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Thursday, April 04, 2002

The Canadian Right's Ad-Hoc Merger- For quite a while, I wondered if there was a way under Canadian election law to run fusion candidates. The small-c conservatives split into two camps a decade ago, with the established Conservatives keeping the RINOesque crowd, while the more conservative camp started up the Reform Party, later renamed the Canadian Alliance party with some additional Conservative defections. With the two parties splitting the right-of-center vote, the Liberals thrived, especially in Ontario. There's enough policy difference to preclude a merger, as neither party wants to compromise on core principals. However, in ridings (parliament districts) that had a majority conservative vote but a Liberal plurality, it would make since for the riding to select a fusion conservative candidate. Such a plan has been floated by people but rejected by the main leaders of both the Alliance and Conservative parties. Until now. Conservative leader Joe Clark (briefly PM in the late 70s) has agreed to the conservative fusion candidate concept, pushing "for one conservative candidate in federal ridings". Now the open question-will new Alliance Leader Stephen Harper sign off on that as well? If he does and can bring the Alliance faithful along, it may spell the end of Liberal rule. Stay tuned. [update-Kiss and Make Up Division-Ousted Alliance Leader Stockwell Day's the new foreign affairs critic-thus the likely Foreign Minister should the Alliance win next go-round (if they don't give it to Joe Clark in a coalition government) .]

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