The Four Political Parties Of Canada Essay — страница 5

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Any measures which unduly discriminate between individuals, goods, services and capital on the basis of their origin or their destination should be unconstitutional. The strengthening of the Canadian economic union is crucial to fostering economic growth, the flourishing of a common citizenhood, and helping Canadians reach their full potential.” (Designing a Blueprint for Canadians, pgs.40-41, 1996) On the whole, it would appear to the unbiased reader that the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada knows exactly what it stands for. Even further to the right side of the political scale, the relatively new Reform Party of Canada can be found. On the last weekend of October in 1987, 306 delegates from Western Canada converged on Alberta, in order to found the party. These people

were fed up with the traditional Liberal/Conservative rule in Ottawa, and wanted a party that could effectively represent the concerns of Western Canadians. (Harrison, pgs.110, 112,114, 1995) “The delegates faced three tasks as they met that weekend: to decide upon a name for the party, to devise a constitution, and to pick a leader. The delegates chose the party’s name – the Reform Party of Canada – the first day.” (Harrison, pg.114, 1995) On the second day of the convention, the party started the process of selecting a leader. There were three potential candidates: Preston Manning (the current leader), Ted Byfield, and Stan Roberts. Byfield was not entirely comfortable with the idea of being the Reform Party’s leader, however, and wanted to continue to run his own

personal business. A theory that came out of the convention was that this leadership race was a battle between “Roberts’ old political style and money against Manning’s grass-roots populism.” (Harrison, pg.117, 1995) There was also some controversy over the amount of money Roberts spent on his hospitality suite at the convention, which was an estimated $25000. Manning was regarded as being quite frugal, spending around $2000. Even though the difference in the amount of money spent between the two main candidates was rather large, Manning was regarded as being the stronger of the two candidates, having the unquestionable allegiance of many of the delegates. (Harrison, pg.117, 1995) Roberts knew of the immense support Manning had, and it was rumoured that he was going to

bring in a significant amount of “instant delegates” (Harrison, pg.117, 1995) to push him over the top. The Manning camp got word of this idea, and subsequently closed delegate registration on the Friday night of the convention (it was supposed to run until Saturday morning). This action sent a Roberts supporter by the name of Francis Winspear into a rage, severely criticising the decision to suspend registration and accusing the Manning camp that some membership money had been unaccounted for. “With animosities rising, Jo Anne Hillier called a meeting between the two sides on Saturday night to attempt to resolve the disputes. The attempt at reconciliation failed.” (Harrison, pg.117, 1995) The next morning, during an emotional speech, Roberts decided to drop out of the

race, all the while questioning whether or not the party stood true to its founding principles of integrity and honesty. He referred to Manning’s supporters as “fanatical Albertans” and “small-minded evangelical cranks.” (Harrison, pg.118, 1995) This left Preston Manning as the first (and current) leader of one of Canada’s newest political parties, the Reform Party of Canada. In its short history to date, the Reform Party of Canada has had some success federally, and has weathered its share of criticism. In the last federal election, they won a total of 52 seats, almost beating out the Bloc Quebecois for the title of Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition, who won 54 seats. The Reform took one seat in Ontario, one seat in Manitoba, four seats in Saskatchewan, 22 seats in

Alberta, and 24 seats in British Columbia. (Guy, pg.434, 1995) There was some debate at the beginning of the Liberals’ mandate from the Reform Party whether or not a separatist party (Bloc Quebecois) should be allowed to be the opposition in Parliament, but the Bloc remained as official opposition. Lately, however, a Bloc MP resigned his seat, leaving the Bloc with a one seat lead over the Reform Party in the race for official opposition. The next federal election should be very interesting, as these two parties might battle it out for the right to be opposition again. One moniker that the Reform Party wears that could damage their hopes of ever being the opposition or the government is the fact that many Canadians have the stereotype that Reform MPs and supporters are