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The Liberal family attending this week's leadership convention is connected not just by common political beliefs but by blood.

Relatives from several families --the Metcalfes, the Zeds, the McGuintys, the Bains and the Kennedys -- have got themselves elected as blocs of delegates for various candidates.

The Kennedys began arriving Wednesday night and more than a dozen of them are now buzzing around the convention hallways, working the corridors for their candidate and relative, Gerard Kennedy.

There are his parents, Jack and Caroline, delegates from Churchill, Man. His brother Edward and his sister Joan are delegates from Winnipeg.

Yes, their names are similar to those of another Kennedy clan; Gerard Kennedy says it's only a coincidence.

There are also his sisters Maureen and Susan, from Calgary. There's brother Donald and Aunt Florence from Churchill, cousin Richard from Wetaskawin, Alta., and Uncle Martin from Portage la Prairie, Man. Uncle Edward is a delegate from Edmonton.

And this does not include the handful of in-laws from Prince Edward Island, where Mr. Kennedy's wife, Jeanette Arsenault-Kennedy, is from.

Navdeep Bains, 29, rookie MP from Mississauga-Brampton South, is also a Kennedy supporter, His wife, Brahamjot, is a delegate from his Toronto-area riding, as are his parents, Harminder and Balwinder, and his younger brother, Haraot. That is five more votes for Mr. Kennedy.

"We'll do our best to garner as much support as we can [for Mr. Kennedy] . . . We'll be working the floor as hard as possible," said Mr. Bains, who has instructed his relatives to spend their time between votes persuading one delegate each to vote their way.

The McGuintys have been through a convention before with the Kennedys. The McGuintys won, electing Dalton as leader of the Liberal Party of Ontario in 1996. Mr. Kennedy had led for much of that race when there were 15 McGuintys on the floor working the delegates.

There are fewer McGuintys at this convention. Ottawa South MP David McGuinty, Dalton's brother, figures there will be five of them on the floor Saturday, pulling the vote for Michael Ignatieff.

His wife, Brigitte, and daughter, Stephanie, 16, are Ignatieff delegates from Ottawa South. His nephew, Matt, and his brother, Brendan, are also twisting arms for Mr. Ignatieff.

"We're going to try to work some magic," Mr. McGuinty said.

The Zeds are trying to work their Maritime magic for Mr. Ignatieff as well. Saint John MP Paul Zed is one of the key Ignatieff policy strategists and three of his four children, Andrew, 20, Keiller, 15, and Victoria, 14, are Ignatieff delegates.

His brother-in-law, Mike, and his cousins, Peter and Martha, are also Ignatieff delegates from New Brunswick.

The Metcalfe family of Ottawa is split. Isabel (a long-time backroom Liberal and candidate in an Ottawa Valley riding in the last election) and, her mother, Margaret Brunton, are Bob Rae delegates.

Ms. Metcalfe is a senior Rae organizer while her husband, Herb, is one of Stéphane Dion's key strategists.

Their daughter, Kathleen, is a Dion delegate. And their son, Dan, an art student in Halifax, designed the Dion youth buttons and T-shirts.

Fredericton MP Andy Scott would not say whom he is supporting for fear of alienating a family member. His wife, Denise, is supporting Mr.Rae, believing that he has the best chance to defeat Prime Minister Stephen Harper in a quick election.

Mr. Scott's elder son, Nathan, 22, is a student at St. Thomas University in Fredericton. He is interested in human rights and political science and is an Ignatieff delegate.

Mr. Scott's other son, Nicholas, 20, is a student at Acadia University in Wolfville, N.S., and interested in environmental issues. He is supporting Mr. Dion but did not run as a delegate in Wolfville because, his father said, "he didn't want to embarrass Scott Brison."

Leadership candidate Mr. Brison is the MP for the Wolfville area.

Asked whom he is supporting, Mr. Scott simply said, "Two kids in college."

Annie Donolo's father, Peter, is the former director of communications for former prime minister Jean Chrétien. Ms. Donolo, 15, wanted to get involved in the convention and took a careful look at all of the candidates. She decided to support Mr. Dion and was elected a youth delegate in a riding outside Toronto.

No one else in her family is a delegate but her father accompanied her to Montreal.

Two weeks ago, he asked her whether she wanted to go to a movie. She said she could not. She had a conference call with other Dion strategists.

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