The Contenders: Key candidates for Liberal leadership (not named Trudeau)

Matthew Coutts
Canada PoliticsApril 6, 2013

Yes, there is a Liberal Party of Canada leadership campaign going on. And while some have already conceded the position to Justin Trudeau, there are five others who do not yet smell defeat. The votes have yet to be cast, let along counted. And other leadership candidates who believe they could be the next to lead the party.

Six candidates presented their vision at the Liberal Leadership Showcase on Saturday, none of them quite ready to fade into the night. The top contenders to upset Trudeau may be Joyce Murray and Martha Hall Findlay.

Let’s take a look at Murray and Hall Findlay, so we are not entirely unprepared should one of them be named Liberal leader next weekend.

Joyce Murray

Joyce Murray kept the attention on the inclusivity in her Saturday speech, calling for teamwork to defeat the Conservative government. She also underlined the need for democratic reform to ensure Canada’s voice is heard in Ottawa.

“I am running for the Liberal Leader to fix our democracy,” she said. “To offer a solution to the toxic divisive politics in Ottawa. The tired old games that make us lose trust in our elected representatives and our government.”

Joyce Murray is a seasoned politician who has represented the British Columbia riding of Vancouver Quadra since 2008. Before that she sat as a provincial MLA. She was born in South Africa and immigrated to Canada in 1961, when she was seven years old.

Murray made hay during the leadership campaign by suggesting the Liberals should work in co-operation with the NDP and Greens to block another Conservative government.

She said again on Saturday that the opposition parties should work together to obtain a minority with the express intent on bringing in electoral reform.

“We can win the election in 2015. We can change our democracy to one we trust,” she said.

Murray recently told the Toronto Star that she believes she had more registered voters than any other candidate, including Trudeau.

Yahoo! Canada News columnist Andy Radia opined that she could actually win, but needs a few things to go her way. Including: There needs to be an "Anyone But Justin" movement in a second ballot.

Martha Hall Findlay

Martha Hall Findlay, the MP for Ontario's Willowdale riding between 2008 and 2011, is running in her second leadership contest and has stood out by going on the offensive, especially against Trudeau.

She attacked the frontrunner for his lack of policy discussion on the campaign trail. Meantime, she has trumpeted the need for economic responsibility and environmental sustainability.

"Stephen Harper has won the last several elections, not because he’s a charming guy…and not because of his hair. He has won because he has run fundamentally on economic issues," she recently told Yahoo! Canada News.

Hall Findlay also believes the Liberal Party should avoid the "co-operation arrangement" Murray has supported, saying it would just replace Harper with NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair.