Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Passport please.

Stephane Dion holds both Canadian and French citizenship, big deal or not?

Many Liberal supporters don't seem to see an issue with it as this topic has been making the rounds over the course of the day, but its not the votes of hard core libs that Dion has to worry about. It is the votes and thoughts of the average Canadian voter that should matter to Dion. Trying to dust this off as nothing, or name calling and labeling those who believe that there should be NO doubts at all about the loyalty of a possible Prime Minister of their country, would be foolish.

Free honest advice from a conservative, so take note.

Deal with this now, and tell the 'new guy' to turn in his French passport* as soon as possible. This is not the ideological hill to die on.

Spin all you like, but do so at your own peril.

End of free advice.

edit Dec 7th

* as pointed out in the comments. I would like to note that Mr.Dion does not actually possess a French passport. I will have to take their word for it because I have not been in Mr. Dion's sock drawer to dig around looking for it.

My point still stands though, and it would be best to just do the pragmatic thing and fix it. This subject is not going to die and it doesn't help that your favorite Liberal and mine, Belinda Stronach as well as Liberal MP Paul Sazbo both think he should dump the extra citizenship.

Updated: They continue not to get it. here here here here
The head cheerleader can be found here

Good comments here from Andrew Potter at Macleans h/t from one of the few lib bloggers who sees this for what it is, Nav Purewal

Another day another update: A few lib bloggers are starting to see this in a different light.
here here


Another and possibly the last update as it seems that Dion is willing (in Liberal speak) to toss his French citizenship. CBC has it here, and I called it here.

If he would have followed my advice from the beginning the time wasted over the last few days, looking not very leader like, could have been spent attacking Harper or re-selling Kyoto to Canadians.

So with him caving like this, do those that 'appreciate the fact that he is not bending to pressure' think he wimped out?


bigcitylib said...

Conservatives, at least the ones that are pushing this, are not "average Canadian voters". And if they want a fight over this in the court of public opion, then I say lets go for it. Dion has done more for Canada than that pimple Ezra Levant could ever concieve. Ohh please Tories, keep attacking Dion for his loyalty!

Ardvark said...

Take off your partisan hat for a minute and answer this question.

Will this GAIN Dion votes?

Optics and perception does effect voters and the optics on this are not good.

bigcitylib said...

It will lose Harper yet more votes in Quebec, who will see it quite rightly as a piece of anti-French bigotry.

A BCer in Toronto said...

He doesn't "hold a French passport," that's false. By virtue of his mother's heritage he's a dual citizen. That's all.

Anyways, appreciate the free advice. But you might ask yourself why only Ezra has taken up this issue and not any party leaders or MPs. Yes, Ezra has his marching orders from Sandra, but still, the face the PMO didn't want to touch this one directly speaks volumes.

And in terms of the general public, you might ask yourself how the millions of Canadians who were born in other countries, or whose parents were, would feel to learn that they can participate to Canadian society, but only to a point, unless they renounce their heritage.

And where's the dividing line? We have a great dual of MPs with dual citizenship. Diane Ablonczy is a parliamentary secretary and was born in the U.S., I'm not aware of her renouncing that citizenship. Were she promoted to cabinet, would she need to?

Ardvark said...

There is no silver lining to Dion taking this position, there is no upside, no positives. The perception is now out there and it is real even if you care not to believe it. PM Harper does not have to bring this up as there are many who are more than willing to do so; and even though you guys love to shoot the messenger and ignore the message, the message remains.

Personally I have no doubts as to Mr.Dion's loyalty, but I, like yourself, follow politics and keep informed. Can that be said for the majority of Canadians? I doubt it, and when they hear that he does not want to give up his French citizenship, that will not help him no matter how hard you try to spin it.

For a party that seemed to govern by poll, you guys sure do not take what the average person thinks about this seriously.

I would bring up the 'if Harper had a US passport' thing and how the Liberals would be calling for treason charges, but Liberal logic seems to only work on a one way street and the comparison would be ignored.

Even Jack Layton can see this for what it is. Only those trying desperately to try to show their loyalty to the new dear leader are missing it, even though many know it is the wrong move. A true KoolAid moment.

Devin said...


I get it just fine thank you very much. Perhaps you should spend some time actually responding to the arguments made by myself and the other bloggers you linked to instead of just saying we're wrong. You should also spend some time researching your facts and trying to get them straight -- Dion has no French passport.

Mark Dowling said...


be a big enough person to remove the remark about Dion's French passport SINCE HE HAS NEVER POSSESSED ONE.

Ardvark said...

The passport line will be corrected.

It really was not meant to infer he was actually carrying a passport, but more as a metaphor for citizenship that people can relate to.

Do remember though that he could get a French passport in a couple weeks* if he wanted one.

* just a guess as I have never had to apply for a French passport and have no idea as to how long that would take.

Devin said...


There are no less than 42 MPs who could get a foreign passport (or who already have one), including several of your beloved Conservatives. I have no problem with these people, unless they do something to call their loyalty into question.

Your argument appears to be that Mr. Dion should revoke his French citizenship to avoid any controversy during the first days of his leadership. I, for one, appreciate the fact that he is not bending to pressure, which was initiated by Ezra Levant.

Until Mr. Dion does something to raise doubt about his loyalties to Canada, leave him alone. There is no issue here.

Ardvark said...

That is where we disagree, it is an issue with many people and it has already grown much larger than it ever had to.

I will predict right now that he will eventually end up giving up his French citizenship. The question is when and how much damage will have already been done.

Even Belinda thinks he should give it up if he becomes PM =)