Edmonton - Friday, April 26, 2002 - by: Ron Thornton


Joe Clark spoke at Toronto's Granite Club April 25th, still dwelling on the subject of coalitions.




Clark told of how John Diefenbaker and Brian Mulroney forged broad coalitions and formed government. Still, Joe failed to point out that such coalitions proved to be temporary and quite unstable. After each government fell, the coalition dissolved, leaving the PC's back at square one.



15 year

On the other hand, the Liberals have somehow managed to avoid losing more than two straight since 1896, when Sir Wilfred Laurier ended the Conservative dynasty founded by Sir John A. Macdonald. Laurier won four elections and served fifteen consecutive years as Prime Minister. The tandem of Mackenzie King and Louis St. Laurent strung together five straight wins at the polls in a twenty-one year run. Lester Pearson and Pierre Trudeau combined over five elections to keep the Liberals in power from 1963 - 1979.




Now, after Brian Mulroney's repeat wins the Liberals have claimed their own three-peat. It would seem that the Conservative coalitions of the past could be comparable to welfare payments in that while they might bring short-term relief they offer nothing in the long-term. What is the point of continuing a perpetual cycle where for every eight years the Liberals are in opposition, they return to power for the following fifteen to twenty years?




Maybe the solution lies in a true alternative, a national conservative vision that actually stands for something other than advancing a Liberal-light option. As for Joe Clark's fantasy of winning the next election, if a dozen MP's make a national party, the dozen eggs in my fridge make me a chicken farmer.


Ron Thornton

  From the Progressive Conservative web site, the text of Mr. Clark's speech at the Granite Club
  April 24, 2002 Tory leader's view of the future rivals Alice's looking glass DRC coalition failed because it worked so well, Clark says Paul Wells National Post
  Clark, Dumont meet, but deny talking of alliances By CAMPBELL CLARK OTTAWA
 Thursday, April 25, 2002  Print Edition, Page A4 Toronto Globe and Mail
  Working with rebel MPs hurt Tories, Clark says By BRIAN LAGHI Wednesday, April 24, 2002  Print Edition, Page A6, Toronto Globe and Mail