The American Vice-Presidential candidate, Sarah Palin, buffs her foreign affairs credentials cosying-up to world leaders at the United Nations annual summit in New York; and our Prime Minister skips the entire event.
On the premise of the current election campaign, for the first time in decades if not ever, neither the Prime Minister nor the Minister of Foreign Affairs are attending the world gathering of the 191 member nations. It is already being suggested in diplomatic circles that our absence, which has been noted, could affect negatively our interests at the world organization. Seemingly at a time when we could at least use some support with our Afghan commitments, perhaps as well with other matters.
Mr. Harper and the Conservatives have this election campaign well under control. In my opinion his appearance at the United Nations would have been an opportunity for the Prime Minister to further advance the "Leadership Qualities" which have become his mantra and the main issue of the Federal election. Perhaps as well enhance our political clout amid growing evidence of diminishing western influence at the United Nations.
Here on the election trail, we appear to be witnessing the implosion of the Liberal Party on a grand scale perhaps reminiscent of the Progressive Conservative party's 1993 defeat which left then leader Jean Charest and Saint John's Elsie Wayne as the only P.C. representatives in Parliament.
Back then it was the "right of centre" coalition created by Brian Mulroney which had splintered with the formation of the Reform Party (later the Alliance) in the west, the Confederation of Regions (CoR) Party in the east, and the ugly split between Mr. Mulroney and Lucien Bouchard in Quebec.
To his credit and after 15 years, Stephen Harper has restored the politics of the "right" into one entity, The Conservatives. Now it's the "left" which needs to coalesce under the banner of a strong leader. Stephane Dion really doesn't appear to be that person.
Much in the same fashion those of the "right of centre" splintered and broke apart at the end of the Mulroney era, there is irrefutable evidence of the same thing happening now to the supporters of "left of centre" politics. The Liberals, the NDP, the Greens, and to some degree the Bloc, are singing from the same hymnal, and in the process splitting support four ways.
Perhaps until a strong leader is able to reign-in the "left" under a single banner, the Liberal drought may be of historic proportions.