Liberal Party Releases Platform - The Response is Deafening

By Melanee Thomas on Sep 23, 2008

Has anyone else noticed that the Liberals released their full platform yesterday, and hardly anyone has said a word about it? It's as though the collective response has been *crickets chirping*. 

I did see on CBC Newsworld this morning that the English and French political bureau chiefs indicated that Dion's performance "wasn't bad" ... specifically, it wasn't as bad as John Turner's in 1988. 

I don't remember the 1988 Liberal platform announcement, but based on what was relayed about it, particularly the child care portion, the fact that the media is comparing Dion's announcement yesterday to Turner in 1988 is not good. 

That said, the other point the Radio-Canada reporter made was that the Liberal Party of Canada brand is much bigger than the leader. I'm not sure I agree with that, having become politically aware during Chretien's tenure, but I will buy that the brand is one of the only good things the party is running on this time around. Heavens knows where they would be without it. 

I find this extraordinary, given what I remember of Stephane Dion in the late 1990s. In addition to making his mark nationally as the man who penned the Clarity Act, Dion was able to walk into federalist v. sovereigntist debates at the Universite de Montreal and win the respect of a hostile crowd.

Dion was the first Cabinet Minister I saw my first time on Parliament Hill back in 2002; I was gobsmacked and had a minor moment of "That's Stephane Dion! Seriously! It's Stephane Dion!"

So what's happened? How did Dion go from being able to command such a presence to falling so flat? I'm not sure of the answer in its entirely, but I'm willing to bet more than one person in the Liberal backroom is seriously overhandling Dion, preventing what would captivate the nation from shining through. 

If that's the case, the part that kills me is that they haven't figured that out and stopped it. Or worse: it's being done intentionally.

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