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The brand state and the decline of the Liberal Party The collapse of the Liberal Party under Paul Martin’s leadership has made the past decade one of the most interesting in modern Canadian political history. When Martin succeeded Jean Chrétien in 2003, all signs suggested that Liberal domination would continue for years. Chrétien had won three consecutive majorities, and Martin was widely seen as a more popular leader. The political Right remained in turmoil, and Canadians were not warming up to Stephen Harper, the leader of the newly formed Conservative Party. Meanwhile, the NDP struggled to articulate a distinctive message that would resonate with voters – a task made more difficult because the Liberals continually crept onto NDP turf, at least rhetorically, to distinguish themselves from the Conservatives.

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