Paul Martin says Rae Ignatieff rivalry won't divide Liberal party
Former prime minister Paul Martin says he's confident the Liberal party will emerge united despite sparring between its two principal leadership hopefuls.
Martin, whose own acrimonious relationship with former prime minister Jean Chretien eventually drove him from his post as finance minister, says front-runners Michael Ignatieff and Bob Rae won't divide the party.
He says the Liberal party has learned its lesson and he's sure that once the new leader is chosen the party will be united.
Memories of past confrontations surfaced last week when Rae boycotted the party's closed-door, all-candidates' forum because chief rival Ignatieff wouldn't agree to lift the veil of secrecy.
That was the first public spat between candidates vying to replace Stephane Dion as leader after a disastrous defeat in last month's election.
It disappointed many in the party, who had hoped to avoid the kind of sniping that characterized the hard-fought campaign in which Dion came up the middle to win as a compromise candidate in the 2006 leadership race.
Neither Rae nor Ignatieff could take a clear majority last time around.
On Monday, Martin said all the candidates were ``outstanding'' but declined to endorse any one of them, saying he will remain a spectator.
New Brunswick's Dominic LeBlanc is also up for the party's top job.
Monday, November 24, 2008
From Canadian Press: