1. Dion took his sustainable development policy to its most seemingly infertile ground and came away with positive growth.
2. He went to the Prairies to meet and greet shortly after defending the Wheat Board.
3. Overall, he's a player on the Prairies and his policies sell.
(4. The Wajid Kahn stunt blew up in Harper's face.)
So, I'd say that's the "Environment Pillar" box ticked. What about the other three pillars? Dion needs to sell a unified policy platform, and quick.
Next up, SOCIAL JUSTICE: Healthcare should be the focus.
Jeffrey Simpson often gives me my thoughts on the federal government:
As Simpson suggests, BE REAL! Address not the retail healthcare politics of "wait times" but show you can do more. Healthcare issues affect everyone and addressing issues of drug costs, provincial patchwork and healthcare management will have max resonance. The federal government has a HUGE influence on drug costs.
There is not a family in Canada that is not concerned about care for the elderly and costs for that care. They worry about their own retirement as well as their elderly parents. The below-35's worry about having to pay for everything themselves these days.
"E-Health" fits nicely with streamlining through innovation. While Conservatives might sell "cuts" and such, Liberals can sell "sustainable healthcare". Better technology improves diagnosis, better patient info management streamlines care. The more digital we get, the less waste - both of money and resources. This all dovetails nicely with the work Dion has done already.
The Liberal record on healthcare is easily defendable. The Chretien and Martin governments put huge quantities of money into both research and provincial transfers. Meanwhile, Canadians still don't trust the Tory agenda on Health and Harper's ridiculous announcement on a Friday afternoon (no surprise there) is such an easy target.
So, let's get talking!