Still leaning towards Dion
After doing research on the big 4 my impressions have changed. Bob Rae was a dipper in a centrist mold much like Saskatchewan’s Roy Romanow. Some argue that he was the victim of bad timing and he was forced to make hard decisions that led him to alienate his base. My impression of him improved but not enough to vote for him. The Liberals don’t need to move to the left.
Kennedy dipped in my eyes. After checking out his website and reading his policy it seemed high on generalities and weak on specifics. A politician who claims to understand the west should understand agriculture. He referred to the tired mantra of “fighting for fairness on the international stage” which I believe is a reference to pressuring other nations to reduce farm subsidies. It is a tired strategy that even if it were successful would not reduce world production. If a farmer gets less money for his or her grain they are still going to produce as much a possible.
My opinion of Michael Ignatieff improved significantly. He has some fantastic credentials. He is an excelent academic. That tells me two things. He is brilliant but I don’t want him running the country. He hasn’t really lead anything. Pure academics view the world through complicated lenses. This sometimes leads to conclusions about things are not tethered to something concrete. I think Ignatieff’s approach to Quebec would be disasterous. While I don’t mind his more aggresive stance on foreign policy in regards to Canada’s moral obliation to intervene in stituations like the Rwandan genocide, I think these can’t be applied with the same force to Iraq.
Dion speaks forcefully about an issue I care a great deal about: the environment. He has real federal experience. His english needs some help however Canadians elected Chretien so that certainly isn’t an insurmountable obstacle. He has demonstrated that he lives by principles and that is something the Liberals really need now. The Liberal party can no longer coast as the party of convenience. It has to become a party of conviction.
I’ll have to sleep on it but I think I’ll be voting for Stephane Dion.