OTTAWA–Former prime minister Jean Chrétien says in his new book that he should have fired Paul Martin as finance minister in 2000, more than three years before Martin went on to replace him in the job.Yes, I'm sure Stephen Harper won't be using that quote, at all. I'm also sure that the Martin supporters still in the Liberal Party won't take this opportunity to talk about Chretien's failings as.. uh, a three-time winner.
Chrétien's soon-to-be-released memoirs are his fullest comments yet on the years of leadership intrigue with Martin during the Liberals' years in power, and he makes no secret of his scorn.
The 435-page book, titled My Years as Prime Minister, is laced with shots at Martin, including blame for Canadian soldiers ending up in the more dangerous "killing fields" of Kandahar in Afghanistan because "my successor took too long to make up his mind about whether Canada should extend our term" with the International Security Assistance Force in the country.
Also, I'm sure monkeys will fly out of my butt. This, by the way, is especially interesting:
However, had former Ontario NDP Leader Bob Rae joined the Liberal Party in 2000 when Chretien tried to recruit him, Rae would probably be party leader today, Chretien said.Had Rae joined in 2000, held back while Martin imploded, and run in 2006, I daresay Chretien is right -- he would be leader now. Hell, he nearly won the leadership, and that was with everyone calling him an opportunist for parachuting in to the party. Whether the Liberals would be in any better a position then they are right now is a whole other question of course.
And yes, it looks like we'll see yet another week of election speculation. I never thought I'd see Stephane Dion's Liberals acting nervous about an election about climate change.