Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Coyne on Dion

It's no secret Andrew Coyne is a long-time fan of Dion. In his latest column, I think he captures the essence of Dion well. He is a man much like Harper, but different in at least a few important respects. The next election should be one for the ages:

His is a singular political persona; we have not seen anything quite like it before. In intellect, courage, and conviction he is a match for Mr. Harper, as he is also in diligence, perseverance and integrity. Beyond that he is a paradox: outwardly humble, yet immensely self-assured; gentle in demeanour, yet tough as nails; respectful of opponents’ views, yet divinely certain of his own.

And overarching all is a quite unblemished authenticity: there is not an ounce of phoney in this man. Mr. Harper has, perhaps inevitably, acquired something of a Machiavellian reputation in the course of his rise to power. Mr. Dion has not. If anything, he is regarded as almost too sincere (on the environment, in particular, he risks coming across as a fanatic, even if it is “the issue of our time”). But authenticity, besides being a virtue, is a potent political weapon. The public can sense it, and hungers for it.

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