Heavyweights: The Men of Montreal

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by True Grit, Aug 3, 2019.

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  1. True Grit Creek

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    [​IMG]
    From @Hubert Humphrey Fan 1968 and myself, a TLIAM exploring how an alternate 2006 would shape the next decade-plus of Canada:
     
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  2. Threadmarks: Part 1: The 2006 Liberal leadership election

    True Grit Creek

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    Paul Martin’s loss wasn’t great for the Liberals. After 13 years in government, and just three years after they were supposed to win a 200+ seat majority government, they now found themselves in the opposition benches. If his loss as Prime Minister and subsequent resignation as Liberal leader had had any benefit, however, it was that the Liberals would now have a chance to inject fresh blood into their party and elect a leader who’d be able to move them beyond the petty Chrétien/Martin feud, and if one thing was clear it was that this time, unlike 2003, the leadership was anyone’s to win.

    Immediately following Martin’s resignation the field would being to take shape, the fact that the convention wasn’t until the end of the year evidently not mattering much to anyone. That being said, the first batch of candidates weren’t a particularly inspiring bunch, with Martha Hall Findlay, Hedy Fry, Joe Volpe, Judy Sgro, Carolyn Bennett, Paul Zed, John Godfrey, and Clifford Blais among those entering early and evidently hoping their head starts in the race would allow them to overcome low name recognition/popularity and possibly mount a dark horse bid at the convention. Nevertheless, the attention early on was all focused on the big names of the last ten years – the Allan Rocks, the Frank McKennas, the John Manleys, the Brian Tobins, and so forth – and who among them, if any, would mount a campaign. Those hoping for a battle between heavyweights would not be disappointed; Rock, McKenna, Manley, and Tobin would all enter the race to lead the quote-unquote natural governing party of Canada, along with fellow heavyweights Martin Cauchon, Stéphane Dion, Sheila Copps, and Bob Rae, and with a surplus of candidates and no shortage of frontrunners other rumoured contenders, among them Belinda Stronach, Michael Ignatieff, and Ken Dryden, would all opt to stay on the sidelines.

    As the race entered the summer and fall of 2006, much of the lesser-ran candidates would see the writing on the wall and withdraw from the race, while the media had generally agreed that five candidates had solid paths to the leadership: Martin Cauchon, Frank McKenna, Bob Rae, Allan Rock, and Brian Tobin. Cauchon, Rock, and Tobin had all proven themselves during the Chrétien government, had high recognition within the party, and had been seen as competent managers in historically tricky positions. Beyond that, Cauchon was seen as one of the better candidates to appeal to Quebec (a particular advantage given the party was still struggling to move on from the sponsorship scandal), Rock was beloved by the left of the party (though had a bit of a reputation for being a little gaffe-prone), and Tobin had impressed as the former Premier of Newfoundland and endeared himself to federalists through his role as “Captain Canada” during the 1995 Quebec sovereignty referendum (a bit of a double edge sword as polls didn’t exactly show him expanding the Liberal base in la belle province). All, however, had the flaw of being distinct “Chrétien men,” all having exited politics by Martin’s leadership, and with the leadership tensions still fresh and people desperate to move past the feud that had crippled the party this was seen as a distinct disadvantage. Meanwhile, much like Tobin, McKenna and Rae had both made their mark as Premiers during the 90s, though with admittedly different legacies, McKenna being known for his solid decade of leadership and subsequent international service as Canada’s Ambassador to the United States and Rae being known for having the misfortune of governing during the early 90s recession and for his subsequent abandonment of the New Democratic Party in favour of a move to the Liberals. Perhaps understandably, Rae would attract the most attention during the race, if only due to his reputation and the media’s continued interest in his party shift, and though the memory of opposing him in the early 90s had left Liberals still somewhat uneasy about embracing him entirely he nevertheless was able to endear himself to the party during the campaign and, if nothing else, would allow him to secure a place in the party moving forward.

    Throughout the fall, as the process of selecting delegates was underway, it became clear that while it was still anyone’s race McKenna was nevertheless the candidate to beat as all eyes now shifted to the convention. As Liberals across the country met in Montreal, the first ballot would provide little drama, other than confirming everyone’s suspicions that McKenna was the arguable frontrunner, as the former Premier of New Brunswick would come out on top with a little over 30% of the delegates backing him. Behind him, Rock had emerged as his strongest challenger with 20% support, followed by Rae, Tobin, Cauchon, Manley, Copps, Dion, Findlay, and Volpe, who in last place would be dropped from subsequent ballots while both Dion and Findlay opted to withdraw seeing little path to victory.

