, and to be frank I don't think it will be the last.
The title of "Leader" does not actually make on a leader. Ignatieff has personal strength. Dion does not. Dion cannot keep him in line because he is not particularly manly. Dion has no presence. He has no charisma. He cannot command.
I almost feel sorry for the Liberals. True to party form, they have to band together and try to present a unified front. As a side note, if they ever find the guy who told the press about their party problems, they will roast him alive and eat him for breakfast. No, the Liberals will not get rid of Dion until they lose the next election, a sure thing at this point.
Hopefully this will mean a majority for the Conservatives next term.