The online campaign to save outgoing Liberal leader Stephane Dion's job sounds like a joke. Unfortunately it isn't.
It's probably natural for Dion supporters - not to mention Dion himself - to cry foul over the poor showing in last week's federal election. It's probably also fair, given the Conservative party's multimillion dollar defamation campaign against Dion and the long and vicious knives that came out within his own party.
But, in politics as in every other aspect of life after preschool, results matter. And Dion's results were the worst in the modern history of the party. His mistakes were his, and by stepping down he has acknowledged this.
This half-hearted campaign (it takes a matter of minutes to set up an online petition and Facebook page, which seems to be the extent of this movement) does not.
However earnest, StayStephaneStay is ultimately misguided. Yes, it raises the issue of nasty character assassinations, and Dion is certainly an appropriate figure to centre on in that case. But, if that is an end goal (because there is no chance, zero per cent, that Dion will view this petition and reverse his decision), it is dilluted by its unfettered Dion support. To boost Dion after his election results is to counter common sense, and even Dion himself sees that.
The sting of mean-spirited politics, something these Liberals, who include Quebec MP Marc Garneau, are ostensibly fighting against, ironically can also be seen here: Conservative sites are mockingly posting the StayStephaneStay button, in hopes for more dismal Liberal electoral outings.