    With both Volpe and Findlay throwing their support behind McKenna, small though it may have been, New Brunswick's favourite son would see his support grow by six points on the second ballot as every other candidate struggled to make gains or, in the case of Copps, Manley, and Cauchon, experienced losses instead. Copps would be dropped from subsequent ballots, throwing her support behind fellow left-winger Bob Rae, while Manley would withdraw. Cauchon would opt to fight another ballot, possibly hoping to take advantage of Copps’ withdrawal to gain her left-wing and Quebec supporters, though would instead experience additional losses (his supporters having evidently accepted that he no longer had a path to victory) and be dropped following the third ballot, with McKenna and Rock both making minor gains and Rae experiencing a bit of a surge following Copps’ endorsement to come within 5 delegates of overtaking Rock. Tobin, meanwhile, would see his support drop as his supporters, too, realized his path to victory was getting slimmer and slimmer, and opt to withdraw in the interest of speeding the convention along and ultimately throw his support behind McKenna, leading to a fourth ballot where few had any illusions about the result. With Tobin throwing his support behind McKenna, and McKenna already having a near-20 point lead over Rock and Rae, most people saw the writing on the wall and few were shocked when McKenna was elected leader with a little over 50% of the vote. Both Rae and Rock would quickly throw their support behind McKenna, hoping to end the party’s internal squabbles and pledge their support for his leadership; both would subsequently go a step further and announce their return to politics as star candidates in the next election, in the constituencies of Toronto Centre and Brampton West, respectively. With McKenna now Liberal leader, his focus now turns to facing Stephen Harper head on and trying to return the Liberals to government.

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    Last edited: Aug 3, 2019
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  3. Yes Safe, Efficient Airship Travel Since 1972

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    *is so excited*
     
  4. Brainbin Kingpin of the Cultural Cartel

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    So you're writing a timeline where the great white hope actually jumps into the leadership race! It'll be interesting to see how this goes. Hard to see him running a worse campaign than Dion, certainly.

    Interesting that Ignatieff would choose to stay on the sidelines, considering he was drafted by a bunch of backroom boys with the explicit purpose of being the party's next leader, and when he ran in 2006 he (if no one else) expected a coronation. In fact I'm very much hoping it's addressed why he chose not to run.

    Subscribed, and looking forward to more!
     
  5. Threadmarks: Part 2: 2007 federal election

    True Grit Creek

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    With Frank McKenna having been elected the new Liberal leader, he would now find himself faced with the tough responsibility of both rebuilding the Liberals’ somewhat-tarnished image and providing an effective opposition to Canada’s first Conservative government in over a decade. Fortunately for him, on both counts the Liberals seemed to have the wind in their sails, the most obvious reason being McKenna himself. Experience at leading an opposition? Check. Known quantity? Check. Federal outsider? Check. Everyone knew who McKenna was, or if nothing else knew him by reputation (ten years as a Premier will do that to someone) and generally speaking, despite a few vocal Tories in his home province saying otherwise, his record was pretty good. Beyond that, though, one of his big advantages as he found himself at the helm of the Liberal ship was his prior distance from the federal party. He hadn’t gotten tied down with the baggage of the Chrétien/Martin governments, had no association with the sponsorship scandal (the few remaining Liberals in Quebec loudly breathing a sigh of relief), and hadn’t been involved in the Chrétien/Martin infighting; sure, he was probably a Martin man – he was a Blue Liberal, after all – but he could rightly claim to have been above all the madness that preceded him in the federal party. While the party wouldn’t heal itself overnight, things certainly looked promising.

    With general good feelings seemingly surrounding McKenna, he next set about getting into the House of Commons – sure, he could oppose them from outside the House, but that could only last so long. With former cabinet minister Andy Scott stepping aside in his riding, McKenna would win the subsequent Fredericton by-election somewhat handily and find himself face to face with Stephen Harper in the House of Commons.

