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Chrétien campaigns, Campbell crashes

It was a hardscrabble climb to the top for Jean Chrétien. "The little guy from Shawinigan" surprised everyone - except himself - by finding his way to the summit of Canadian politics. From the pool hall political debates of his childhood to the opulent offices of Ottawa, CBC Radio and Television capture the long, colourful career of Canada's 20th prime minister.

Kim Campbell is a deficit-slashing Jedi knight, commentator Rex Murphy explains. Preston Manning is a cross between the Man from Glad and John the Baptist, and Audrey McLaughlin's desperate charm is palpable. In this CBC Television editorial, Murphy discusses the crucial missteps, gains and perceptions in the 1993 federal election. He takes aim at the Progressive Conservative's directionless campaign and Chrétien's easy ride. This is the 1993 election according to Rex. 
• In the 1993 election, the Liberals won 177 seats. By comparison, the Bloc Québécois, Reform party and NDP won 54, 52 and 9 seats respectively. The Conservatives had their most dismal showing ever, winning only 2 seats.

• Chrétien responded to the negative ads run by the Conservatives which mocked his facial paralysis – the result of Bell's Palsy – by saying, "Last night the Conservative party reached a new low. They tried to make fun of the way I look. God gave me a physical defect. I have accepted that since I was a kid. It is true I speak on one side of my mouth. I am not a Tory I don't speak on both sides of my mouth."

Jean Chrétien was born on Jan. 11, 1934 in Shawinigan, Que. In 1957, he married Aline Chainé and they had one daughter and two sons. A political survivor, Chrétien served under Pearson and Trudeau before resigning briefly in 1986. In 1990, following John Turner's resignation, Chrétien made a successful bid for the leadership.

• In November 2000, Chrétien became the first prime minister since Mackenzie King to win his third consecutive majority government.
• On Dec. 12, 2003, Chrétien stepped down as prime minister and was replaced by Paul Martin.

• Kim Campbell became Canada's first woman prime minister on June 25, 1993 after Brian Mulroney stepped down. She enjoyed a brief honeymoon of popularity but slipped continuously in the polls once her campaign began.
• Kim Campbell lost her Vancouver Centre, BC seat in the 1993 federal election. She subsequently resigned from office and accepted a faculty position at Harvard University. On Sept. 16, 1996, she became Canada's Consul General in Los Angeles.

• Canadian politicians have tended to favour a fall election call. Since 1867, 13 elections have been held in the fall, four in the spring and nine in the winter.
Medium: Television
Stock-shot
Program: Prime Time News
Broadcast Date: Oct. 21, 1993
Commentator: Rex Murphy
Duration: 7:42
Excerpt from Much Music: CITY TV

Last updated: January 31, 2012

Page consulted on March 28, 2013

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