Today I post my interview with Cherniak on Politics who supports Stephane Dion. Before agreeing Jason asked me to make it clear to all that this interview is purely his own words (which is of course what I wanted) and that in responding to it he is not speaking as a representative of the Dion Campaign in any way. (Like the Dion campaign would touch me with a 10 foot pole, especially upon reading question 10, but you can't be too careful. -Ed.)
1. Why did you choose to endorse Stéphane Dion?
I endorsed Stéphane Dion because I met him for lunch and agreed with pretty much all his policy thoughts. My MP was supporting him and I decided that Dion was a man I could support as well.
2. In your view, what are the top three issues that face our country and how do you see Stéphane Dion handling them?
1) National Unity
Dion understands that national unity is not about a supposed “fiscal imbalance” or whether Quebec is a “nation”. He understands that to keep the country together, we need to put forward bold ideas that prove to Québequois that Canada is where they belong.
2) Economic Management
Dion knows that we need a strong economy. As Prime Minister, I trust him to maintain a balanced budget and keep our tax rates competitive.
Dion understands that this is becoming a defining issue for Canadians. He wants to use the powers of the federal government to create incentives for industry to clean up its act. He also wants to encourage research and technology to ensure that Canadians are inventing the next generation of environmentally friendly technology, which will be the big money maker in the foreseeable future.
3. What do you think Stéphane Dion’s greatest strength would be in an election matchup against Stephen Harper?
Dion has the ability to explain policies very clearly and quickly. I think he would be able to show Canadians that the Liberals not only have clear plans, but also that our plans are far superior.
4. What do you think Stéphane Dion’s greatest weakness would be in an election matchup against Stephen Harper?
I think that in stressing his environmental message, Dion sometimes comes across as more left-wing than he actually is. That might give Harper more room to maneuver.
5. If Stéphane Dion couldn't win, who would you prefer he/she throw their support behind and why?
Michael Ignatieff. Of the four front runners, Iggy is only other candidate with a coherent set of polices who can communicate them in French.
6. Not Answered
7. If you were Stéphane Dion 's campaign manager, how would you run their campaign?
At this point, I would release a full “platform” that puts it all together. I think we need to highlight that Dion is the guy with the ideas who can also sell them. I would also start pushing the economic message.
8. Tell us something about Stéphane Dion you think most people don't know.
He really wants to have a one-on-one debate with Ignatieff.
9. Next to Prime Minister or Deputy Prime Minister, which cabinet position do you feel Stéphane Dion would excel at?
I’m going to add “other than intergovernmental affairs or environment” to the question. My answer is that I think he would be a great minister of Industry.
10. If Stéphane Dion were pitted in a three way, 57 round battle royale against Paul Martin and Jean Chrétien who would win?
I think Chrétien would win because he would have Warren Kinsella hit Dion and Martin with a chair when they aren’t looking.