So What Is An Alliance?

FTLComm - Tisdale - Monday, July 9, 2001

It was a year ago yesterday that the newly minted Canadian Alliance party held its leadership convention and the rather charasmatic Alberta minister of finance, Stockwell Day was pronounced the leader of this august body.


It was yesterday that this leader offered his resignation to his party executive, well he sort of offered his resignation. It was in the form of a leave of absence until the April leadership review convention when he would seek a new mandate. Of course the executive council rejected the offer because seven of the nine executive members had already asked in writing for Mr. Day to resign immediately.




We really have to think over this issue because clearly there is a problem. The Reform party as it was configured under the leadership of Preston Manning discovered that even if they got all the votes they could they could not and would not form the government of Canada without somehow getting support from former Progressive Conservative and other non-committed voters. So Preston dismantled his parting in a "unite the Right" campaign and established the party that was to solve the problem.




Even as the party was been formed there was a problem about what to call it and there was an attempt to call the party something with the word "conservative" in it but the Progressive Conservative Party thwarted that encroachment on their name and it was decided to call themselves the "Alliance". Now this is an interesting term, almost biblical in nature an alliance is some diverse people working together toward a common goal. The whyly Jean Cretien discovered that if he went to an election before his mandate was up he would force the new Alliance to test their metal immediately.




As we all remember the campaign faught between the newly former "alliance" and the other parties was a particularly nasty one. It seems that they name they had chosen was a problem because both internally and externally Stockwell Day had no idea whatever about alliances and crashing forward independly of all but his closest Christian supporters. Instead of attracting voters to form an alliance the platform and posture of the leader was single minded and uncompromising. The results were inevitable, failure.




Then as leader of the opposition Stockwell Day, leader of a party called the "Alliance" pontificated all decisions. He and those in his office determined policy and pronouncements and when opposed by members of parliament he and his advisers launched nasty counter campaigns against those with whom there was a need for an alliance. This process was repeated time after time and the members became unhappy and finally began openly declaring that their leader end his leaderhip. You have to realise how desparate these people were, they had nothing to lose their leader was bent on a single minded self actualised leadership and forming alliances was not his method of operation.




By the end of June the $6,000,000 debt of the party was weighing heavily on the party and the plan to do some summer fund raising was being sidelined as the leader further provoked more disaffection. Our own MP was loyal to the leader right up until the leaders office began putting out press releases condemning him. Deborah Grey one of the Reform and Alliance saints was cautiously holding her tung right up until the leader and his office began a law suit against her. With this kind of turmoil in the party and the popularity fallen in the polls to 6% it was clear that raising the $6,000,000 this summer or any other time was going to be impossible.




Without money a political party is worse than impotent it is treated with disrespect by the business community and can not attact followers. Stockwell Day the "nonAlliance" man has driven his party into obscurity and destroyed it completely. As things stand there is no longer a viable opposition the Alliance part is the exact opposite to what it was formed to achieve it is a battleground of warring factions while at the same time financial insolvent and unable to raise additional funds. The idea of the leader waiting until April to be replaced is so absurd because even now there is no real party to lead and by April everyone especially those in the party will be so weary of the battles and intrigue that they will have no enthusiasm for a convention.




Say good-bye to the Canadian Alliance it now joins the Social Credit, The Progressives, and Union National, Reform, and the CCF, as just another political movement that came along and disappeared. The others all made some transistion but the Alliance proved untrue to its name and leaves a bitter taste on everyone's mouths for its deceipt and confusion.

Timothy W. Shire