From the Toronto Globe and Mail

Harold F. Schiffman haroldfs at
Wed Mar 2 14:34:44 UTC 2005

Stop picking Grit leader by language, MP urges

Tuesday, March 1, 2005
Updated at 9:31 AM EST

OTTAWA -- The Liberal party's history of alternating between anglophone
and francophone leaders should be scrapped because it fails to recognize
Canada's new multicultural dynamic, says Liberal MP Maurizio Bevilacqua.
The former junior finance minister is the latest potential leadership
candidate to wade into the topic in recent days as Liberals from across
the country are set to meet for a policy convention this weekend in

Mr. Bevilacqua says the alternating tradition could have the effect of
ruling out candidates from other ethnic backgrounds. "Even within
leadership politics, the new Canada needs to be reflected.  And Chinese
Canadians, Portuguese Canadians, Greek Canadians and other Canadians who
are first and foremost Canadians should be part of this dialogue," he said

The Vaughan MP said he was speaking out in response to a public spat that
emerged over the weekend between former ministers John Manley, Martin
Cauchon and Denis Coderre. Mr. Cauchon and Mr. Coderre, both from Quebec,
criticized Mr. Manley for comments in a Saturday news report that appeared
to suggest he felt the next Liberal leader should not be from Quebec. Mr.
Manley later said the article took his words "totally out of context."

Mr. Bevilacqua said his main reason for speaking out is to encourage the
potential leadership candidates not to focus on the past. "A true Liberal
challenges the status quo," he said.

[Moderator's note: what does "Grit" mean here? (hs)]

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