20 years ago tomorrow
Hard to believe, but tomorrow will mark 20 years since the death of the Meech Lake constitutional accord. Coincidentally, I got to do a constitutional-related story today - you can find it here.
In the 20 years since that crazy time, I don't think I've ever experienced such an intense set of back-to-back events in federal politics. June of 1990 was a whirlwind of constitutional negotiations, roll-the-dice strategies (and interviews) and then, in the midst of it all, the Liberal leadership convention in Calgary.
I have some vivid memories of those few days in Calgary -- Trudeau walking around the Saddledome in a bright saffron-coloured shirt (impossible to miss); Clyde Wells and Jean Chretien embracing (with me, ducking out of the way and holding up my tape recorder between them); drinks with Paul Martins Sr. and Jr. after the defeat; a wild party with the defeated Martin gang on Electric Avenue, and so on.
Of course, the most surreal part of Calgary was how the collapse of Meech (on the Friday, June 22) took over the whole event -- all of us riveted to the TV and the death throes of the constitutional accord, while the Liberal leadership convention soldiered on.
Some years ago, a Liberal who was there in Calgary gave me a video he'd recorded in the stands on the day of the vote. Once I put it on, I couldn't stop watching it (I've since lost it. (Shawky Fahel, if you're reading this, I'd love another copy; I'll even post it here.) You can see in that video how eerie the mood is; half the convention upset about the death of Meech, half celebrating it. At one bizarre juncture, the whole hall broke out into a chorus of Happy Birthday to Paul Martin Sr.
If you have memories of that time and want to share them here, please send along any and all reminiscences....