    While McKenna seemed to have the wind in his sails (indeed, polls showed McKenna putting the Liberals ahead of the Conservatives, albeit narrowly), things weren’t all bad for Harper. Sure, he’d had some hiccups during his first year in office – Environment Minister Rona Ambrose had proven to be a bit of a headache for the government, prompting her demotion in January 2007, his appointments of David Emerson and Michel Gauthier had immediately added a bit of a sour note to his government, and he’d divided his party a bit over his decision to recognize Quebec as a nation – but he’d had his fair share of successes as well. His recognition of Quebec as a distinct nation had divided his cabinet a bit, sure, but, hey, if anything it divided the Liberals’ more and, either way, had caused Conservative numbers in Quebec to go up, while his first budget had been relatively well-received and made it through the House of Commons with fewer than expected amendments forced upon it by the opposition. If anything would be to blame for the Harper government’s occasional problems it was rookie mistakes (not being in government for 13 years will do that) and, to their credit, they were doing everything they could try and avoid this.

    Of course the reality is that Harper was always going to find himself faced with problems during the 29th Parliament, because though Canada had elected a Conservative government they had also elected a very centre-left Parliament. Sure, the Conservatives could find occasional allies in the Bloc Québécois, if only because they both generally supported devolution and had a shared hatred of the Liberals (though this partnership was quickly wearing thin as Conservatives ate into Bloc support in Quebec), and they were remarkably successful at using the threat of an election to force the Liberals or the NDP to abstain from matters of confidence and ensure the government’s survival, but it was always going to be a bit of a headache and things were only going to get worse for them now that the Liberals had a permanent leader and saw returning to government as a very realistic possibility.

    All that being said it shouldn’t really be surprising that the Harper government fell following the introduction of its 2007 budget in the spring. The budget itself didn’t even matter – it wasn’t particularly popular or unpopular with the average public, if it elicited a response at all (though of course partisans of all stripes would vehemently claim otherwise) – all that mattered was that it presented a chance to head to the polls. While there was brief speculation that the Bloc might abstain from the budget vote and as a result allow the government to survive (the thinking being that they’d want to avoid an election until their polling had picked up), this would not be the case; the government had been defeated, and Canadians would be sent to the polls on July 7, 2007.

    The campaign itself was a bit of an inconsequential affair, as campaigns go, as the polls generally remained steady and consistently showed a neck-and-neck race between Harper and McKenna. Sure, there would be outliers now and then, and the lead would continue to flip back and forth between the two, but beyond that there seemed to be little drama for politicos to obsess over. Sure, there were notable moments – a brief Green surge following Elizabeth May’s well-received appearance in the debates being one of them, though it quickly seemed to recede – but, look, Harper and McKenna were both boring, by the books guys. If Canadians wanted an interesting election they’d have elected someone like Belinda Stronach or Joe Volpe, but they’d had their occasional fun with Chrétien and were in the mood for stable, uninteresting guys. So be it.

    That being said, as the campaign went on it seemed that, while Frank McKenna might not necessarily have had the momentum, one thing for sure was that Stephen Harper did not. While as the incumbent Prime Minister he always would’ve had a target on his back, it seemed like everyone was focusing on him and ignoring everyone else: for McKenna he was his primary target of course, but for Gilles Duceppe he was the most pressing threat to the Bloc in Quebec, for Jack Layton he was the guy standing in the way of the NDP’s dozen of target seats out west, and for Elizabeth May he was worst of the bunch when it came to the environment. While the Conservatives had some good news on the campaign trail, and were bolstered by popular star candidates including Lisa Raitt, Peter Kent, André Bachand, and Denis Lebel, among others, they seemed to be taking on water as the campaign went on. Their long-hoped-for gains in Quebec quickly seemed to be thrown in jeopardy, particularly after a controversial statement from Finance minister Jim Flaherty questioning the need for arts funding in Quebec was seized upon by the opposition, and the normally festive Canada Day celebrations on July 1 added another headache for the Harper campaign on the homestretch of the campaign as they were accused of using their position as the government to hijack the Parliament Hill celebrations and turn it into a political event.

    As the results trickled in on July 7, it was clear that Harper’s stumbles in government and on the campaign trail were all that was needed to turn his narrow Conservative government into a narrow Liberal government; the Liberals had come on top, 133 seats to 105, and Harper would soon announce his resignation as Conservative leader shortly afterward and speculation would soon shift to who the Conservatives would elect as his successor.

