- The timing of the Liberal vote and the likely cancellation of
a February 2003, policy convention sparked more controversy yesterday.
Akaash Maharaj, the party’s national policy
chair and a candidate for the presidency, expressed his indignation
at the suggestion that the February convention be cancelled.
Stephen LeDrew, the current president of the
party, made it clear Monday that he thought the convention should
be cancelled since there was no longer any need for a leadership
vote, and that Liberals could not afford two conventions in a 12
In a letter to LeDrew that he released yesterday,
Maharaj said that decision would mean the party’s executive
would be doubling its term from two years to four. “When foreign
governments have cancelled constitutionally mandated elections and
illegally extended their terms in office, Liberal governments have
never flinched from condemning them in the harshest of terms”
he wrote. “For the Liberal party itself to fall short of standards
we expect of foreign dictatorships would be to bring ourselves,
our party, and our government into public disrepute.”
Maharaj said the party makes money on
conventions, and that to cancel it would be to forego revenue the
party -- heavily in debt -- badly needs.