Politics: Canada: Liberal Party selects Quebec's Stephane Dion as leader; Ignatieff 2nd; Rae distant 3rd
It seems that minor Ontario political operative Gerard Kennedy became the kingmaker at the Liberal Party leadership convention in Montreal, when he directed his small forces toward the only Quebec candidate and blocked Michael Ignatieff, former Harvard political scientist who parachuted into an Ontario riding to go for the country's h+est parliamentary office. Stephane Dion is an old hand and a brite mind, but he's quite lackluster in Canada outside Quebec, he's not fluent in English, and he's the third Liberal leader from his province.
Globe and Mail in an article by Campbell Clark and Jeff Sallot report from the Liberal Convetion:
MONTREAL — Stephane Dion has won the Liberal leadership in an upset win over Michael Ignatieff, who had been the front runner coming into this convention.I think the Libs who ganged up on Ignatieff shot themselves in the foot. I can't understand how much they seem out of touch with the nation, but I can understand the media's desire to promote Dion in English-speaking Canada in a panic of nostalgia for the old gang--the discredited Chretien, the feeble Paul Martin, the sticky-fingered Volpe, and the unknown Dion who is perhaps the best of the lot. But can he lead the nation of Canada?
The final battle between the two former professors was not decided until the fourth ballot.
Mr. Dion had surged into the lead on the third ballot and went on from there, winning a clear majority of 54.7 per cent of the final vote.
Mr. Dion was the only candidate from Quebec. He now becomes the third party leader in a row from the province.