The Vancouver Scrum

On the move!

Agh! You’re still here? My new site and weblog, is now up and running; new posts are building up over there, never to be mirrored here. Go! What are you waiting for? All the stuff worth keeping has been migrated over to the new server, and I don’t anticipate making any more posts here.

Bloggers and webmasters: Update your links! Simply replace with in your blogrolls or bookmarks to point to the new site. Old posts will remain on this server for as long as the people at Blogger/Google allow them to remain; unfortunately, I’m not going to bother to come up with any way of converting permalinks on this blog to their corresponding posts on the new site. Yes, I plead laziness. I also realize the irony of switching away from Blogger just it starts to add features that the demanding blog nerds insist upon.

Thanks for reading and linking, and see you over at!

—Ian King, December 13, 2004

Monday, August 19, 2002

Divided Loyalties

Ninety-four Liberal Members of Parliament signed, or at least gave a verbal commitment to sign, the following pledge of support for prime Minister Jean Chrétien

Here is the list of MP's from the Globe and Mail's website.

"Consistent with the values and traditions of the Liberal Party of Canada, the following Liberal Members of the House of Commons have confirmed their support for the Prime Minister in the upcoming leadership review of the Liberal Party of Canada so that he can fulfil the mandate conferred on him by the Canadian people less than two years ago:"

Of the 94 on that list, there are many whose support for Mr. Chrétien seems somewhat ephemeral. Dennis Mills's (Toronto-Danforth, ON) opinion was that one could discount many of the cabinet ministers, junior ministers, and parliamentary secretaries who have committed to the Prime Minister in order to retain their positions. Mr. Mills is considered to be a Chrétien supporter, even though he is currently a backbencher. Yet even he was not altogether confident of this pledge of support.

Many ministers and secretaries who are considered to be privately allied with Paul Martin are on both this pledge of support and the Hill Times' list of Chrétien supporters. Some examples include
Ralph Goodale (Wascana, SK)
David Anderson (Victoria, BC)
Stephen Owen (Vancouver-Quadra, BC)
David Kilgour (Edmonton Southeast, AB)
Lawrence O'Brien (Labrador)
Ovid Jackson (Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound, ON)
... and on it goes. Regardless of how Mr. Chrétien's troops spin it, he does not have 55% of his caucus' support.

On the other hand, Liberal MP Joe Jordan (Leeds-Grenville, ON) has publicly said that he cannot deliver his riding for the Liberals if Mr. Chrétien stays on as Liberal leader. Yet he, too, is among the names on the pledge of support. Mr. Jordan, who won re-election in 2000 by only 55 votes, is the Prime Minister's parliamentary secretary.

For an interesting copmparison, check out the Hill Times' July 15 list of Chrétien and Martin supporters. Many of the undecided MPs did commit to this pledge of loyalty to the Prime Minister.

All this, however is academic. When the MPs make their way into the voting booth at the Liberal Convention in 2003, no-one will know whether they voted for a new leadership race or not except for themselves. Furthermore, those MPs are but a smattering of votes in a Liberal Party convention where there may be over 4000 delegates. This war between Jean Chrétien and Paul Martin will ultimately be won "on the ground."

Updated 7:15 PM PT / 10:15 PM ET

Two Liberal MP's said that they are not committed to the pledge of loyalty to the Prime Minister. John Richardson (Perth-Middlesex, ON) and John Cannis (Scarborough Centre, ON) have both said that their names were erroneously added to the list of MP'[s who were committed to letting the Prime Minister serve out his mandate. Mr. Cannis was travelling in Greece at the time, and sent a letter from there to not only say that he should not be on the list, but to state his "ongoing support for Paul Martin."

Québec MPs Bernard Patry (Pierrefonds-Dollard, QC) and Marcel Proulx (Hull-Aylmer, QC) have also said that they shouldn't be on the list, either.
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