At their party convention in Montreal yesterday, the Canadian Liberal Party selected Stéphane Dion, a former federal cabinet minister, over Michael Ignatieff, the former academic at Oxford, Cambridge, and Harvard, who is known among other things for his biography of the British philosopher, Isaiah Berlin. Ignatieff, who brought a certain amount of celebrity to the leadership fight, could not overcome the fact that he had only been elected to Parliament in 2006 - and had not even been in Canada for most of the past 30 years.
Given that the ruling Conservative Party, led by Prime Minister Stephen Harper, governs with a minority of members of Parliament, it is possible that the government could fall at any time. Spring 2007 elections are seen as possible - little more than a year after the last general election in January 2006. If so, Canada could soon face the "battle of the Steves."