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  6. Hubert Humphrey Fan 1968 RIP Japhy

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    Not just the great white hope. The idea I had when I initially presented this to TrueGrit is that all of the heavyweights who sat out in 2006 end up running (hence the name ;)), which is why we see not just McKenna running, but also Rock, Tobin, Manley, Cauchon, and Copps.
    I can't speak for Grit, but my own personal reasoning was that, as Ignatieff talks about in this clip (from the time stamp to about 22:10), IOTL he considered not standing at all and waiting in order to learn the political ropes, and ITTL with a much stronger field he ends up staying out.
     
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  7. Threadmarks: Part 2a: Maps of the 2007 federal election

    Hubert Humphrey Fan 1968 RIP Japhy

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    Maps for the 2007 Election:

    Heavyweights07Election.svg.png

    [​IMG]
     
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  8. Brainbin Kingpin of the Cultural Cartel

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    As always, absolutely exquisite detail here! Thanks so much for taking the time to get it all done! Some general notes:

    McKenna becomes the first Prime Minister to represent a New Brunswick riding, now leaving tiny PEI and new NL as the only provinces without a PM for MP (McKenna is only the second NB-born PM after Bennett, who served his entire career in Alberta).

    Layton losing seats is a huge paradigm shift from OTL, as he (like Harper) consistently gained election-to-election 2004-2011. The NDP is more willing to hang on to losers for longer than the Big Two, but I definitely see talk of replacements. IOTL the names we always heard bandied about as Heirs Apparent for Layton were Charlie Angus (Timmins--James Bay, ON) and to a lesser extent Nathan Cullen (Skeena--Bulkley Valley, BC), though the NDP being the NDP they'll go out of their way to find female and visible minority candidates for their next leadership race, having done so long before it was in vogue with the other parties and the public in general.

    I have no idea who might emerge victorious from the Tory leadership race. You've knocked out probably the most obvious candidate (Cannon). Likely candidates: Mackay (NS), Verner and Bernier (QC), Flaherty, Clement, and Chong (ON), Toews, Hoeppner/Bergen (MB), Scheer (SK), Prentice, Ablonczy, Kenney (AB), Strahl, Moore, Cummins, and Lunn (BC).

    A few provincial/riding-level results I'd like to discuss:

    NL: The ABC campaign is a complete success, as IOTL, though with Harper gone it might be an one-and-done scenario and the Tories might see recovery on a much faster scale (whether the same will be true IOTL 2019 with Harper gone, of course, remains to be seen).

    NS: Bill Casey, as IOTL, wins as an Indie. (Might I suggest the indie grey be slightly darker? It doesn't show up well on my screen.) The Tories fail to gain West Nova but also lose the perennially close South Shore--St. Margaret's, a riding they've held since 1997, leaving Peter Mackay as the sole Tory holdout in NS. Oddly the Liberals win SS-SM despite having come in a poor third IOTL; the NDP targeted the riding heavily and came in a strong second. Presumably the Maritime "McKenna effect" applies here.

    PE: A Liberal sweep, as could be expected. IOTL Gail Shea barely broke through in Egmont (0.3%).

    NB: The Tories' best province in the Maritimes is also McKenna's home province. McKenna does not sweep every riding as he no doubt hoped he would (repeating his 1987 provincial sweep and, of course, something Justin Trudeau managed IOTL 2015). For the record McKenna provincially represented Miramichi, not Fredericton, but Hubbard ran IOTL as an incumbent there and presumably he didn't want to step on any toes. Still, I'd broadly agree with how NB went ITTL, the Tories reduced to their three "core" rural SW ridings (including Tobique--Mactaquac, which they only won back in 2006 but you'd never know from the OTL 2008 results (Mike Allen won by 36 points), and of course Yvon Godin holding on in Acadie--Bathurst.

    QC: Tories actually improve on their OTL tally of 10 seats, though (as IOTL) they lose Louis-Hebert (albeit to the Liberals, IOTL to the Bloc), and in a major blow, Lawrence Cannon loses Pontiac to the Liberals. That wipes him from contention for the Tory leadership. However the Tories regain their 2000 redoubt of Richmond--Arthabaska (a feat they would not manage until 2015 IOTL) and their 1997 gain of Chicoutimi (finally regained in a 2018 by-election). I was certainly surprised by Abitibi, but after looking it up, sure enough, the Tories got 30% there IOTL 2008, and it is also a seat the Tories did very well in back in 1993. (They might have won it back in '97 had their losing Tory candidate not turned coat and ran and won as a Liberal).

