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Keep sticking to your position, Stephane.

So, there’s been all sorts of media stories today about how the Liberal position on Afghanistan is now muddled and how there is supposedly is infighting amongst the Liberals over what position to take. Not surprisingly, those assertions come from the National Post and Chantal Hebert.

However, Mr. Dion has come out and denied there is any change in the Liberal position on Afghanistan:

Stephane Dion says the Liberals will not budge from their insistence that Canada’s combat mission in Afghanistan end as scheduled in February 2009. “No, no,” the Liberal leader said flatly when asked if his deadline for ending the mission is negotiable. “The combat mission must end in February 2009.”… Bolstered by a caucus meeting today where most Liberals appeared to favour sticking to their position, Dion summarily rejected Manley’s recommendation. “We need a timeline. We will not say, `If we have 1,000 (additional) troops, we’re on a never-ending mission.’ This is completely unacceptable for Canadians.”

Furthermore, he’s apparently laying down the law with his MP’s that Mr. Manley is not going to re-make Liberal Party policies on Afghanistan:

During a closed-door caucus meeting today, Dion was even firmer, sources said. He reportedly told Liberals MPs: “Mr. Manley is speaking on behalf of Mr. Manley, he’s not speaking on behalf of the Liberal Party of Canada.” According to caucus members, Dion said that doesn’t mean Liberals can’t be friends with Manley, but he stressed that Manley’s recommendations are not Liberal policy.

I also obviously agree with the following statement, as many of us in the Liberal blogging camp (even Mr. Cherniak) have been saying the same thing:

Shortly after winning the leadership, Dion forged a fragile consensus on the issue, insisting that the combat mission end in 2009 and that Canada refocus its efforts in Afghanistan to reconstruction, humanitarian aid and training of Afghan security forces. Insiders say there are still a few hawks in Liberal caucus but most MPs remain content with the compromise struck by Dion. Indeed, they predict Dion would likely face greater internal dissent should he back down than if he agreed to modify his position.

Exactly. Stick to the position that you’ve clearly laid out as Liberal Party policy, and don’t back away from it, which makes you look scared of Harper and scared of an election. If Harper wants to table the Manley Report and make it a vote of non-confidence (another non-supply or non-money bill if he does, I might add) then so be it.

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6 comments to Keep sticking to your position, Stephane.

  • Hey Fred:

    Why do you anonymous Conservative-loving commentators always have to insult and berate your political opponents when you leave comments. Do you think it will intimidate us into silence?

  • Here’s video of the scrum quoted in Scott’s post – the Afghanistan mission comments are toward the end.

  • Steve

    Re FredM

    Why to you Liberal Pussies always berate and belittle everybody that does not agree with your spineless positions by pointing out spelling mistakes of posters.  I have seen this numerous times if a contrary poster makes a spelling mistake on a Liberal blog , he or she is slammed for it.  You try to imply that because they make a spelling mistake they must be inferior to your almighty Liberalness?

    Steve

  • What a shock. A Conservative supporter tries to use the imported American Republican line of "not supporting the troops" (and the word you were trying to use is properly spelt  v-a-i-n, Fred)

  • FredM

    “No, no,”
    I don’t care if that means Canadians would have died in vane. Dion is never for the people, his stance is an insult to Canadian politics, the dead Canadian soldiers, the current soldiers, and all Canadians. His stance is pure partisan politics.

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