The Conservative Party of Canada:
An 'evolution' of the Tory Party? ... or Reform's latest guise?

Niagara Falls, Ontario - Monday, December 1, 2003 - by: Joe Hueglin


Should the pattern of voting set at Progressive Conservative Delegate Selection Meetings continue, the number of individuals who will vote on December 6th in favour of the Harper-MacKay Agreement will be so high only one conclusion can be drawn. Those favouring merger with the Alliance successfully carried out an end run around those holding Progressive Conservative Party memberships prior to October 15th.
  Claims will be made that those who have sustained the Progressive Conservative Party for a decade…who believed they had elected a 'no merger Leader'…simply changed their minds. The reality is Tories have been overwhelmed by a massive influx of new members and a system that did not select delegates in proportion to the votes cast by riding members. Rather, as in American Presidential elections where all a state's electoral votes can be won by 50% + 1, in riding after riding YES slates were elected.
  Those who this Saturday will remove the Progressive Conservative Party from the roster of options open to Canadians face a major problem. Persuading both traditional Tory voters, (1,500,000 in Election 2000), and those who cast swing votes between the Liberal and Progressive Conservative Parties, that the newly created Conservative Party of Canada is an evolved Progressive Conservative Party...rather than the Reform Party under yet another name.
  A task in all likelihood made more difficult by Stephen Harper being elected Leader.


Joe Hueglin




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