•fearing this perception would be correct if major players given real opportunity to debate
position on issues, the candidates policy debates, structured in such a way to prevent
•**organizers hampered by large number of candidates.
•little public interest in the debates, entire process unfolded in obscurity rather than high drama
and increased visibility they wanted.
QUEBEC ISSUE SIDETRACKS RACE:
•first time canadians took notice of leadership race was when several candidates revived internal
debate over federalism, liberal frontrunner ignatieff declared that quebecers distinct language
culture and history mean that they did constitute a nation, and that they should be entrenched in
const. shortly after the quebec wing of liberal party, who were supportive of ignatieff proposed
resolution that caused further trouble
•draft motion recognized quebec as a nation within canada and spoke of the need to
constitutionalize that reality... eventually watered down under pressure
•****virtually all other liberal leadership candidates opposed motion....events spiraled out of
control. threatened to derail entire liberal leadership race.
•harper brought own motion to table.. liberals plunged into chaos. graham said they should vote
unanimously in favour of harpers resoultion to demonstrate solidarity. **not to be.
•****divisions within party became increasingly obvious.
SUPER WEEKEND AND THE CONVENTION
•one of the issues the liberals failed to resolve after two decades f tinkering with its const was
the method of selecting a new leader.
•numerous debtes over relative merits of delegated conventions vs direct election by all
members...uneasy and largely accidental compromise reached that party would do both.
•direct vote by membership in ridings/liberal clubs nationwide. (super weekend would see
delegates selected for national convention on basis of vote) delegates would be obliged to
vote for leadership candidate chosen by their riding, least on first ballot
•remained to be seen where new leader would take the party and would have little guidance
from either grassroots of the experts.
•actual leadership vote on dec 2 2006. dramatic end to convention, as four ballots were required
before dion chosen. decisive moment came when gerard kennedy unexpectedly withdrew
after2nd ballot and gave 91 percent of delegates to dion.
•dion upset over ignatieff, caught media and other observers by surprise
•dino appeared confident.. his platform would make canada richer fairer and greener
THE ACCIDENTAL LEADER
•Dion unknown for many liberals and most canadians, few knew where he stood on issues other
than environment although he was assumed to b left wing liberal.
•accidental leader AND politician,
•candidates uncertain about dion but willing to give him chance, liberals enjoyed upswing in
pop support after the convention and he seemed to be to a good start.