Stéphane Dion, former Canadian environment minister, was elected leader of the Liberal Party at a dramatic convention in Montreal. A darkhorse candidate, Mr. Dion does not come off as a typical politician rather he retains much of the style and demeanor of the university professor he once was.
For a Liberal party rocked by scandals and withered by subsequent funding issues, this is as good a result as was possible: Dion brings an strikingly honest passion and an earnestness which is rare in politicians and should serve well to renew the image of the party. He also threatens to bring some much needed transparency into political processes, something which no doubt will meet with much resistance by the establishment.
There is no question in my mind that we need a progressive, evolutionary government to deal with a fast changing world. Dion’s platform seems to be with the times, although I want to learn more about his stance on intellectual property issues. With a no longer progressive Conservative Party, and the other parties lacking the experience and breadth of support required, our best short-term hope for Canada’s international leadership on the issues that challenge society now rests with Mr. Dion.