Paul Martin (Canadian politician)

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Paul Martin (correctly Paul Edgar Philippe Martin and sometimes incorrectly called Paul Martin Jr. to disambiguate from his father who was also a Canadian politican) is presently the Prime Minister of Canada.

He replaced Jean Chretien in late 2003 after a bitter battle of wills which threatened to divide their Liberal Party of Canada. Martin had served as Chretien's Finance Minister from 1993 until 2002, but despite a record of great success at reducing the Canadian budget deficit and cutting federal taxes(largely by "downloading" major expenses on the provinces and municipalities), Chretien responded negatively to pressure by Martinites for him to go.

Since taking office, 2004 was a year marked mostly by controversy over the Liberal sponsorship scandal, and ongoing issues with the Canadian long gun registry, both of which are exploited by Martin's main opposition, the Conservative Party of Canada, but have led to a general disgust with the tone of politics in Canada, and Martin's pledge to deal with what he calls a democratic deficit. Martin has repeatedly publicly stated that he sees federal power in Canada as being too centralized and unaccountable, and has been vocal in calling for more "free votes" which would operate outside party lines, more like the U.S. House and Senate. However, he has also appointed his hand-picked candidates to run in some key ridings, angering grassroots Liberals and providing ample ammunition for his opposition to claim that he's insincere.

"Mr Martin currently chairs the Congo Basin Forest Fund and sits on the advisory council of the Coalition for Dialogue on Africa, an initiative that examines the critical issues facing the continent. It is sponsored by the African Union, the UN Economic Commission for Africa and the African Development Bank." [1]

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  1. Transition Institute Founding Advisory board, organizational web page, accessed December 16, 2013.