Wednesday, August 07, 2002

Death of a RINO-Well, the north-of-the-boarder version. Joe Clark resigned as leader of the Conservative Party today, seeing that he will not get back to being prime minister is unable to lead his party to the majority. The party title is a bit of a misnomer, as the Alliance Party is now the main conservative party while the Conservatives are RINOesque. There's an outside shot with Clark's leaving that a Conservative/Alliance merger will be pulled off. The Conservatives have to figure out whether they want to lean a bit left and hook up with the Alliance party or become the Canadian equivalent of the Social Democrats of Britain. A century ago, the fight was between the Conservatives and the Liberals, then Labour took over the left part of the political spectrum, leaving the Liberals (later rechristened the Social Democrats) as a suburban niche party getting 10-20% of the vote. It appears that the Alliance has taken over the Conservatives part of the political ecosystem, so the Tories will have to adapt or die. The chance of them getting a majority again, barring a Alliance melt-down, are slim, so they can either accept being a niche party, doing well in the Maritimes and a few suburban ridings or hold their nose and merge with the Alliance.

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