Liberals goad regionalism

Thunder Bay, Ontario - Thursday, June 12, 2003 - by: Richard P. Neumann
Mike Reilly makes an important point. The Alliance and its Reform predecessor has often trumpeted its grass roots origins and commitment to democratic process, yet when it comes to scoring political points on the "unite the right" bandwagon, they merely gloss over the fact that Federal Tories remain convinced that only a national party can succeed in not only defeating the Liberals, but provide the unifying government Canadians need.
The politics of division has taken hold in this country. The Liberals expertly pit one end of the nation against the other to maintain the perception that they are the only one's capable of holding Canada together. From Mad Cow, to SARS, to cod, the Liberal strategy is to delay and obfuscate long enough for Provincial politicians to light the airwaves with their regional rhetoric, falling into the Liberal trap by reinforcing the need for their strong, if uneven, hand.
As Canadians, we have become accustomed to the separatist ranting of the PQ and Bloc, but when established political parties in the rest of the country begin to play the separatist card, as Alberta Tories did at their recent convention, the true scale of the damage done by this Liberal government becomes apparent. Separatism can not be used as a bargaining chip, no matter the perception of its relative and unintended success in Quebec. The Alliance Leader has spoken eloquently about building walls. Now he wishes to divide the nation between East and West, allowing Tories to run east of Ontario, his own troops in the West, and Ontario to be carved up by some magic formula. This unholy alliance does not serve the nation well. It entrenches the regionalism Harper stood for before taking to the national stage. It will reinforce Liberal predominance in Ontario, and it will be the final death knell for the only national party ever to successfully challenge Liberal domination.
One day in the not too distance future, Canadians will decide the "unite the right" question through the ballot box. In the end it will be their collective will that will once again gel the nation's conservatives into the only national alternative, and it will be a truly united party with strong links to its history and an even stronger vision of its future. In short, it will be the Progressive Conservative Party, with or without the name.

Richard Neumann



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