    As this election was held before the by-election which saw Mulcair seated in Outremont, not surprised to see him absent. Presumably Lapierre did step down and a new Liberal took his place.

    ON: Expected Liberal pickups/holds: St. Catharines (razor-thin Tory pickup in 2006), Burlington (a classic - perhaps the classic - "Martin Tory" seat, albeit a 2006 Tory pickup and Mike Wallace was re-elected pretty handily IOTL, though of course Trudeau won it back IOTL 2015), Mississauga--Erindale (a pure fluke, though it presaged the 2011 Peel Region sweep), Oak Ridges--Markham (a very marginal Tory gain IOTL), Peterborough (a belwether after all, and now that Sarnia has tilted right the belwether), Glengarry--Prescott--Russell (Tories won pretty decisively IOTL but it's an ancestrally Liberal seat and I can see the Tories shifting their Eastern Ontario resources to save vulnerable incumbents like Baird rather than focus on pickups), Ottawa--Orleans (a 2006 pickup but the Tories didn't open up much of a gap IOTL 2008 and see the previous note re: saving Baird), Huron--Bruce (the last Liberal bastion in rural SW Ontario which the Tories finally won in 2008 IOTL, though I'm assuming Steckle is staying put ITTL to clinch it), Brant (albeit probably a very close one, especially since the Tories held it IOTL 2015, it was shifting their way), London West (relatively marginal IOTL), Trinity--Spadina (Olivia Chow just isn't a very good vote-getter), Welland (presumably a tight three-way where the winning candidate still gets under 30%), all the NDP Northern Ontario seats (fair enough, it was a wave, and not having Mr. "Green Shift" as leader probably means a lot of resource-town voters don't desert you).

    Surprising Liberal pickups: Ottawa West--Nepean (Baird didn't win by much in any of his three runs, but he did quite well IOTL 2008 considering, and I can see the party sacrificing other seats to save his; Pratt winning means he's probably back in Cabinet), Newmarket--Aurora (Lois Brown won pretty decisively IOTL and honestly I see Stronach's 2006 victory as a personal one; she was the only Ontario Liberal to pick up a Tory seat in the entire 2004-11 period IOTL, after all; but I recognize the optics of the Tories gaining from Liberal in an election when the Liberals win over the Tories), Haldimand--Norfolk (a very strong candidate in Hoskins, yes, and Finley was scandal-ridden, but she still won by almost 10 IOTL and the Tories held it in 2015 IOTL, it's a riding that I don't see the Liberals holding... granted this will be close either way), Essex (yes, a major Liberal target IOTL but Watson still won by 10 and Whelan is yesterday's woman, and even IOTL the Liberals polled a poor third here in 2015).

    MB: No argument here, Bruinooge won Winnipeg South by the skin of his teeth in 2006 and I'm honestly surprised Alcock didn't try for a comeback IOTL.

    SK: I kind of like the poetry of Layton continuing to be shutout of Saskatchewan - yes Saskatoon--Rosetown--Biggar was close IOTL but I don't see both parties doing worse and the Liberals doing better resulting in the NDP winning the seat. Churchill River is interesting as Clarke won very decisively IOTL (16 points!) probably due in part to the controversial Liberal win in 2006. But of course Orchard is the Liberal candidate and I can see why you'd want him in Parliament.

    AB: I can honestly see Jaffer holding on here, if the NDP are on the defensive it's hard to see them picking up seats (see also SRB in Saskatchewan). And to take one away from the Tories, indie James Ford came within 5 points of winning in Edmonton--Sherwood Park IOTL, although presumably the early election call ITTL saps his chances for momentum.

    BC: Richmond: Chan's the incumbent, yes, but the Tories nearly won last time and Wong won by 20 IOTL, and the Tories held on here IOTL 2015. Another one I see the Liberals holding only because of the optics of them gaining seats overall. Same with West Vancouver--Sea to Sky Country. McKenna's all the way over in NB and BC often marches to the beat of its own drummer anyway, it's entirely possible for the Liberals to lose seats here even as they gain federally (and form a minority).

    No other contests, I agree with all the other calls. Excellent work and continuing to look forward to more!
     
