It begins with a simple fact. Federal Liberal leaders since 1887 have alternated between French and English Canadians. That’s 124 years of history. That has changed this year.
With the drubbing the federal Liberals took in the last federal election earlier this year, they have been reduced to taking extreme measures. For the first time ever, they have taken Bob Rae as their next political leader. Just a month ago they were led by Michael Ignatieff, another English Canadian.
The streak is officially over. Or is it?
By this political article, I offer proof of the 1887 stat as well as the idea further in the article that not all federal Liberals believe that the alternation between French and English leaders was tradition. That’s right, despite the 124 year history, Liberals could still insist that it was merit that led to an interesting ‘tradition’.
The alternation may seem a bit unfair to those who know the makeup of Canada. French speaking Canadians make up only ¼ of the present population of Canada. ¾ are English speakers. The fairness comes about because federal political leaders need to be fluent in both official languages of Canada. The majority of French speakers are bilingual and only a minority of the English speakers can claim the same.
But in a way, the Liberals might still continue the tradition. You see, Bob Rae took the leadership under exceptional terms. This time, the leader of the party must rebuild. As such Rae agreed to such terms that as leader he will never run for prime minister of Canada.
So, for the first time ever, a leader of the Liberal Party of Canada will not be allowed to run for the highest office in this country.
If the next leader is from French Canada, then the Liberal party can brag that every nominee for prime minister from the party since 1887 has alternated between French and English Canadians.
The Liberal Party of Canada – taking vague tradition to the extremes.