Good for Canada; bad for the Liberal Party.
That's how I would sum up the results of the Liberal leadership contest.
Stéphane Dion seems like a decent person, but I doubt he is the guy who will help restore the former glory of the Liberal Party.
Pierre Trudeau he aint.
I mean most Canadians are likely saying "Stephane who?"
And he isn't exactly a fiery campaigner.
What it all adds up to is he will probably not help the Liberals grow in the West nor I suspect will he help them break out much beyond their Ontario and Montreal strongholds.
So why did the Liberals pick him?
Simply because he was acceptable to both the Chretien and Martin factions, who fought each other to a standstill in this race.
They decided to call a truce and elect Dion as a kind of a place holder leader until they can resume their combat after the next election.
In my view, the candidate Harper should have feared the most was Bob Rae.
Yes he was a disaster as Ontario Premier, but he is an excellent campaigner, articulate, media savvy and experienced.
And politicians who have experienced both victory and defeat usually make the toughest opponents.
Fortunately for the country, the Liberals didn't figure this out.
Finally, there's poor Michael Ignatieff, who a friend of mine once described as a "prodigal, self-nominated matinee idol."
Remember how the media gushed over this ex-Harvard professor?
Well they forgot one thing: eggheads don't make good politicians. You don't win elections with appeals to the intellect; you win them with appeals to emotion.
Of course, over the next few months the Liberal-friendly media will try and convince us that by shunning the two front-runners and electing Dion, the Liberals have pulled off a masterstroke.
Don't buy it.
I expect Stephen Harper is pretty happy right now.