Quite a eulogistic writeup. Obviously a supporter.

It is impossible for me to answer each point by point--I probably couldn't convince such a true believer, but I would like to voice my opposition to such politics on the American model being imported into Canada.

Day was part of the government that, ideologically closed, and then blew up hospitals, just so they could then say there were not enough public insitiutions, and they would have to start paying private institutions with public money.

And, of course, the public doesn't appreciate this--there were mass demonstrations for days, but so democratic was the government Day was a prominent member of, they completely ignored the people!

In Day's own past, he was a pastor of some small, right-wing church, one of the many that have found a home in the prairies of Canada. Many views that would not find a home in most parts of Canada is right at home there.

Now, the party that Day would be leader of, the Canadian Alliance once the Reform Party of Canada, created by Preston Manning.

Trying so hard to separate itself from the old-line parties, in attempting to become a national party, used just the same old methods to get members--the party, in direct violation of its own rules, signed up people who had never heard of the party, and used the party's own money to do it. It also sent membership cards to prominent members of other parties with strange names on the cards. Aparty that wants to rule the country can't get its own records right.

It began its existence as a way to let the West in. But they found that no matter how much they yelled, or how extreme their policies were--and they are--the demographics of Canada are quite simple. There are more people in Ontario and Quebec than in the rest of the country. Democracy would say that Ontarians and Qyebecers would have a voice at least equal to the voice of westerners.

Speaking of voices, Day is not unknown for his conservative social views, and I am uneasy about anyone who would like to enforce these views on me--he has not made it clear that he wouldn't.

As in Ontario, the results of radical reactionary politics, the so-called common sense revolution that the Canadian Alliance wants to bring to the whole country, are only now being felt: Cuts Kill! Lower taxes, no matter how they are hyped, help only the rich.

Day is smart, I'll never deny him that, getting out while the getting is good, before he can be tarred with the tragedies that are only now unfolding.

But I am not too worried. The history of western populism, whether of The Left or of The right is not encouraging to Day. This is the very reason that Preston Manning wanted to go to the next step, and risk what he has built over the years.

To govern, they must do what any other party has done to govern. This corruption has already begun. The only thing that could tip the scales in Day's favour, should he win, is the same old money, given by the same old interests, in return for the same old demands:


This is not an inconsiderable point, money has always perverted politics before, and it has already entered Day's party through Tom Long's campaign. And this money is emboldened by the kinds of things Day says, and the policies Day has been part of.

The fall of the public sector, the socialization of the costs of the private sector and the privatization of public services can only hurt us all--but by the time we realize it, there may be little we can do, especially for the victims.

sakico: No, I'm not a liberal, either in the American sense or in the Canadian. But I am a realist, too. Our history is clear, more of us have done better during periods of government by the Liberal Party of Canada, until the current regime, when under public pressure, or what we are lead to belive is public pressure, has adopted many of the policies of the Canadian Alliance, Mike Harris' Ontario Tories, and Ralph Klein and Stockwell Day's Alberta Tories. They are all the same ilk.

I just can't see being blinded by hate to the extent that it would install something much worse. This has happened in Ontario. I fear the consequences if it comes to Canada.

And, O yes, if you didn't notice, I am a little passionate on this subject.

More:I'm in Ontario. Maybe its true that what a provincial government does, does affect the economy. But it is true that Ontario is the second-largest trading partner with the United States--cars and auto-parts--so when the U.S. is doing well, any ideologue can do well.

And maybe, the simple economic indicators, GDP, business starts, mergers and acquisitions, are all that there is to measure.

I don't believe that. Bankruptcies, especially personal, rental vacancy rates, even welfare rates, though like all figures, they can be fudged--and usually are.

On June 15, 2000, there was a riot on the steps of The Pink Palace, the Ontario legislature, and appropriately so, it was the day the Toronto Stock Exchange hit another all-time high. So what!!

Economic booms, on the American model, are great for some, but for the most of us--it isn't so. But all we get, is the pr from those who have so much already, want so much more, and control all the we see and hear. (Like Conrad Black]

By the way, New Zealand is where the name for the Goods and Services Tax, GST came from. It is also the place whose economic miracle was extolled by Bob Rae (Where he picked up the political fashion. I suspect that anyone who actually goes there, will be unpleasantly surprised by how much the same it is to Ontario, and Canada--or worse; where we'll be when these policies take deep effect.

If that's what you like.....?

Do you really know where the participants in The Pink Palace riot came from?

Since the coming to power of Mike Harris, Tom Long, and the rest who ape American policies, homelessness has reached crisis proportions in Toronto, aided and abetted by the Ontario Government.

My vision of utopia does not include dying in the streets--people do die in the streets! My vision does not include the forcible eviction of persons from their homes, because the law now permits them to be removed, so landlords can charge more.

The benefits that you and yours reap, do not arise in a vacuum. Cast your eyes south, and really see what is there. A society that is ever stretched thiner and thiner in the middle, with a huge bulge at the bottom, and a very much smaller bulge at the top, is unsustainable, except in television fantasy.

The irony seems to be that the greatest fall is not from the lower middle classes, but from the lower upper classes. And it is their fear that is pushing an agenda of repression. To be poor now is a crime. Our tradition used to require an overt act--now the mere state is enough.

Mike Harris and Ralph Klein have learned how to fan the flames of this fear: they don't reapond to peaceful, principled demonstrations.

Days of mass, peaceful, protest around the Alberta legislature accomplished nothing.

