Sheila Copps out

Former Liberal leadership hopeful Sheila Copps lost her nomination bid yesterday in Hamilton East-Stoney Creek. CTV’s Mike Duffy reported that the margin of votes that separated Ms. Copps and the victor, Tony Valeri, was 315 votes. There were 5,313 ballots cast.

It appears as if Paul Martin is making every effort to usher out his predecessor’s inner circle. When Mr. Martin was leadership runner-up to Jean Chr├ętien in 1990 he received a cabinet post as Minister of Finance. In 2002, Ms. Copps was runner-up to Mr. Martin in the Liberal leadership race and now she’s been tossed aside. At the height of her career, she was the Liberal deputy PM. Now her party has denied her the chance to run in the next election.

I’ve heard that Valeri’s scrutineers had close ties to the PM. About 400 Liberals were turned away from the meeting and were deemed ineligible to vote. Ms. Copps’ mother and the riding association president were also challenged according to Copps.

Ms. Copps has said that she’ll take a week to “consider her options”. Before the vote she remarked, “Tony, whatever happens in this fight, we’re all believing in the building of our great party and we’ll do it together”. We’ll see if she runs as an independent as the NDP has already deemed her “damaged goods”