I’ve never been a big Stéphane Dion fan, but I agree with Don Martin on this one. Dion’s recent interview on CTV Halifax may have been bizarre and awkward, but Martin’s thoughts on the Conservative reaction to the interview proved to be a more insightful than anything found in the video of the interview:
It was an undoubtedly awkward encounter and hard not to shake your head in amazement as Mr. Murphy incredulously tried to explain himself to a baffled Dion, who finally turned in exasperation to someone off camera for clarification.
But spare some empathy for Mr. Dion. It’s the end of a grueling campaign, the man has admitted to a hearing impairment and the question was open to interpretation while being phrased in Mr. Dion’s second language.
The bigger question is how the Conservative response fits with Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s efforts to tame his hard-nosed cold-hearted image with sweaters and baby hugs.
To use his first spontaneous media appearance of the campaign to declare Mr. Dion the most unworthy of the two candidates for prime minister based on a minute of misunderstanding is not the most flattering reaction for the prime minister.
In the end the incident they hoped to use to define Mr. Dion as a confused ditherer may actually provide more telling insight into the character of Stephen Harper.