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Norman Spector

Grits eating Grits Add to ...

In Le Devoir today, the front-page banner headline reads: " Liberals' Québec wing decapitated," reflecting an additional five resignations that came in the wake of Denis Coderre's announcement yesterday. And, in the body of the article, a Liberal anonymouse identifies the Toronto bad guys Mr. Coderre had in mind. My bet, for what it's worth, is that Coderre himself, or someone very close to him, is the reporter's source. In any case, the Bloor Street black hats are three in number, according to the article:

Alfred Apps (president of the Liberal Party), Sachin Aggarwal (director of operations) and Daniel Brock (an Ignatieff adviser).

In La Presse, columnist Vincent Marissal puts paid to the whole notion of this being a war between Toronto anglos and Québec francos:

"Limiting Martin Cauchon's supporters to a few Toronto advisers is simplistic. Denis Coderre knows very well that Cauchon's principal supporter is Jean Chrétien, who's still a heavyweight in the Liberal establishment.

Cauchon's comeback and the support of powerful Liberals have not happened by chance. If Michael Ignatieff loses the next election, which is far from impossible, he'll have to be replaced. Evidently, the Liberal establishment prefers Martin Cauchon over Denis Coderre.

Beyond Denis Coderre's spectacular resignation, then, yesterday marked the start of the unofficial leadership race. After the Chrétien-Martin wars, we now have the sequel: Cauchon-Coderre. And it all has a whiff of the old bickering, power struggles and score settling about it."

That may be the plan, but sometimes -- as a non-English, non-French poet once put it -- "The best laid schemes o' mice an' men / Gang aft agley." And such a warning of things possibly going awry comes in another Le Devoir article today:

""Martin Cauchon will not get a bye in his bid to run for the Liberals in Outremont. Not only will there be a nomination meeting, but you can look forward to a tight race between Cauchon and Comlan Amouzou, a candidate with a first rate network in the riding. ... He's the president of Doctors from Abroad … and, since 1997, has managed all Liberal campaigns in the riding, so he has a very tight network. ... He's also VP of the riding association and sits on the executive committee of the Liberal Party's Québec wing and chairs its multiculturalism policy committee, which brings him into contact with the diverse ethnic groups that are heavily represented in the riding."

Over to you for the next move, oh great Liberal Party establishment.

Update Serge Chapleau's editorial cartoon in La Presse, "Coderre quits his lieutenant position," has Denis Coderre saying:

"It's all because of that Toronto gang."

Gilles Duceppe reacts: "Who knew that's what you think-if so, you deserve a Bloc membership card."

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