Tuesday, July 22, 2003

Manley: "No Mas!"

John Manley has withdrawn from the federal Liberal leadership race, which means that Paul Martin will almost certainly be Canada's next Prime Minister.

(This expands on my newfound Criswell-like predictive abilities, as I predicted that Martin would win in my Blogcritics interview. Although, that prediction is the same as predicting that a horse will win the Kentucky Derby...)

Seriously, though, there is a interesting subtext in the story I linked above. Manley has been quite critical of Martin, and there is unattributed talk from Martin's minions that Manley was going to be dumped as Finance Minister if he kept on with his campaign.

This illustrates the excessive presidential powers that Canada's Prime Minsters have now. Paul Martin is already wielding Prime Minister-like clout even though he hasn't become Prime Minister yet.

Leadership campaigns are the best chance for changing the ideological direction of a party, and it is a bit frightening to think that people can now be dissuaded from following though on their leadership bids. That is how power politics works, I guess, but it's probably not healthy for Canada's body politic.