column was published in the North
Shore News on
June 28, 2000)
new Day scary for federal Grits
By Leo Knight
from watching the Canadian Alliance leadership convention on the
weekend, I am torn between writing the political obituary of
Preston Manning, the dawning of a new Day in federal politics,
or an angry diatribe on the eastern media's bias against all
no doubt that, barring a political stumble on a par with Greg
Norman's final day collapse in the '96 Master's, Stockwell Day
will be the leader of the Alliance come July 8.
of the purveyors of "conventional wisdom" even
conceived there was any possibility that Manning would not be in
the lead following the first ballot. Which goes to show, I
suppose, that "conventional wisdom" is neither
conventional nor wise.
the past couple of months, as the leadership campaign has
gathered momentum, it has become patently obvious that Day is
the one man who makes the federal Liberal party of Jean Chretien
omnipresent Liberal lackey, Warren Kinsella, wrote a disparaging
commentary in the National Post a week ago under the
headline "Day invokes a tired bogeyman."
the mental meandering of Kinsella, he attempted to paint Day as
a right-wing wacko for attacking political correctness. In
truth, what Day had said was that we have to stop letting
political correctness guide the level and subject of debate in
Canada. Gee, Warren, what an outrageous suggestion!
Kinsella and the rest of this tired government, would love
nothing more than to have Manning win the leadership campaign.
know full well that Manning will not sell anywhere east of the
Red River. They also know that Manning's "Howdy Doody"
persona pales in comparison with the vigorous, fit, youthful
if faced with federal election, Chretien, while fit for his age,
is still in the waning years of his 60s.
the photo that dominated the 1974 election campaign of
then-Conservative leader Bob Stanfield, fumbling a football
gently tossed to him? That image, coupled with a newly-married,
vigorous Pierre Trudeau and his youthful bride, Margaret
Sinclair, virtually sealed a majority government for the Libs.
no mistake, Chretien is afraid of Day.
of his traditional arrogance, comfortable there was no one on
the horizon with the requisite "Royal Jelly" to
challenge him, Chretien and his cronies will take out the knives
and begin an attempt to carve up the character, political
intentions and image of Stockwell Day.
will be painted, much more than he has already been, as a
"homophobic." (Geez, I hate that word. Those who
dislike gays are hardly afraid of them. They disdain them. Is
"homodisdainia" a word?)
be categorized as anti-feminist, perhaps even as a misogynist,
because he, personally, is against abortion. And this will only
be the start.
none of this is true. Sure Day is promoting family values and
morality in government. He is promoting less government and
responsibility with taxpayer dollars. Try as I might, I fail to
find anything wrong with any of this.
politicians with virtue! Interesting spin on that from the Libs.
vote for him, he's honest. Vote for the crass corruption and
cronyism of the Liberals you have grown to despise."
in their right mind, wants another term of the big government,
big taxes, big spending Liberals? Who can stomach another
debacle like the HRDC billion dollar boondoggle, let alone the
blatant lies that have accompanied the dismantling of the Canada
Jobs Fund in the past week?
let's look ahead to see why they are afraid.
the first place, the Liberal braintrust and the Progressive
Conservative lack-of-braintrust, have tried to marginalize the
Alliance by saying they're a regional party. Realistically, in
today's politics, they're all regional parties.
me to digress for a moment. I'm getting sick and tired of Joe
Clark's refusing to acknowledge the Alliance name by stubbornly
calling them the Reform party. It reminds me of a racist
American media steadfastly calling Mohammed Ali "Cassius
Clay" long after he legally changed his name.
over it Joe.
Libs, while they have a handful of seats elsewhere, are
essentially an Ontario party. The PCs are dead outside Atlantic
Canada. The Bloc has a lock on Quebec and who cares about the
how might this play out in the next election? With the Alliance
obtaining 70 of the 88 Western Canadian seats, the Bloc taking
65 of Quebec's 75 seats, the PCs hovering at about 20 of the
Maritimes' 32 seats, this means the Liberals need to sweep
Ontario. Piece of cake with a Manning-led opposition.
what if a Day-led Alliance should take, say, 40 of the 103 seats
in Ontario. And it won't take much to get those 40 seats,
assuming the conservative element of Ontario recognizes the
futility of supporting Joe Clark and doesn't split the vote.
new House of Commons might look like this: Libs 105, Bloc 65, PC
20, NDP who cares, and the Alliance would conceivably have a
minority government with 111.
give or take a few seats in either direction, there is a strong
probability there will be a minority government, either Alliance
the Bloc and the Liberals can't agree on the colour of the sky,
there would be every opportunity for the Bloc and the Alliance
to form a coalition. Take away the sovereignty issue, the
Alliance and the Bloc can certainly agree on the devolution of
federal powers in favour of more autonomous provincial
all of this translates to is the fear that the only person in
this country capable of loosening the Liberals grip on power is
poised to be given the chance as the new leader of the Canadian
The Liberal gloves are off and it's about to get vicious.