August 17, 2002
Majority of Canadians favour PM leaving, new poll suggests: Chretien seen clinging to power for its own sake
A large majority of Canadians think Jean Chretien is hanging on as prime minister strictly for the sake of clinging to power, and four out of five say he should be replaced, a new poll in the Globe and Mail suggests.
After two months of public battling between the prime minister and former finance minister Paul Martin over the leadership of the Liberal party, the survey indicates a momentum in popular opinion squarely behind Martin.
Forty-nine of the 62 Liberals in the Senate have signed a letter declaring support for Chretien, a source said Friday. One senator refused to sign and publicly explained why.
"I declined to sign the letter because I thought it was artificial and I thought it was amateurish, actually," said Senator Anne Cools, who was appointed by Pierre Trudeau.
"I thought it would expose the prime minister to scorn and to diminution, and to lessen him in the public mind."