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Dion comes to Guelph to discuss the Green Shift ahead of by-election

While meaningless platitudes from Guelph NDP candidate Tom King make the news, the presence of a lot of retired people at a Liberal event in the middle of a business day is about the best the local paper could say about Stéphane Dion's visit to Guelph yesterday. The reality is that a crowd of some 500 people came out at lunch time on Thursday to participate in a townhall meeting put on by Stéphane Dion to discuss the Green Shift, including myself and quite a few other people whose hair is quite a distance from grey. Jack Layton, incidently, needed to hand out free food and hold his event on a weekend to get a comparable crowd.

It was an excellent event, with Dion showing once again that he puts his principles above all other considerations, setting him apart from his strategy-over-substance rivals on both the left and right. He did not discuss a lot of issues other than the Green Shift, but he was there specifically to discuss the Green Shift. Nor was the event restricted to partisans, with party affiliation not a question on the sign-in sheet, and people who are not Liberals asking pointed questions. My only regret is it could not go longer.

The questions were wide-ranging, from the president of the Chamber of Commerce asking about early learning and childcare to a participant asking about federal jurisdictional defense. Concerns were raised about the Green Shift pushing investment off-shore and mental healthcare as well. There was even one person who stood up with the intent of making a 15 minute speech about everything from hydrogen to copyright law, though she was cut off after only a couple of pages.

Dion's answers were in all cases candid rather than practiced as the paper suggested. While I've always been a strong supporter of Dion as one of the very few politicians who is an idealist rather than a crass partisan, Dion-cynic and fellow blogger Steve V attended the event and has been shown Dion for who he is.

Rumours are flying in Guelph that a by-election will be called here on July 23rd. With that in mind, the Mercury -- the same, usually balanced, Mercury whose assessment of a workday lunchtime crowd is that they have grey hair -- has launched a blog specifically to address the by-election.

Posted at 10:43 on July 11, 2008

This entry has been archived. Comments can no longer be posted.

Municipal tax revenue issue has been very badly framed | politics | NDP candidate takes socialism to a new level

northwestern_lad (cameronholmstrom.blogspot.com) writes at Fri Jul 11 12:49:24 EDT 2008...

"Jack Layton, incidently, needed to hand out free food and hold his event on a weekend to get a comparable crowd"....

Sorry to hear that you guys can't afford to give out the free food ;)

Scott Tribe (scottdiatribe.gluemeat.com) writes at Fri Jul 11 13:30:38 EDT 2008...

Sorry to hear Jack had to resort to free food to get a crowd :)

northwestern_lad (cameronholmstrom.blogspot.com) writes at Fri Jul 11 13:44:45 EDT 2008...

Jack's gotten many a good crowd without food... but when you're sending people out going door to door, it's good to be able to feed them out of appreciation. :)

JimBobby (jimbobbysez.blogspot.com) writes at Fri Jul 11 15:13:19 EDT 2008...

Come for the weiner. Get lunch, too.

Sean S. (seaninsaskatchewan.blogspot.com) writes at Fri Jul 11 15:18:18 EDT 2008...

didn't you get a free burger, is that why your so bitter?

s.b. writes at Fri Jul 11 16:10:31 EDT 2008...

If Jack Layton is getting the same sized crowd as Dion food or no food and King is getting more and better press than Valeriote, which isn't surprising, the Liberals are in trouble in Guelph. The left Liberal vote will swing to King a media celebrity, respected U of G professor and native author. The right Liberal vote, particularly the female vote, will swing to Gloria. Valeriote can't hold a candle to either of them and Brenda No Show Chamberlain had lost a significant portion of the vote last time.

Brian Finch writes at Fri Jul 11 17:23:22 EDT 2008...

Interesting post, too bad the debat is about free food, high quality.

I wish I had known, I might have made the trip down to guelph. I think there is a lot of potential for Dion, despite the conservative branding of him.

I tore up my NDP card last year, seems like they are so obsessed with the liberals that they've forgotten who the "Right" is, and an extreme one at that.

This is why I left the party.

Scott (scottdiatribe.gluemeat.com) writes at Fri Jul 11 17:32:57 EDT 2008...

I take what is said in the Mercury at face value sb. They don't elect the member - the people do.

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