Last night Stephane Dion put his stamp on the Liberal Party of Canada when he whipped his caucus to vote against the extension of 2 provisions of the Anti Terror Act; and in doing so lost any hope what so ever that the centrist voters of this country will vote Liberal in the next election.
Absolutely unbelievable. If Dion wanted to play leader and show everyone just how well he can lead the New Dion Liberals ( NDL), his timing and choice of hill to die on may just be one of the stupidest decisions made by a Canadian politician in recent memory. You cannot play politics with the safety of Canadians and expect them not to notice; and it was all politics from start to finish for Dion and the whipped spineless Liberals who voted against their own legislation. Legislation which is still required, has already passed a Charter challenge, is supported by the majority of Canadians, and is still supported by, dare I say, a majority of those that call themselves Liberals.
Dion has given himself and the once proud Liberal Party over to the far left faction within the LPC, a group that while I suspect has been growing for years, still make up a minority of those that vote Liberal. The list is long of those within the party that oppose this decision including Keith Martin, John Manley, Roy Cullen, Tom Wappel, Bob Rae, Derek Lee, Anne McLellan, Irwin Cotler, among others. Law enforcement, every major MSM editorial board in the country, The Liberal dominated Senate, families of terror victims, and the majority of center voters are also in favour of these provisions being extended, as well there is a very real risk that this may derail the Air India investigation.
Does any of this matter to Dion? I doubt it, because in spite of it all Dion made his call and whipped his caucus to support this bizarre move to the left. What does Dion see as having been accomplished by his twisted decision to vote against former Liberal legislation? Where is the upside to this, not only for himself and party but also for the security of Canadians? While I myself would like some answers, I think I can safely say that there are plenty of Liberal voters out there who would also like to have these same questions answered. He can ignore me without risk, but can he ignore the others?
From the CTV story:
"Given that it was Liberal legislation, given that our own Liberal ministers told us that there was nothing that they could suggest to us to fix in the act, I'm flabbergasted that I now find myself the only person supporting the Liberal legislation that the Liberal ministers supported,'' Wappel said in an interview.
Before the Liberals were turfed from power last year, two of their ministers, Anne McLellan and Cotler, appeared before the sub-committee and defended the act. Both, Wappel noted, recommended renewal of two controversial provisions empowering police to detain terrorist suspects without charge and to compel testimony before a judge.
In its report last October, the sub-committee also recommended renewal of the two provisions.
Wappel noted that there was not a peep of opposition from Liberals at that time. Nor did the matter become an issue during the Liberal leadership race, won by Dion on Dec. 2.
It was only after a caucus committee meeting on Feb. 5 that he learned the new leader had decreed "a 180 degree reversal'' of the Liberal stance on the issue.
"Under no circumstances did I expect that it would be anything but a formality and, yes, we'll support the extension . . . To me it was a total shock,'' Wappel said.