It's important not to put too much stock in what the Conservatives and the NDP are saying about Stephane Dion, and the "mistake" Liberals made in electing him. The Conservatives would have taken credit for fooling the Liberals into electing the wrong guy no matter who won. That's actually a line they're using; that the anti-Rae buttons they were passing out prevented Rae from winning. That claim on its face is a bit ridiculous, but not unexpected; if Rae had won, the Conservatives would have claimed the Liberals made a huge mistake by picking someone with his record. If Ignatieff had won, the Conservatives and NDP would have gone out of their way to point out his support for the war in Iraq. If Kennedy had won, they would point out his weakness in French (which, as I discovered this weekend, isn't nearly as weak as it used to be; he's made huge strides in his second language.) We all know how the game is played. The Conservatives are going to be smug and self-satisfied and the NDP are going to be pissy and ornery no matter what happens, no matter who is the leader of the Liberal party. The man they're going to face in the next election is Stephane Dion, and while they may publicly express delight at that notion, privately, Stephen Harper is sweating at the thought of having to debate someone on the same intellectual level as he is, and who (in my opinion) is still more charismatic.