My wife has warned me about writing about Stockwell Day when The Interim comes out – feeling Stock may be a footnote in the pages of Canadian history by then. But, Stock, if you’re gone by the time this paper comes out think Napoleon and his miraculous return from Elba to victory. Remember Stock, it’s ‘Napoleon!’ ‘Napoleon’ ‘Napoleon!’ not ‘Diefenbaker’! ‘Diefenbaker!’ ‘Diefenbaker!’
But if Stock is gone so is the first genuine shot at parliamentary democracy we Canadians have ever had. Imagine for a ten buck membership in the Alliance you had the opportunity to vote to determine who would be the federal Official Leader of the Opposition with the distinct possibility of electing the next prime minister. Thousands took advantage of this opportunity and voted on two separate occasions – the latter the runoff between Manning and Day for the post as leader.
The sore losers accused “special interests” (read pro-lifers) of hijacking the party and afterwards they have made every attempt in the book to sabotage Day’s leadership – short of putting dead cats in his bed. What they favour is the caucus determining who the leader should be which contradicts what the Alliance originally sanctioned – allowing individual Canadian citizens to vote for the leader. If the caucus didn’t elect the leader how can they fire him?
What the losers proposed was going back to the old line parties’ way of choosing a leader. This included suspicious lists of dubious delegates – vote bloc trading for losers to end up in the winner’s cabinet and a suitcase full of dirty tricks. To cite just one was the time that Jean Crouton won the leadership race and became the prime minister. A close runner-up was pro-lifer Tom Wappel and on one ballot had more votes than Sheila Copps.
This would never do. The knife was out for Tom Wappel. Crouton on the final ballot coming up was shaping up as of landslide proportions and the Liberal brass figured they could sweat a sizable hunk of Crouton votes and have them cast for Copps and have her run third after Paul Martin which would make Wappel run fourth. And if you follow horse racing, running forth won’t put much beer in the refrigerator. That’s what happened. Wappel ran fourth and Copps came in third and got in the cabinet and became briefly the Deputy Prime Minister of Canada.
Politics, unlike boxing, does not have the rules of the Marquess of Queensbury. Kicking a politician before he gets off his seat in the ring is perfectly legal. Stock, you learned that when Jean Crouton called a snap election three years into his mandate in order to head off any possibility of an Alliance victory.
Now if Pierre Trudeau would have appeared in a wetsuit to announce the start of his campaign, it would have been considered sexy and breathtakingly innovative by the lesbian/homosexual-leaning/anti-life media. (Sorry, Stock, those people are not in your camp.)
And if you were Jean Crouton demonstrating a Liberal choke hold on a pesky voter who was annoying you (shown on TV no less) that would have been perfectly OK with the media as well.
And Stock, how about a spend-thrift prime minister when he got in Canada was 17 billion in the red and when he left 16 years later we were 200 billion in the red. And they’re now thinking of naming something after him. I have a suggestion: rename the Morgentaler Abortion Clinic in Toronto after Pierre Trudeau! Pierre thought Morgentaler was a great humanist. I just know he’d be happy with it.
Stock, just think if you were the current prime minister of Canada who had just headed up a posse of hungry hangers-on to Moscow to get aboard the 2008 Olympic Games boat only to find that it had already sunk in the harbour. Then you find after spending 29 million dollars on this escapade having Peter Mansbridge publicly admit that the media knew all along that Canada’s bid was a lost cause. Just think of the roasting you would have got! What a waste of money the media would have called it! Now the media say that it was learning experience. Yeah, right.