Outremont: In the finest tradition of the Liberal Party

It’s good to see Denis Coderre and Martin Cauchon getting along again in Outremont. I greatly fear I may have contributed, long ago, to all of this; right after the 2000 election I interviewed both men for the National Post on their thinly-veiled ambition to replace Jean Chrétien’s replacement and become the next-next Liberal leader. I forget which one bent my ear complaining that the other was in better focus in the photo we ran. They’ve long had a hate-hate relationship, those guys.

Anyway, Cauchon was invited to run in his old riding in the spring. He took a hell of a long time to make his decision. Finally a few weeks ago he decided to run. At this point, Coderre, who first ran as a Liberal candidate 19 years ago, decided it was time for fresh blood in the riding. Not his riding, silly. Cauchon’s. This led the riding executive to write to Ignatieff to ask that he let them have the candidate they wanted. Cauchon.

Nope. Speaking to reporters, including me, after a lunchtime Toronto speech, Ignatieff said he called Cauchon last night and said he’ll be appointing a female candidate in the riding. But wait, you’re saying. This story can’t be over yet, because you haven’t gotten to the part where Ignatieff says something disingenuous and contradictory. And right you are. He said Cauchon “has a tremendous future” in the Liberal party. Just not, it seems, as a candidate in the only riding he ever represented in the House of Commons.

Adam Radwanski offers the appropriate conclusions regarding Ignatieff’s choice of friend.

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