1) Sorry, Stéphane Dion won't do. LPoC Members seem compelled to weave a new narrative going forward, and a part of that narrative is maybe how Dion's idealism shouldn't have been so roughly tossed aside, and how by choosing him now for Interim Leader maybe some of those sins of pragmatism can be atoned for, and etc.
But the Interim leader has to be the face and voice of the party going forward and, to put it bluntly, Dion's English sucks. Not that he has not been capable of turning a good phrase in the language of 3/4 of the nation. In fact, I have heard him say things in English that were prenaturally coherent. But, lets face it, and as the 2008 campaign revealed most painfully, his English usually has to be translated into English. If the Liberal grass-roots want to appoint some guy who needs to be sub-titled, go ahead. Its of a piece with the self-flagellation that seems to be going around.
2) Whether Bob Rae is appointed Interim Leader, or is not, is perhaps irrelevant. But I find that the strain of thinking among some LPoC supporters to the effect that it would be madness to appoint him Interim Leader, and madness to think that if appointed interim leader he should be allowed to run for the permanent position, is a sick symptom of the kind of arrogance that has sapped the Federal Liberals over the past ten years and has brought them to their current state of political loserdom.
Lets break it down. Bob Rae is fluently bilingual; he knows every file he has ever been assigned dead to rights; he has the "common touch" in the way the last three LPoC leaders have not; and he has served the LPoC cause faithfully and with no attempt to undermine whatever leader he served under. He also, I would argue, kept the LPoC flag flying in Toronto when other candidates were going down around him like flies.
And, of course, if he had not, out of conviction, converted to LPoC from NDP, he would be elevated now--maybe in Stornoway. But instead he chose to ride in the vehicle Michael Ignatieff crashed into the snow- fence of political ignominy, with the rest of you losers (I'm speaking as someone who hasn't joined up, mind you).
In short, I find it a bit sick that Bob Rae should still be considered (IMHO) at the fringes of the party, especially when you think of the greasy wad of candidates the Libs have always been willing to consider family within the 416 (naming no names!).
Remember this, LPoC grassroots. You owe him far more than he owes you.