Friday, December 15, 2006

And He's not even Canadian!

Well, well, well. This Liberal leadership election just keeps getting better and better. Not only is Stephane Dion the party's sloppy seconds, but it turns out he's also a French citizen. Well, dual-citizen, that is, but the point is it's already causing controversy, which will only make his already-shaky case for election even worse. By the way, Dion has hinted that elections could come in the spring. I guess that's not exactly his first choice, but the Bloc will almost certainly lead a drive to vote down the next Conservative budget, which might (and probably should) trigger an election given Harper's none-too-solid "mandate." The Bloc stands to gain big, after all, and Harper can't win if they do (he's got to make up 10 seats in Quebec he will certainly lose to an active Bloc - whether to the Bloc itself or to a "federalist" vote for the Liberals to stop them - and a lot more on top of that if he ever wants anything like a majority government).

Fortunately for Harper, it seems Dion can't win either. This blessing isn't even in disguise. And Dion just keeps digging his grave deeper and deeper. Asked why he won't renounce his French citizenship, he responds with this tripe:

Identity is something that you add, not what you extract. There is nothing wrong with multiple identities. The hearts of people are big enough to accept different identities. Canadian citizenship will give me my rights. Identity is the way I feel about the country.

"Identity is something you add." That's just lovely, that is. And "there is nothing wrong with multiple identities." I tell you what, that just speaks for itself - I won't even bother.

What kills me is that having heard it's an issue, Dion still hangs on to it! The smart political move would have been to have immediately renounced it upon hearing that people have problems with it. And why wouldn't people have problems with it? I can't say I'd be thrilled about a President or even a Congressman with dual citizenship of any kind. In any case, the Ezra Levant column linked above cuts to the chase here: if you think French citizenship is controversial, imagine American citizenship!!! Which just illustrates the point - if there are questions about divided loyalty for some nationalities, there are questions for all. Or, if there are fewer questions for some citizenships than others, then Dion's counter that John Turner also held dual citizenship and no one complained doesn't exactly work - since Turner's "other" citizenship was UK. It goes without saying that as Canada only gained full independence from the UK in 1982 (though had been mostly independent for just over 100 years, I admit) - i.e. the year before Turner took office - being a dual UK citizen isn't as much of an eyebrow-raiser. It also sort of misses the point that no one elected Turner, and they voted him out of office when given the chance, so...

But whatever - I'm lovin' this. If Dion is so politically inept that he can't understand why English-speaking Canadians might have a problem with his "other" citizenship (which nevertheless allows him to be "100% loyal to Canada." Clearly, he doesn't speak English well enough to know what "100%" means...), then Harper should have a cakewalk in the spring. Bring it on!


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