The end of a national alternative(?)

Niagara Falls, Ontario - Wednesday, October 22, 2003 - by: Joe Hueglin


What is in a name? Like many Canadians, I am a member of the Federal Progressive Conservative Party, the party of Sir John A. Macdonald, our first Prime Minister, and one of only two political parties to have formed the Government of Canada. Over the almost century and a half since the party was founded in 1854 there have been a number of name changes. In 1942 at the request of the newly elected leader John Bracken, Premier of Manitoba the party name came to be was changed to Progressive Conservative who believed the name change would appeal to those who had elected him Premier.
  What is happening today, however, is more than a name change. The future of the PC Party is being shaped by Canadian Alliance members who are purchasing memberships in the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada, so they can force a party merger.
  Canadians who have chosen to remain PCs are watching their party be overthrown by Alliance members who covet the name "Conservative." Those who are proponents of the merger want their new party to be the "Conservative Party of Canada." To give credit where it is due, it ought to be called the "Conservative Alliance" to reflect the name of those buying memberships only to vote to destroy the party of Confederation.
  For some this is a positive step. For those who value the continued existence of what has been the national alternative to the Liberal Party of Canada, it cannot be. Reform, Canadian Alliance, Conservative Party of Canada, Conservative Alliance, call it what you want. A new political party, forced upon many of its faithful, will have grave difficulty obtaining the trust of Canadians.


Joe Hueglin




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