Dion, despite all commentary to the contrary, represents a stay the course choice for the liberal party and its political tradition of the mushy middle. Clearly the choice of Dion represents the best choice for the liberals and the worst outcome from the point of view of the Conservatives and NDP. Here is why. Rae and Ignatieff are polarizing figures. Igantieff, contrary to what some observers have suggested, would have been bad for the Cons and good for the NDP. The Cons would have loved to run against Ray precisely because it would have been easy to make the case that the Liberal party was too left of center. Dion is the dead center candidate. As such his nomination as the leader also represents a stay the course pattern for Canadian politics. It will be hard to represent the liberals as either too left or too right. As such we may just see a continuation of minority governments over the next couple of election cycles.
The question is which mobile pool of voters are the liberals going to go after. I suspect given the traction the issue of the environment is having and will continue to have in the future that it is these voters that the liberals are going to go after which means a combination of targeting Green party and NDP voters because the environment has little traction with Con voters.
The Monday morning spin coming out of the Cons and NDP should be interesting. If the NDP continues to push the message that Dion represents a continuation of arrogance and corruption it is going to fall on deaf-ears. Dion is squeaky clean and he got elected without the support of the big money and back-room boys which so devastated the liberal party of Canada. Although if Jason Cherniak is anything to go by old money and arrogance are going to be replaced by youth and narcissism.