And the Economy doesn't care that Dion's English isn't fluent or his manner academic. The Economy isn't trying to distract Canadians with oily splotts and puffins.
It's the Economy that could destroy the hopes and dreams of millions of Canadians. Dion seems to be the one who knows this and wants to do something about it.
What is Harper doing? He doesn't have any ideas except to mail out a few more government cheques.
Nanos is now showing just a 5 per cent difference between Conservatives and Liberals in their daily tracking poll. The Liberals moved up five points today, when the Oct. 2 figures are averaged in -- perhaps a combination of the debates (good for Dion) and the economy (bad for Harper). The Winnipeg Sun reported today:
Stephane Dion came out swinging on the heels of back-to-back leaders debates with a stride in his step and a surprising bounce in the polls.Harper's lackadasical approach to the economy just isn't cutting it -- and telling Dion that he "panicked" just because Dion wants to hold a meeting about the economy was a bit of an over-reaction on Harper's part, indicating that Harper is the one who is spooked.
Jockeying for public support in the broad middle against the “polarized” extremes of the NDP on the left and Conservatives on the right, Dion also tried to wrestle the upper hand from Stephen Harper on the number one issue of the campaign: The economy.
As the remaining campaign days dwindle, he began the final sprint to the finish with a continued outreach to progressive voters, and a fresh appeal to disaffected Conservatives.
And he should be. Here's the latest bad news:
. . . most analysts were predicting the Canadian economy would be flat for the rest of the year before last week's financial tsunami on Wall Street. Now they say the situation has worsened and Canada could soon follow the U.S. into recession, with possible deep job losses in Ontario and Quebec.. . .Does Harper think that giving plumbers-in-training a $2,000 taxable bonus is going to mitigate the coming collapse of our automobile, manufacturing, potash and forestry sectors? We need the Liberal plan to ramp up infrastructure spending and support for manufacturers.
"The (U.S. rescue) plan cannot prevent a U.S. recession because we're already in one," said CIBC senior economist Avery Shenfeld.
"Canada already saw a decline in real output in the first half of the year, and while the third quarter got a great start on rising energy output, the economic headwinds point to another decline in quarter four (October-December)."
Moreover, the Bank of Canada conceded that the global credit crunch is starting to seriously affect Canada's financial system, announcing it needs to inject another $12 billion in cash to ensure Canada's chartered banks have enough capital to make loans.
Amid the roller-coaster of economic developments, the opposition accused Harper of failing the leadership test for not having a plan to deal with the problems. The Conservatives had yet to release their election platform even as advance polls opened Friday, although they have announced a series of targeted and modest economic measures