December 18, 2006

The final showdown 3637

The final showdown

A DECADE OF PROSPERITY has transformed the neighbourhood around the Palais des Congrès de Montréal almost beyond recognition. Development has replaced crumbling old warehouses with glistening corporate offices. The dowdy old Pub St. James, where matrons in brown aprons used to serve up indigestible hamburgers and iceberg-lettuce salads, has become one of the most elegant and hardrocking martini bars in Canada.
I'm more Liberal than you 3031

I'm more Liberal than you

ON OCT. 15, on the rooftop patio of a Toronto tavern, Stéphane Dion shook the hands of his supporters and took one question from a kibbitzing journalist. “What would you say if I said you were too hot in the debate today at Thomson Hall?” the reporter asked.
Out with a bang, and a whimper 2223

Out with a bang, and a whimper

THE FIRST RULE of political organization is, always find a venue too small for your crowd. That way, all the news accounts will say the room was packed to bursting. So what the hell was Stéphane Dion doing, launching his campaign for the Liberal leadership in front of a few dozen misfits, inside a Montreal convention centre the size of three aircraft carriers?
Finding the inside talent 2829

Finding the inside talent

IN HINDSIGHT, it almost seems that Michael Ignatieff’s move from London to Cambridge, Mass., in 2000 was a stepping stone on his way back to Canada after decades abroad. Harvard was closer to home, and as he shed a certain aloofness and became a popular teacher, he also began visiting Canada regularly.


Q: Congratulations on your victory. A: Thank you so much. Q: Let’s start with a question about rights. The Conservative government has been critical of China on issues of human rights and industrial espionage. How would your Liberal government treat these issues?
A wounded party does its penance 1819

A wounded party does its penance

WHEN IT WAS OVER-when the pursuit of half a lifetime and the challenges of 13 years in power ended on the same cold January night in Montreal—Paul Martin found some of the grace that had eluded him for so long. “I will not take our party into another election as leader,” he said matter-of-factly to the crowd at his riding headquarters, an Italian banquet hall in LaSalle-Émard.
Fearing the man who would have been king 4849

Fearing the man who would have been king

Most political conventions resemble unclaimed baggage on airport carousels, in that the same issues keep coming around, again and again. Last week's Liberal talkathon at Montreal's Palais des Congrès was no exception. Given the chance to modernize and reform itself-to hook into the global world of progress and opportunity by backing Michael Ignatieff-Canada's Liberal party settled on Stéphane Dion, the Joe Clark of the 21st century.
Geopolitical poseurs of the first order 5859

Geopolitical poseurs of the first order

Considering that it seems to be every prominent Canadian’s preferred second nationality, from the Governor General and the new leader of the Opposition down, France is a faraway country of which we know little. One had assumed the French themselves were a wee bit more on top of things.
Where's the love? 5657

Where's the love?

NAME THIS MOVIE. Set in the 1940s, in a city riddled with spies, Nazis and corrupt officials, it’s a black-and-white intrigue about a jaded American who encounters an old flame—a married European he met on the eve of the Second World War. The plot kicks in with the murder of a greasy racketeer selling exit visas on the black market.


I COMMEND Maclean’s for its Parliamentarian of the Year award (“Canada’s best MP,” Cover, Dec. 4). As a clandestine political junkie, I sit back in awe at the dedication and sacrifice of MPs of all party stripes. Consider the working conditions.
December 112006 December 252006