...but figures the Party "could do worse" than select Bob Rae. Iggy comes off as definitely unsuitable because:
His ruminations on "officializing" special recognition for Quebec did more than change the dynamic of the Liberal leadership race. Without the lifeline thrown by Prime Minister Stephen Harper on Wednesday, they threatened to damage the Liberal Party and the country. While Mr. Ignatieff is an impressive individual, this is hardly the stuff of impressive leadership.
And Gerard's shaky French does him in. In the end Dion's The Globe's boy, because:
He faced many obstacles not of his own making. Despite being a veteran of the cabinets of both Jean Chretien and Mr. Martin, he failed to attract the support of the party establishment, which largely split between Mr. Ignatieff and Mr. Rae. A sense that it is the turn of a leader from outside Quebec has worked against him. And while his English is better than that of many native English speakers, this is masked somewhat by a strong accent.
Yet Mr. Dion has a record in national politics that demands respect. He was responsible for the Clarity Act, firmly establishing the federal government's case against unilateral secession and limiting the potential for separatist trickery. He withstood the basest personal attacks, and, in battle, never flinched. In fact, he is arguably the most courageous Canadian politician of his generation.
One sign of successful leadership is the ability to make the most of every opportunity that presents itself, and Mr. Dion has certainly done that during the current campaign. What he lacks in charisma he makes up for in common sense. He possesses a remarkably clear-eyed view of the possibilities. That he has been the most lucid on the crucial unity file is unsurprising, but he has also presented a compelling vision of a 21st-century environmental economy. If a leader is going to exercise mastery over any files, those are among the most important.
But Mr. Dion has mastered more than that. Through the campaign, he has shown that he has mastered the art of politics. He has gained a love of the game, perhaps from watching the likes of Mr. Chretien close up. While he has been burdened with an image as a stiff academic, he has added humour, passion and humility to his defining attributes of intelligence and principle.
There is no perfect choice for Liberal delegates, but Stephane Dion comes the closest to deserving their support for leader.
Which is almost exactly the way I look at this race at the moment.
That's probably it for the day, blogging wise.