I carry no brief for any Liberal insider, no preference for who ought to become the next leader of the LPC. None, I'm neutral.
I wanted Dion to step down solely on performance reasons. I read a post the other day that described Mr. Dion as a person best suited to serve as Prime Minister but ill-suited to becoming elected Prime Minister.
The fury and outrage of Dion loyalists is profound. I realize that, in any party, there are people who are more closely attached to an individual than to the party. I confess to a bit of that myself when I was young and Pierre Trudeau was our leader. Maybe it's something one grows out of, who knows?
Not all of our party's leaders have been iconic. Some, such as Mr. Chretien, caught an awful lot of breaks. Brian Mulroney, after all, left the PCPC in a shambles when Mr. Chretien stepped in and the right remained terminally divided during the Chretien years. I liked Mr. Chretien and happily supported him but I never overlooked the role that circumstances not of his or our party's making had in his success.
So, now we must seek a new leader. Good, I hope we can focus on finding someone who will unite and motivate the party as Mr. Dion never managed to do. We have to ensure that the next leader has the aptitude for the job, an ability to connect with voters outside today's narrow Liberal realm. That will be a leader with vision, political acumen, solid communication skills and the charisma essential to motivate voters who stayed away from the polls last week or who voted for Mr. Harper because they saw no viable alternative.
We need a leader, now more than ever.