Re-forming the spirit of Reform

Edmonton - Tuesday, October 15, 2002 - by: Ron Thornton


A lot of water has past under the bridge since the heady days of the late 1980's, the thrill of winning the West in Canadian Election 93, and the elation many felt when the Reform Party formed the Official Opposition in 1997. In those days, we thought we were on a quest that in the end would reform our nation's political institutions, bring integrity to government, and through a demonstration of our much touted principles we were sure we could make this a greater nation for all Canadians.




Reformers marched with their hearts on their sleeves. Their reward had nothing to do with government contracts, friends in high places, or the perks of power. To achieve their objective of bringing some sense and honour back to government was all that mattered. Reformers sought to end the preeminence of central Canadian interests so that the eight other provinces and our northern territories might be heard and listened to, to transform ourselves into a true nation from Atlantic, to Pacific, to Arctic shores. We were proud to be Reformers, proud to give of our time and resources, proud to take part in our noble cause.




Maybe it is just me, but that fire that once burned so brightly and intensely for so long has cooled in recent years. The desire for fulfill Reform's promise still remains strong for I truly believe that only through the measures they advocated might our nation survive long into this century and those to follow. However, the damage done by some reverses in direction by the leadership, Preston Manning's United Alternative gambit and the rebellion of Manning stalwarts, such as Reform icon Deb Gray, against Manning's successor, knocked the wind out of the party's sails and put to an end our political innocence.


Of course, the available political alternatives remain as unappealing and unacceptable as they have been for the past decade or more. Maybe we should spend some time rationally evaluating what life might be like if the West disassociated itself from its neighbours East of Saskatchewan. Unlike Alberta's premier, I wouldn't summarily dismiss the idea without first giving the concept some study. It shouldn't be our first option, but it should be reviewed to a degree that it might be our last. It is an option that a vast majority of us would still like to avoid, but not at the price of sacrificing our future.




We seek hope that this nation will someday include British Columbia, Alberta, and Saskatchewan in a fashion where the hopes of the people who reside there can not be summarily dismissed without meaningful federal political consequences. We seek hope that the vision of the West can be reconciled with the vision of Quebec, where both regions might feel secure and fully integrated within the national framework. We seek hope that Ontario will end its overpowering political dominance in order to share power with its provincial neighbours. We seek hope that a government that is embarrassing and threatening to its citizens might be replaced with one that might help instill within us some measure of pride.


To that end, we look to those who have been entrusted with Reform's promise, Stephen Harper's Canadian Alliance, to rekindle that hope. We encourage him to take the bold initiatives that might provide us with the answers, that might reward our hope with the reality of success. We turn to him to rekindle the fires of those who seek reform, who seek what is best for their region and their nation. We need of him to instill within us the excitement of what could be, to unite us in our quest to realize our potential, and to be bold in achieving those objectives. To be successful, Stephen Harper must demonstrate that along with his great intellectual gifts is the ability to stir our emotions. His party, and his country, are depending on him.


Ron Thornton



Retrun to Ensign - Return to Saskatchewan News

This page is a story posted on Ensign and/or Saskatchewan News, both of which are daily web sites offering a variety of material from scenic images, political commentary, information and news. These publications are the work of Faster Than Light Communications . If you would like to comment on this story or you wish to contact the editor of these sites please send us email.

Editor : Timothy W. Shire
Faster Than Light Communication
Box 1776, Tisdale, Saskatchewan, Canada, S0E 1T0
306 873 2004