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The Hamilton Spectator
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June 14, 2001
Prime Minister Jean Chretien and his Liberal government dominate the national political scene like an impregnable fortress after a parliamentary session that left much of the opposition battered and bruised. We can't recall a government that's been on cruise control as long as this one.

The prime minister himself would be hard-pressed to conceive a more favourable set of circumstances than he has now. The opposition parties, especially the crumbling Canadian Alliance, can't lay a glove on the government and are even more ineffective than they were prior to the November election. Chretien has had an easy time -- too easy, in fact -- as prime minister. There is complacency in a government that is taking plenty of time to tackle problems such as the future of health care and the need for an agenda to renew our cities. Yet it approved healthy pay increases to MPs in the blink of an eye. Backbench Liberals could insist on a better performance but seldom flex their muscle.

Chretien could bolster his legacy by showing inspired leadership as his career winds down, but we're not counting on it. In fact, his most significant final act might be to deny the leadership to longtime foe and heir apparent Paul Martin. As time marches on, and a flock of cabinet ministers start to organize and signal their plans to run, it increasingly looks as if Martin will not enjoy a coronation. Source.

Comfortable Chretien cruises into summer