“We lost the idealists”

Why is Dion staking his leadership and the election fortune of his party on a Carbon Tax scheme? The thing is fairly complex, hard to communicate and risks spooking electors already jumpy about energy prices. So why, Stéphane, why?

In a curiously sane column, Rex Murphy says it’s as much for reasons of internal party politics than election strategy. Probably true.

Dion’s gambit reminds me of a line from the CBC’s Trudeau miniseries. After the 1979 election, Colm Feore has his Trudeau say: “We lost the idealists”. It rings true and it’s easy to argue that the Liberals never got them back. Maybe Stéphane Dion thinks he can bring the idealists back into the Liberal fold.

It won’t work, of course. Dion does not have Trudeau’s communication skills (in either language) and he can’t establish a connection with that public.

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