My colleague Adam Radwanski gave us all a fascinating peek into the world of Paul Martin's Liberals in today's Post. A one-time Young Liberal, Radwanski was chased out of the party because he wouldn't toe the PM PM line:
The final straw came a few weeks later. Still working at Queen's Park, I was asked why I was spreading rumours about Martin's plans for that same convention. It turned out a young Liberal I'd generally been friendly with had been warning senior Martinites that I was claiming they were planning a coup attempt against Chretien.Read the whole thing; it's really interesting. Makes me think of the old Kissinger quote about student politics being so vicious precisely because the stakes are so small... Paul Martin is kind of the perfect Student Union president, isn't he?
As it happened, they actually did attempt a coup against Chretien. But I had no advance knowledge of it, and I'd never discussed it with anyone.
When I called the young Liberal to ask why he was making up stories about me, he started crying. The reason was obvious: In the paranoid Martin universe, this was the way to get ahead.
It had all gotten way too weird. That convention was the last event I ever went to as a Liberal.
In case you think this is a sore loser article, let me just say this: Radwanski is the token Liberal -- a left-leaning liberal at that -- on the National Post's editorial board. The guy can work constructively alongside conservatives day in and day out. He's a cooperative guy... How ridiculous that a team player like him would have his hat handed to him by the Martinites. No wonder the Liberal party is in such a sorry state right now, a mousetrap ready to snap your puny neck as McKenna sort of put it.
How many other bright, young folks like Radwanski were chased out of the party in their twenties because of the Liberal civil war? How will that affect the party 10-15 years down the line? Team Martin's shortsightedness may continue to haunt the party long after their hero is gone...
In a way, it doesn't really matter who wins the Liberal leadership race that we will hear about ad nauseum for the next forever. What matters is that everyone has their voice heard and the process is fair...