  9. Threadmarks: Part 3: The initial cabinet of Frank McKenna

    True Grit Creek

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  10. Threadmarks: Part 4: The 2008 Conservative leadership election

    Hubert Humphrey Fan 1968 RIP Japhy

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    It was safe to say the Conservative Party's first stint in government hadn't been one for the history books. Although it was still the longest-serving Conservative Minority in history, from Stephen Harper taking the oath of office to him being replaced by Frank McKenna, only 18 months passed. Because of this brevity of Harper's stint in government, few of his cabinet ministers had time to mature into serious national names (perhaps the only one who had was former Minister of Industry Maxime Bernier). Thus, the contenders to replace Harper were not fresh faces (again, Bernier exempted) and instead heavyweights who had been on the political scene a long time. The two candidates thought to have the best chance at winning the race were Jim Prentice, runner-up in the last Progressive Conservative leadership race and former Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development, and Jim Flaherty, a Minister of Finance at both the provincial level under Mike Harris and the Federal Level under Stephen Harper. The two came from opposite wings of the party, Prentice being a self-described "Red Tory" and moderate (even voting for same-sex marriage) while Flaherty was very much from the right of the party, being staunchly fiscally (and in some respects even socially) conservative.

    Just below Prentice and Flaherty, there was the group of candidates who were thought to have an outside shot at the leadership (who were sometimes mockingly dubbed "contenders for contention"). This group consisted of Stockwell Day, former leader of the Canadian Alliance who had (for the most part) redeemed himself for his past mistakes as Alliance leader in the eyes of the Tory base, Peter MacKay, Minister of Foreign Affairs during the Harper Ministry and the last leader of the Progressive Conservative Party, Rob Nicholson, longtime MP for Niagara Falls and Minister during the Mulroney, Campbell, and Harper governments, and of course Maxime Bernier, MP for Beauce and former Minister of Industry.

    Rounding out the field were the longshot candidacies of Josee Verner, Larry Smith, Tony Clement, and Rona Ambrose.

    When the Conservative Party membership assembled in Toronto on June 7, 2008 to elect their new leader, conventional wisdom held that Prentice would be able to unite the left of the party better than Flaherty would be able to unite the right of the party due to the higher number of candidates competing for the right-wing vote. Therefore, Prentice was expected to lead on the first few ballots, but there was little consensus on what the size of that lead would be.

    As it happened, Prentice's first ballot lead was just over 5%. It was a solid lead to be sure, but it was far from the point where the Prentice camp could be confident that they were favoured; everyone knew the contest was still wide open (although Prentice was perhaps a very slight favourite). The 2nd ballot was more or less a repeat of the 1st, with Prentice again leading by 5% and no major jumps in support for any candidate. The 3rd ballot too much resembled the ballot prior, however, Flaherty was able to pick up votes and cut Prentice's lead to 3% due to support from former Clement voters. On the 4th ballot, things got very interesting. Due to favourable preference flows from former supporters of Larry Smith, Flaherty was able to cut Prentice's lead from 3% to under 0.3%, and on the 5th ballot, due to the flows of former Ambrose supporters, Flaherty was able to take the lead outright, leading Prentice 27%-23%. While Prentice cut into Flaherty's lead on ballots 6 and 7, he was never able to retake the lead, and Flaherty would ultimately take the leadership 55-45 on the 9th ballot.

    08CPCLeadership.png
     
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  11. CanadianTory Buttigieg 2020

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  12. Brainbin Kingpin of the Cultural Cartel

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    Amusing that Flaherty managed to clinch the win when neither he nor his wife/widow ever could IOTL. It'll be interesting to see how he runs a campaign because of course we know that Prentice had campaign experience IOTL, which ended rather badly for him.

    Day marches to the beat of his own drummer but I'm stunned that he'd actually run for leader again. I remember reading a Liberal blogger once putting it this way after the 2011 election when Ignatieff stepped down and the question of who might be the next leader came up, when Dion was suggested he said "we do at least want to force the Tories to go to the trouble of writing new attack ads". Similar story here. Day's campaign was a disaster and he should never ever be party leader again - he's kind of the opposite of the Peter Principle, he was party leader first and sucked at it but then turned out to be much better suited to Cabinet (as acknowledged in the text).

    The old PC wing of the party had a good showing: Prentice in 2nd, Mackay in 5th, Nicholson in 6th.

