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Saturday, December 09, 2006 

In Politics - When You Are Explaining - You Are Losing

Former Saskatchewan Premier Roy Romanow used to say that 'in politics, if you are explaining, you are losing.' These words are proven true again when you consider the brilliant stroke that Ezra Levant and the Conservatives sprung on Stephane Dion concerning his dual Canadian / French citizenship.

After days of rational explanations as to why dual citizenship is okay, that it is no problem for a future prime minister, Monsieur Dion himself is now saying that if it is an issue, he will renounce his dual French citizenship.

This was a setup. Period. It was a brilliant setup, masterfully played.

Tory watchers now recognize the role that Ezra Levant plays in the Harper government. He is as much a lieutenant to Stephen Harper as fellow Calgarian Jason Kenney is. Harper has used Levant's skill set strategically a number of times since taking office. As the editor of his own publication, Ezra is well positioned to add a voice that is always in support of the PM but sounds like it is coming from the community.

This relationship is calculated. It is effective.

All being said and done, in a number of main stream newspapers there is now a cry for Dion to give up his French duality. A few days were wasted wherein his followers fought the good fight explaining that the dual citizenship was 'not a problem', 'many others have the same duality', 'Canadians shouldn't care', etc, etc, etc.

In the end it has become the first major challenge that Dion has had to deal with. While it will likely have almost no lasting negative impact, it allows us to acknowledge the the Tories are not a spent political force and to acknowledge how they can still deliver a strategic attack on their opponents.

None of this was by accident. From a Conservative point of view, it was a well thought out plan, expertly delivered and definitely hit the target. Just ask Stephane Dion.

The Star
Globe and Mail

Sigh. I keep rooting for my northern neighbours to be "better than us" down south here.

Most of the time you are, unfortunately it seems more often like some of you are adopting our ugliness.

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