This revelation is one of the highlights of a new Chrétien book, My Years as Prime Minister. Politics sure gets personal, and leaves wounds everywhere.
Chrétien also lambastes Martin for Canada's current role in Afghanistan, being on "the killing fields", as he puts it. He also paints Martin as a very selfish man, who passed responsibility for criticized economic decisions, like $700 million to farmers, to the Prime Minister, when he himself, had suggested less be given to them.
There will probably be more fallout from this, as Martin's spokesperson said it was too bad that Chrétien has opened past wounds.
Apparently from Chrétien's writing, Martin certainly seems to be the bad guy. It is also revealing about Chrétien, and this is not really a big surprise, that he stayed on just to spite Paul Martin.
By trying to force me to go, they aroused my competitive spirit, ignited my anger, and inadvertently gave me the blessing I needed from Aline (his wife) to fight for a third term. For that, ironically, I owed Paul Martin a great deal of thanks.
Ok, that's good for you Mr. Chrétien, I guess, but is that a good example to set for aspiring leaders - to stay on out of spite? Shouldn't the reason for anyone being a leader, be because they have something to offer, are perhaps fresh, have a vision for the nation, and a passion to see it through?
Maybe Paul Martin is writing a chapter about how Canada just missed dividing, by a hair, in the 1995 Quebec referendum. That was under Chrétien's watch. Talk about close voting, it was 50.58% "No" to 49.42% "Yes". The Brian "Captain Canada" Tobin led "Love Quebec" rally, may have converted an important number of the Yes voters. Martin could have fun analyzing Chrétien's legacy.