    A particular humiliation for Clement, who ran previously for leader, to finish behind Larry Smith, who holds no political office, past or present. I feel worse for Verner, though, coming in dead last despite having been the de facto Quebec lieutenant prior to 2006. Cannon and Bernier took up way too much of her oxygen.

    Thanks for another great infographic of this race!
     
  13. Hubert Humphrey Fan 1968 RIP Japhy

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    Honestly, I don't hold that against him. I am of the opinion that Jesus Christ himself couldn't have saved the Alberta PCs in 2015. Prentice could have run the greatest campaign of all time, and the PCs would still have lost. It was just one of those elections (and I have always felt bad for politicians who have to fight unwinnable elections, so I feel some sympathy for Prentice in this respect).
    You know, I've actually toyed with the idea of having Day win the CPC leadership in a scenario or two. Needless to say, those scenarios don't go too well for the Tories :p.
    This isn't the last you'll see of Bernier in this timeline ;).
     
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  14. Kermode Well-Known Member

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    It took me too long to find out about this! I love the premise of this TL: that the Liberals had this really deep bench to draw from in the early 2000s, only for the people to retire to fade away and leave the party desolate in only a few years, is one of those oddities of political history. This also made me realize there was a similar situation in the Conservative Party, too— not to the same extent, of course, but there were more viable leaders at this point than they would have at the end of the decade. In fact, this period IOTL is so defined by the dearth of leadership that just having new figures leading the parties feels massively divergent. I look forward to seeing how TTL's decade plays out!

    The McKenna cabinet is interesting, a real picture of the era; you've got the contemporary heavyweights and up-and-comers, but also the could-have-beens— Brigitte Legault and Briony Penn are real clever picks. On a personal level I'm happy to see Ujjal Dosanjh, a great guy who's never really got the recognition he deserves, and Keith Martin, a real interesting figure whose stars never aligned but seems ripe for AH.
     
  15. True Grit Creek

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    Thanks! For the Liberals in particular I’ve always thought the 2006-2011 period is super interesting, since there’s a bunch of people who could’ve become huge heavy hitters in the party if not for the 2011 loss/subsequent rebuilding process reducing them to footnotes at best (aside from Martin [a perennial favourite of mine], there’s Martha Hall Findlay, David McGuinty, Siobhán Coady, hell even someone like Gerard Kennedy).
     
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  16. Hubert Humphrey Fan 1968 RIP Japhy

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    You know, I truly believe the Liberals could have won the 2008 Election had Kennedy been at the helm, or at least gain enough seats to form an NDP+Liberal coalition without needing the Bloc.
     
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  17. CanadianTory Buttigieg 2020

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    The Tories absolutely could have won another term in Alberta. If they waited until 2016 a lot of those voters who went to the NDP might go elsewhere due to the federal party’s...downward slide let’s say.

    If they called it in 2016, it could have allowed them to better integrate Wildrose defectors into their camp rather than trying to rush them into winning nominations.

    Plus waiting until 2016 would’ve given Wildrose more time to fuck themselves over, which they always managed to do. Remember, despite everything, they still came third in terms of total number of votes.

    With the talk of Flaherty and Bernier, I feel like I better brace myself for the worst.
     
    Brainbin likes this.
  18. Hubert Humphrey Fan 1968 RIP Japhy

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2017
    Location:
    Mississauga, Ontario
    I suppose that’s true, (about the Wildrose) but waiting until 2016 would also allow the Wildrose more time to organize after being decimated. I mean, by the end of the campaign, there was such a strong anti-PC feeling that a plurality of Wildrose voters second choice was the NDP. When you’re facing such a strong headwind, I just can’t see a victory happening.
    Look on the brightside friend, at least your province finally has a PM to its name.
     
    Yes likes this.
  19. CanadianTory Buttigieg 2020

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2012
    Location:
    Atlantic Canada
    1) A year is an eternity in politics. Just as people thought the NDP winning was impossible, you could make the same argument for the PCs.

    2) Frank is a corrupt piece of shit, and in this household we don’t even speak his name. No joke.
     
  20. Hubert Humphrey Fan 1968 RIP Japhy

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2017
    Location:
    Mississauga, Ontario
    You know, people did often accuse Prentice of using the premiership as a stepping stone for the PMO. I don’t think he’d run in 2017 (seems a bit soon IMO) but he’d probably run in the next race after 2017. Wonder how he’d do.
     
    rfmcdonald likes this.
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