November 6, 2002
GOOD RIDDANCE:Chretien loses grip on caucus with vote (Tim Naumetz, 11/06/02, The Calgary Herald)
Prime Minister Jean Chretien's control over his government suffered a body blow Tuesday when backbench Liberal MPs defied him to support a controversial opposition motion.
One-third of Liberal MPs voted against him to rally behind former finance minister Paul Martin and to support an opposition motion calling for secret-ballot election of Commons committee chairs.
Despite Chretien's resistance to the measure on grounds it erodes the accountability of Parliament, 56 Liberal backbenchers sided with the four opposition parties to pass the motion by a vote of 174-87.
In what was interpreted as a clear signal, Chretien is in danger of losing his grip over caucus as the countdown to his 2004 retirement continues, only the tradition of a unified cabinet in Parliament prevented an even greater hemorrhage of support.
Looks like a victory for freedom lovers in Canada too. Mr. Chretien is one of the most odious leaders in the West; his departure can't come too soon. Posted by Orrin Judd at November 6, 2002 10:16 AM