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Liberal policy exec looks to Atlantic Grits for advice


By David Redwood
01 September 2002


HALIFAX - One of the federal Liberal party’s top policy wonks landed in Nova Scotia this weekend to soak up some Atlantic advice on how his party should manage its upheaval.

Akaash Maharaj – a contender to replace Stephen LeDrew as the party’s president – met with Liberals on the South Shore yesterday and will tour the province until Tuesday. Maharaj, 32, is here helping the party hammer out a schedule for approving a new executive, new party policies and ultimately a new prime minister.

Part of Maharaj’s tour is clearly linked to his campaign to become the party’s president. Maharaj said he wants to make the Liberal party more democratic, and work harder at avoiding debt.

Maharaj is fending off suggestions from some in the party who want to put off a policy conference scheduled for February 2003 until Prime Minister Jean Chretien steps down when he promises, in 2004.

“Were we to cancel [the policy conference], the party will have allowed six years to elapse between policy conventions,” Maharaj said yesterday.

“For any political party, let alone the governing [party], to go six years without discussing ideas or ideals would be to bring itself into public disrepute.”

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