Political moment of the decade

The Decade That Was

Posted on by CalgaryGrit in Political moment of the decade | Leave a comment

CBC has a photographic look back at the decade that was.

And since ’tis the season for nostalgia, here’s the last call for everyone to vote for the political moment of the decade. Polls are open until Sunday night, and you can vote once a day until then. The final rankings will be announced over the first two weeks of the new year.

The top 10 finalists are listed below – click here to vote.

2000 – The House of Commons passes the Clarity Act, establishing rules around future secession referendums in Quebec. Although it was highly controversial at the time, many now credit Chretien and Dion’s Act with cooling off the separatist rhetoric during this decade.

2002 – Paul Martin gets quit-fired. This was likely the most dramatic moment in the ongoing Chretien-Martin feud that defined Canadian politics during the Liberals’ 13 years in power. Later that summer Chretien would announce a lengthy goodbye, setting up many of the other events listed here in the top 10.

2003 – Chretien says no to Iraq. The Iraq War was one of the international events of the decade and the highly controversial decision for Canada to take a pass is now considered one of Chretien’s largest legacies. The decision also marked the beginning of a decade-long souring of relations between Canada and the United States.

2003 – The right unites. The decision by Peter McKay and Stephen Harper to end a decade of vote splitting on the right, helped set the stage for Harper’s rise to power.

2004 – The AG’s Adscam report is released. Although hardly the cause of the Liberal decline we saw during the 00s, this was certainly the catalyst. Sheila Fraser’s explosive report and the reaction to it would change Canada’s political landscape, leading to a Liberal minority government later that year.

2005 – Confidence Mayhem. In one of the wildest months ever in Canadian politics, confidence votes were postponed and ignored, a deal was struck between the Liberals and NDP, Belinda Stronach crossed the floor and, in the end, Chuck Cadman voted to save the government, forcing a tie vote and preventing an election. But that result may have given Harper the time he needed to prepare the next campaign.

2005 – Same Sex Marriage is legalized. Although court decisions had already made it legal in most provinces, the debate was a divisive one and the end result said a lot about the evolution of Canadian values.

2006 – The 2006 election. In the new year, the Liberals went into freefall as a disciplined Tory campaign hammered them on corruption. On Election Day, the Liberal dynasty ended and Paul Martin announced his retirement from politics.

2006 – Stephane Dion wins the Liberal leadership race in Montreal. It was one of the most exciting leadership races in this country’s history, with four candidates still in the game heading to the Montreal convention. On Sunday, Dion turned out to be everyone’s second choice, giving him the win.

2008 – The coalition threat captivates the nation. For two weeks in December everyone was tuned in to see who would be Prime Minister the next day. We all agreed democracy was being subverted, but we couldn’t quite agree on just who exactly was doing the subverting.

PS – Oh, and as I like to do on these posts, be sure to head over to vote for the top political blog of 2009 at the Canadian Blog Awards. Yes, yes, we all know Beyonce had the best political blog of the year, but I’d still appreciate your vote.

Vote for the Moment of the Decade

Posted on by CalgaryGrit in Political moment of the decade | Leave a comment

Thanks to everyone who voted in the first round of the “Canadian Political Moment of the Decade” poll. Before I reveal the final 10, here are the 11th to 20th place finishers:

20 – 2003: Danny Williams comes to power in Newfoundland
19 – 2001: Stockwell Day forced out as Canadian Alliance leader
18 – 2008: Jean Charest wins a majority, decimating the ADQ
17 – 2006: Ralph Klein is forced out early at an Alberta PC leadership review
16 – 2000: Jean Chrétien wins his third straight majority
15 – 2006: Ed Stelmach stuns the field, winning the Alberta PC leadership race
14 – 2005: The Income Trust investigation is announced during the election
13 – 2003: David Orchard hands Peter McKay the PC leadership win, thanks to a no merger deal
12 – 2009: STV goes down to defeat in British Columbia
11 – 2003: Jean Charest knocks the PQ out of power in Quebec

All memorable events, but the top 10 blew them out of the water – it wasn’t even close.

And the top 10 offer a nice mix. Three policy decisions. One election, one leadership race, one merger. Some moments from the Chrétien years, some from the Martin years, and some from the Harper years.

I’ve set up a preferential ballot for the top 10, so just click through the link to see who made the cut. Voting will be open until midnight on Sunday night – results will stay secret until I count down the top 10 the first two weeks of January. You can vote once a day, so the old “vote early, vote often” adage certainly applies.

So argue for which moment you feel should win in the comments section, then go cast your vote!

PS – And, after that, if you’re still in the mood for more online preferential balloting, be sure to cast a ballot in the final round of the Canadian Blog Awards where I’m up for Best Political Blog.

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