Liberals re-jig for political comeback at Ottawa convention

Highlights included a new president, changes in the party structure, and a pledge to legalize pot

More than 3,000 delegates gathered in Ottawa this weekend for a Liberal Party convention that was billed as critical to the re-positioning of the party after its worst-ever showing in a federal election last year. Among the key changes brought forward during the convention was the decision to allow non-card carrying “supporters” of the Liberal party to participate in leadership votes. Interim leader Bob Rae said this was the most important resolution of the convention. “We’ve opened up the party,” said Rae, quoted by the Toronto Star. “There’s no comparison with either the NDP or the Conservatives.” Liberals also elected Mike Crawley, a 42-year-old businessman and former head of the Ontario Liberals, as the new party president. He beat out Sheila Copps, a Chretien-era cabinet minister who was portrayed by many to be a member of the party’s old guard. There was also a much-discussed resolution to support the legalization of marijuana, which passed with support from more than three quarters of the delegates. “Let’s face up to it, Canada—the war on drugs has been a complete bust,” said Rae to a standing ovation, the Star reported.

The Toronto Star

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