Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Decade That Was

CBC has a photographic look back at the decade that was.

And since 'tis the season for nostalgia, here's the last call for everyone to vote for the political moment of the decade. Polls are open until Sunday night, and you can vote once a day until then. The final rankings will be announced over the first two weeks of the new year.

The top 10 finalists are listed below - click here to vote.

2000 - The House of Commons passes the Clarity Act, establishing rules around future secession referendums in Quebec. Although it was highly controversial at the time, many now credit Chretien and Dion's Act with cooling off the separatist rhetoric during this decade.

2002 - Paul Martin gets quit-fired. This was likely the most dramatic moment in the ongoing Chretien-Martin feud that defined Canadian politics during the Liberals' 13 years in power. Later that summer Chretien would announce a lengthy goodbye, setting up many of the other events listed here in the top 10.

2003 - Chretien says no to Iraq. The Iraq War was one of the international events of the decade and the highly controversial decision for Canada to take a pass is now considered one of Chretien's largest legacies. The decision also marked the beginning of a decade-long souring of relations between Canada and the United States.

2003 - The right unites. The decision by Peter McKay and Stephen Harper to end a decade of vote splitting on the right, helped set the stage for Harper's rise to power.

2004 - The AG's Adscam report is released. Although hardly the cause of the Liberal decline we saw during the 00s, this was certainly the catalyst. Sheila Fraser's explosive report and the reaction to it would change Canada's political landscape, leading to a Liberal minority government later that year.

2005 - Confidence Mayhem. In one of the wildest months ever in Canadian politics, confidence votes were postponed and ignored, a deal was struck between the Liberals and NDP, Belinda Stronach crossed the floor and, in the end, Chuck Cadman voted to save the government, forcing a tie vote and preventing an election. But that result may have given Harper the time he needed to prepare the next campaign.

2005 - Same Sex Marriage is legalized. Although court decisions had already made it legal in most provinces, the debate was a divisive one and the end result said a lot about the evolution of Canadian values.

2006 - The 2006 election. In the new year, the Liberals went into freefall as a disciplined Tory campaign hammered them on corruption. On Election Day, the Liberal dynasty ended and Paul Martin announced his retirement from politics.

2006 - Stephane Dion wins the Liberal leadership race in Montreal. It was one of the most exciting leadership races in this country's history, with four candidates still in the game heading to the Montreal convention. On Sunday, Dion turned out to be everyone's second choice, giving him the win.

2008 - The coalition threat captivates the nation. For two weeks in December everyone was tuned in to see who would be Prime Minister the next day. We all agreed democracy was being subverted, but we couldn't quite agree on just who exactly was doing the subverting.


PS - Oh, and as I like to do on these posts, be sure to head over to vote for the top political blog of 2009 at the Canadian Blog Awards. Yes, yes, we all know Beyonce had the best political blog of the year, but I'd still appreciate your vote.

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