06 March 2008

Sign of Weakness

Yes, this is silly, and Paul Wells is right to point it out. Parliamentary navel-gazing is never attractive when examined outside the hothouse atmosphere of the House of Commons.

However, Wells (and the vast majority of press coverage of Stephane Dion and the Liberal Party) glosses over one simple and irreducible fact: the Libs are broke. Jean Chretien's campaign finance reform effectively crippled the Liberal mode of fundraising. It's an open question whether one leadership candidate or another would have been quicker to organize fundraising efforts, but the fact remains, the Liberals have been hamstrung by their own history. 

If the Liberals were rolling in cash, I suspect we would have had an election six months ago. But then, we also would have had television ads to counter the Harper smear campaign of January 2007 (which wins an award for Best Character Assassination Attempt of the Century) that was, and continues to be, so determinative of Dion's standing with the national press, and so detrimental to his public image. 

And in case I be accused of failing to put my money where my mouth is, I donated $50 bucks to the Liberals last week. I can't quite believe I did it - but these are strange days indeed....

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