Hmm. No time to tell …

The Globe and Mail (Alberta Edition) - - GLOBE FOCUS -

Re CBC TV’s Be­hind-The-Scenes Master­mind (Obit­u­ar­ies, Sept. 11): The first time I met Arnold Am­ber was in the fall of 1989, when he made his way to the fed­eral of­fice of the New Demo­cratic Party. The NDP was or­ga­niz­ing a lead­er­ship con­ven­tion to re­place Ed Broad­bent and the CBC had agreed to tele­vise the pro­ceed­ings on its main net­work. Arnold was fo­cused on the Saturday af­ter­noon bal­lot­ing. We dis­cussed the num­ber of can­di­dates in the field and the nearly 3,000 del­e­gates ex­pected to at­tend. He chal­lenged me on the party’s claim that we could con­duct a bal­lot and re­port re­sults in 45 min­utes.

I don’t think he was con­vinced, but he said: “We will cover your con­ven­tion un­til 7 p.m. Saturday and then we are cut­ting away to broad­cast Hockey Night

in Canada, re­gard­less of where your party is in pick­ing its new leader.”

The bal­lot­ing be­gan at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 2. Af­ter three bal­lots, the field was re­duced to two can­di­dates – Au­drey McLaugh­lin and Dave Bar­rett. Ms. McLaugh­lin won. Mr. Bar­rett came to the podium to con­grat­u­late her and make the re­sult unan­i­mous. Then, she ad­dressed the del­e­gates.

In the ex­cite­ment of the mo­ment, I had stopped look­ing at my watch and had to­tally for­got­ten Arnold’s time ul­ti­ma­tum.

The next morn­ing, a con­ven­tion vis­i­tor told me how in­ter­est­ing the TV cov­er­age had been. “Af­ter Au­drey spoke, the con­ven­tion del­e­gates sang

O Canada and then they dropped the puck at the Win­nipeg Arena.” – Dick Proc­tor, Victoria

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