Who is going to lead Canada's next majority government?
I don't know and neither do you because that person hasn't won their party's leadership yet.
Neither Stephen Harper nor Stephane Dion has struck the essential chord with the Canadian public to lift their parties out of the minority rut. If anything, each is propping up the other's mediocre performance. The best thing Stephane has going for him is Stephen and the best thing Stephen has going for him is Stephane.
Stephen has shown even the Tory faithful that he's a cold, secretive, manipulative guy, the sort few are willing to trust. Stephane has shown himself a weak and uninspiring leader with utterly atrocious communications skills.
Now before you jump on me for critiquing Stephane Dion, think about this. When you run for the leadership of a party, you're representing that you have the skills and the aptitude for the job. You're representing yourself to be able to reach beyond card-carrying party faithful and connect with the general public. After you win that leadership you have to make good on those promises. All you won was the right to lead but you have to perform and perform well.
Stephane Dion is a good man. He's certainly intelligent and well-intentioned. He probably has enough skills to get at least a passing grade. It's on the other part, aptitude, that he fails badly. It's the aptitude that's necessary to reach out to the general public - charisma, confidence, clarity. This is where Mr. Dion repeatedly comes up empty.
Stephane Dion's command of the English language is not good and it's not one bit better than it was when he was running for the leadership. He ought to have dealt with that, he plainly hasn't and that's inexcusable.
So, let's clean house. It's time for an election. Conventional wisdom in Liberal ranks holds that Mr. Dion, regardless of his performance, has won the right to lead our party into the next election. If that's the way things are then, fine, let him lead but let's get this over with so that the Liberal Party of Canada can actually move ahead.
Look at it this way. The first party, Liberal or Conservative, to move to a powerful, effective leader will form the next majority government of Canada. Wouldn't it be great if that party was ours?