Alliance prepares for leadership race

Members of the Canadian Alliance are preparing to pick a new leader in the wake of Tuesday's decision by Stockwell Day to call for an early leadership race.

Following a caucus meeting in Calgary, Day said he will resign 90 days before a leadership vote.

It's now up to the 40-person National Council to decide when the vote will take place.

Party president Clayton Manness says members will have to consider many factors when it comes to the race's timing, including how fast funds can be raised. But he said he's glad the party is moving forward.

"I believe we are in much better shape today that we were yesterday," said Manness in an interview with CBC TV.

"We now have at least some mutual ground to begin to rebuild a sense of confidence amongst ourselves."

Day has not announced whether he will be a candidate, but loyalists expect he will run. Observers also cite former MP Stephen Harper as a possible candidate.

"I think the onus is now on all of us to go out and make sure we get as many candidates as possible so that we have a real strong challenge and we get the very best person," said MP Bob Mills.

Other party members are criticizing Day's decision. Manitoba MP Inky Mark called it "a desperate attempt at self-preservation."

One person who has already ruled himself out is Ontario Premier Mike Harris. He said he wants to stay in provincial politics.