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In Depth

Liberal Party

Not this time

Last Updated October 12, 2006

The Liberal party does not have a shortage of people who have been pegged as leadership material. Here are a few who decided not to run for the leadership in 2006.

Denis Coderre

Former immigration minister Denis Coderre, 42, announced May 3 that he would not seek the leadership. He said the next leader of the Liberal party would likely be from Ontario, as the last two have been from Quebec, so he would not seek the leadership this time around.

Coderre was first elected in the Montreal riding of Bourassa in 1997.

John McCallum

Liberal finance critic and former cabinet minister John McCallum announced May 5 he would not seek the leadership and would back Michael Ignatieff for leader.

McCallum was first elected to the House in Markham, Ont., in 2000.

Belinda Stronach

Belinda Stronach Belinda Stronach

The former Conservative leadership hopeful crossed the floor to join the Liberals a day before a crucial confidence vote in May 2005 that the previous Liberal government won. She was expected to face the fight of her political life during the 2006 election to retain her Toronto-area riding, but she won the seat fairly easily. After Paul Martin announced his resignation, she was widely expected to enter the race to replace him. But on Apr. 6, 2006, Stronach stepped aside, saying the leadership process made it difficult to address the problem of party renewal.

Allan Rock

The former justice, industry and health minister under then prime minister Jean Chretien says he considered a run at the leadership but, after consulting with family and friends, rejected it. Rock was appointed Canada's ambassador to the United Nations by Prime Minister Paul Martin late in 2004.

Before entering politics in 1993, Rock was practising law.

Brian Tobin

Brian Tobin removed his name from the list on Feb. 1, saying the party needs a fresh face to take it into the next election. Tobin was first elected as a Liberal MP in 1980, at the age of 25. During the Mulroney era, he earned a reputation for stinging criticism of the government benches. When the Liberals took office in 1993, Tobin was appointed minister of fisheries and oceans.

Tobin was also the premier of Newfoundland and Labrador between 1996 and 2000. He quit as premier to re-enter federal politics in 2000, amid speculation he was preparing a bid to replace then-prime minister Jean Chrétien. However, he left cabinet abruptly in 2002, citing his desire to spend more time with his family.

Frank McKenna

McKenna was appointed Canada's ambassador to the U.S. in March 2005. Two days after the Conservatives won a minority government in the Jan. 23, 2006, election, McKenna submitted his resignation. He was widely expected to run for the Liberal leadership but announced a week after the election that he did not want to go after the party's top job.

The former New Brunswick premier was considered the front-runner in the race to replace Paul Martin. McKenna cited personal reasons, saying becoming prime minister of Canada has not been a burning ambition for him.

John Manley

John Manley, a former deputy prime minister under Jean Chrétien, was considered a potential Liberal leader. He dropped out of the 2003 race after he decided there was no way he could beat Paul Martin.

Manley, who had also held finance, foreign affairs and industry portfolios during his political career, has cited personal reasons for not entering the race to succeed Martin. Manley has decided to stick with his job as senior counsel with Toronto-based law firm McCarthy Tétrault. He also sits on the boards of several corporations.

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