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Monday, June 28, 2004


Stephen Harper, the leader of the opposition amidst much bally-a-hoo, stepped to the podium and he said, well he said the obvious. Preaching to the choir he declared. “We the loyal opposition of this country will continue to hold them accountable,” cue pop. “We will continue to…” insert party platform here.

A hard fought campaign was over. I got within arm’s reach of the Conservative leader. The man’s face, though draped with a smile, definitely showed defeat. He wasn’t answering questions from us media types, and really I can’t blame him. But I was looking for a reaction as to what happened in Ontario. Jim Prentice, newly elected MP for the new riding of Calgary North Centre deflected my question about the Ontario factor focusing on the positive. “This is a party that is barely six months old. We’ve made a footprint in Ontario and in the days ahead we’re going to do what Stephen said, we’re going to do: our job, our responsibility, which is to keep Canada on track.”

Harper spoke of greater accountability, and pledged to keep “fighting that the voice of the west is someday heard and accepted.”

Well then, is this Reform Party rhetoric, or were the balloons and confetti unleashed on the hip-swaying, clapping party loyalists after Harper’s speech warranted. As the anonymous young man next to me said to his adoring partner, “We’ll get even in 6 months. This was a test.”

Cyril Doll

Wrap up

The party died quickly. The band is playing a slow blues-jazz-esque piece with a muted trumpet solo as I write. A few people mingle in the hall, and an older couple walks out with a couple of paper plates filled with food, wrapped in plastic. Going home to snack.

There was a lot of serious discussion in the lobby outside the main hall, but it was usually between two and in low tones, and I couldn’t get close enough to pick up anything of substance. Lots of flipping of cellphones.

Back in the media room much the same thing. A few reporters shouted questions as the TV announced this or that tight race was still undeclared.

Game 7 and the Flames. Canada’s hope, dashed again.

Oh well, time to start filing those Freedom of Information requests and start digging. Now maybe the media will have some time to think about that story that broke on Friday about Paul Martin and his company’s $82 million profit from changes to the pension legislation that Martin had a hand in.

The story is not over. Our country can be saved.

Posted by Kevin Steel on June 28, 2004 | Permalink


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More like 29.61% of Canadians hope "dashed" again...

Posted by: Libby | 2004-06-29 9:16:35 AM

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