If British political chatter wasn’t so dominated by looking to the US…

… I suspect we’d all be paying rather more attention to Canadian politics.

The Canadian Liberal Party’s 2004 federal election victory is one that should be the sort to appeal to Labour in current times: long serving Chancellor takes over as Prime Minister, becomes unpopular, faces revitalised Conservative Party – but manages to pull victory out of the hat at the last:

A Liberal Prime Minister who ran against the legacy of his own party as much as against the Opposition, criticized not for the failure but for the success of his policies, facing his main opposition from a newly reconstituted Conservative party that was unable to control the worrisome views of some of its most prominent adherents … It was not a campaign that cheered the Liberal party, saved as it was only by a late splurge of negative advertising.

I suspect that had this election taken place in the US, it would be all the talk of British political circles as to whether or not it could offer a template for Gordon Brown to rescue Labour. But as the election took place in Canada…

The above quote, by the way, is from Turning Points by Ray Argyle, which is available from Amazon if you want to find out more about this and other Canadian elections.

UPDATE: Here are some lessons the Liberal Democrats can learn from the Canadian Liberals.