The gathering provided an opportunity to remember the camaraderie of the struggle-and to soothe any anguish that lingered from the defeat. Last August, 100 Alberta Liberals who worked for Paul Martin's unsuccessful bid for the party leadership convened for a Calgary barbecue to reminisce about their loss. In his speech to his former workers, Martin implored them to rally behind victor Jean hrétien for the sake of party unity. Still, one unidentified Liberal angrily challenged Martin, declar ing that he could never bting himself to support chretien. But as the crowd lapsed into a hushed silence. Martin shot bark: "I will not listen to that kind of talk."
Since then. Martin's loyalty to the leader has not been questioned by either chrétien or his advisers. Said one senior Ontario Liberal close to chrétien~ "Paul himself is playing a reasonably straight game." But he
iddet : ial foung Liberals, conti Martin’s supporters remain much more bitter :hei tndidate about the
Some are angry that Martin was sc ir o i dissatisfied with Chrétien. O ; ■ -Î ■ J. A with Chrétien’s slow start, encouraging the growth of channelled his considerable
■gyii 1-t i us rf ..... 3a anted Maclea ist we : E i dr nme -1 ..... ■ ' . ■ ■ i fact, witl iressure e îadershipra g i, Martin hi sbec
ic el: . nd effi . rformer i : r go íe he said. "Now, 1 am having fun."
am Indeed, Martin appears to bear few scars from his leadership loss. But in politics,failure is often followed by success. Last September, when the Commons convened for the first time since the Liberals’ June convention, Prime Minister Brian Muironey sent Martin a note across the Commons floor. It read, “As they say in Cape Breton— you did good.” Muironey, who first ran unsuccessfully ,
[also knows the pain of losing a leadership ace may determin
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