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Campaign Day 10 - after a breather, lots to talk about

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If mental images count for everything, here are two that are dogging me:I see Prime Minister Stephen Harper flying a large plane, the nose of which is pointed up in a steady climb through choppy air. However, just as he's about to break above the turbulence, an alarm goes off in the cockpit, and Harper begins to fight the controls. The plane isn't falling, but it's hit some imaginary barrier that won't allow him to climb. So he starts to manouver to port, to starboard and back again, desperately looking for that seam in the sky....Meanwhile, Stephane Dion is climbing a mountain. It's a steep, intimidating facade, but Dion is full of vinegar and bravado as he begins his ascent. Not far up the face, but far enough up that he would certainly be killed if he fell, he falls. As he plummets, he grabs onto a ledge with one hand and hangs there, swaying back and forth. (I'm tempted to tell the one about the mountain climber who asks 'is there anybody up there who can save me?' and God says 'If you trust me let go of the ledge,' and the cllimber says, 'Is there anybody else up there?' I guess I just told it.) Anway, he's hanging by the fingers of one hand and after a while, he starts to marvel at how well he's doing just hanging on. He begins to try and live a normal life as he hangs off the cliff. He reads the paper (with one hand of course), enjoys a cup of coffee and before bed each night, brushes his teeth. And each mornign, he is energized by the realization he's still hanging in there....I get the sense this is a watershed week. Missteps and comic relief aside, the first week solved nothing in this election. The Tories began to show another burst of momentum in national polls, but by the beginning of the current week, there were signs the momentum had gone. Quietly, some Tories I know are wondering whether they've peaked too soon. Fortunately for the Tories, the Liberals are running a low-key, almost invisible campaign that is doing little else but keeping Dion on that ledge, inches away from certain death but still hanging in the race.Will Harper find a way of breaking through the glass ceiling? Can Dion hang on, or will he crash to his political death? Stay tuned for these and other instances of metaphor abuse....-30-

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About Dan Lett

Dan Lett came to Winnipeg in 1986, less than a year out of journalism school.

Despite the fact that he’s originally from Toronto and has a fatal attraction to the Maple Leafs, Winnipeggers let him stay.

In the following years, he has worked at bureaus covering every level of government – from city hall to the national bureau in Ottawa.

He has had bricks thrown at him in riots following the 1995 Quebec referendum, wrote stories that helped in part to free three wrongly convicted men, met Fidel Castro, interviewed three Philippine presidents, crossed several borders in Africa illegally, chased Somali pirates in a Canadian warship and had several guns pointed at him.

In other words, he’s had every experience a journalist could even hope for. He has also been fortunate enough to be a two-time nominee for a National Newspaper Award, winning in 2003 for investigations.

Other awards include the B’Nai Brith National Human Rights Media Award and nominee for the Michener Award for Meritorious Public Service in Journalism.

Now firmly rooted in Winnipeg, Dan visits Toronto often but no longer pines to live there.

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