An excerpt from

Democracy Challenged: How to End One-Party Rule in Canada
by Heward Grafftey

On Joe Clark Becoming Leader, October 24, 1998

For the next two years, Clark adamantly refused to seek a seat in the Commons. This refusal was based on the pretext that his main task would be to rebuild the party before the next elections were called. I have no idea what he did in this interim period but the facts are that when the writ went out calling the election for November 27, 2000, the party was woefully unprepared. It was millions of dollars in debt, only a handful of riding executives had been duly elected by their constituency membership, and, unbelievably, very few party candidates had actually been nominated by the time Chrétien went to see the Governor General. In Quebec and Saskatchewan, for example, virtually no candidates had been nominated by the end of October 2000. While Clark kept insisting that the party would run candidates in every riding from coast to coast, he did virtually nothing to fulfill this guarantee. When he did, it was far too late.