Brian Mulroney as the opening salvo of a battle for the hearts and minds of the future Conservative Party? Will it be "Return of the Jedi" or "Revenge of the Nerds?" Either way it could be entertaining, just don't count on it.
Lyin' Brian will be the keynote speaker at Toronto's Albany Club as the PC contingent launch their campaign to keep their party from collapsing back into the old Reform pit of darkness.
“Before they choose a leader, they need to have a conversation about the soul of the party, and he’s the one to do that,” said a source close to the former prime minister. “How does the party make its way back to the centre?”
Or, as one Red Tory sage said of the speech, “It’ll be a great moment in sports.”
Former aide to Mulroney and, more recently, Conservative MP for Calgary Centre Lee Richardson confirmed that the Liberal Party’s stunning election results Oct. 19 after a remarkably tactical and miscalculated Conservative campaign included the votes of many senior pre-Harperite Tories who’ve voted reliably blue all their adult lives.
“The Liberals were the preferred alternative of Progressive Conservatives,” said Richardson.
In a conservative political culture that lived through the Diefenbaker-Stanfield wars of the 60s and the Clark-Mulroney wars of the late 70s and early 80s, Gervais says he isn’t worried that soul searching will degenerate into knife-throwing.
“If we weren’t fighting, I’d be worried,” he quipped, adding seriously that the process of often fractious post-loss stock-taking is a healthy one for any party.
...“I was livid,” said Gervais, of watching the 2015 campaign unfold. He blames the acute need for re-branding, as many have, on Harper’s post-2011 political advisers.
“They had almost a Stalinistic way of looking at things,” Gervais, now vice president of The Capital Hill Group, marvelled. “You were either on-side, or you were dead.”
“Theirs was a suspicious Canada and a Canada without dreams; they always preferred short-term tactics over a long-term vision,” Norquay writes. “They never understood governing, so they saw no use for government. They ran a closed circle, they humiliated staff, they berated candidates, they pushed every reasonable argument far beyond its logical limit, they shut out others with a different view, and they crafted a campaign based much more on anger and fear than hope. And they weren’t even competent enough to prevent guys peeing in cups from becoming candidates.
“Within the Conservative Party, great will be the celebration at their well-deserved and permanent riddance.”
Let the games begin.