Mike Harris' government doesn't follow previous Ontario legislature practice of holding hearings, and heeding the constructive advice of the Opposition. Massive changes in the education system, municipal goverance, and health care system were imposed. Massive changes in post-secondary education is coming.

American style politics require a different approach.

The disenfrancised have no recourse. The police have long been used by those with power to suppress opposition. When my grandfather was helping to organize the Jewish rag-trade in Toronto, the police were used to stop it--Trade Unions were then considered subversive, as they are today, but today its rarely because they are commie!

I'm not sure what is being complained about here. This is the vision of the world those now in power espouse. Those who don't have homes, those who don't have jobs, those who live on the street, are crimianls, and undeserving. And deserve being swept off the street.

Which is just what is happenning to them. But where are they going to go?

Maybe the answer to all our social problems is to do it ourselves. Maybe all that needs to happen is for the government to stop taxing us, give us our money back, and we will make the decisions.

Then only those truly deserving will get aid. None of those people who don't look like us, or think like us, or whose parents didn't come from the same places ours did.

And for those people who are sick, or can't contribute to our good--well, why should we support them?

It's not about making us feel good. It's about the right thing. Utopia? For some, it is nearly that--and growing closer.

"A thousand points of light" is a great slogan. But with all proposals of a conservative nature, social or economic, the benefits go to those with enormous income and assets. The government will always have a helping hand for them. Always has.

We can abandon huge chunks of our fellows, let them fend for themselves. But they still have before them the same corporatized dreams that we do. they still want a piece of the American Dream, because that's what we all want.

They will be unhappy. But we have the strength of the state behind us. We have the police. We have prisons--now being privatized, so there is a profit motive in having lots and lots of criminals.

We can fulfill the unstated portion of the American Dream--build more prisons than schools. We can level hospitals because it is no longer the political fashion. We can turn government against the majority of people.

Police, prisons, surveillance--I don't want this utopia--panopticon!

As Stockwell Day proceeds to the leadership of the Canadian Alliance, fighting in the same old territory--Ontario--in the same old way--with Tom Long's political machine using the same old tricks--for the same old voters.....

What has changed? The package has changed, but the marketing is the same. And the market is the same.

I may not have been at The Pink Palace that day, but I am not the only one who is not surprised at what happenned--or will be at what is to come.

I agree with you first point of your last point. (I don't think that's too confusing.)

My point is that in North America, anyone can go from rags to riches.

My point is, that's the mythology. I would say that the poor support the rich by being poor. That there can't be rich without their being poor, and that the rich have managed to distort the apparatus of government. (That's why they're rich.)

And that is why public health and public schools are being allowed to deteriorate. Line-jumping in health care is like private school, though not for that a good thing.

Yes, either the Liberal party or the Canadian Alliance will be the next government. But only the one that does the most advertising, in the American Style. And with Stockwell Day, it may very well be a race to the bottom.

Let's see who we throw over the side next.

In a move of pure pre-election political satire, Rick Mercer of This Hour Has 22 Minutes called for Canadians to hold a referendum to change Stockwell Day's name to Doris Day.

The humour behind this lies in a piece of legislation the Canadian Alliance wished to have passed assuming they won the election (which they did not). This bill would allow for citizens to petition the government to hold referenda. The only stipulation being a minimum of 350,000 names.

http://www.22minutes.com/ hosted the "Doris Day Referendum" petition, which was signed by over one million Canadians. The show segment is still available on the website archives in RealMedia format.

Politician, auctioneer, businessman, contractor, school administrator
Member of Parliament from 2000-present
Minister of Public Safety from 2006-2008
Minister of International Trade from 2008-2010
President of the Treasury Board from 2010-present

Stockwell Day is a Canadian politician and was, while leader of the Canadian Alliance, the leader of the opposition in the House of Commons. Though he has a solid vote base and has been elected as the member of parliament for the British Columbia riding of Okanagan-Coquihalla three times, he has become somewhat of a caricature of himself in recent years.

Early life and career

Stockwell Burt Day was born on August 16, 1950, in Barrie, Ontario. His early life was spent between Canada’s east coast and its capital city of Ottawa. According to his official bio, he has lived in several parts of Canada (including the Arctic). Day’s official website states that he “attended” the University of Victoria but his official parliamentary webpage does not list a degree. He was not always politically interested and worked as (among other things) an auctioneer and a vice-principal before entering provincial politics in the 1986. He was elected to the Alberta provincial legislature and served as the Progressive Conservative party’s minister of finance and chief whip. During various periods in which Ralph Klein was unavailable or unable to govern (due to matters including but not limited to official trips and the like), Day also assumed the role of “acting premier.”

He represented the riding of Red Deer North for his entire provincial career and left provincial politics in 2000 after the “evolution” of the federal Reform Party into the Canadian Alliance to run for federal parliament.

Federal politics

Day had garnered a fair amount of popular support during his political career in Alberta. After the Reform Party became the Canadian Alliance, the leadership of longtime Reform leader Preston Manning began to be questioned. Day ran for the leadership of the newly minted Alliance and defeated Manning on the second ballot with 44% of the vote. Though the leadership campaign had been reasonably tense at times, Manning encouraged the party to unite behind Day’s leadership so that the Alliance might provide a viable alternative to the governing Liberals. Since he had inherited the leadership of the second largest party in the House of Commons, he was ‘automatically’ Leader of the Opposition. Wanting to prove himself as a leader and provide his party with the opportunity to increase its power, Day lobbied for a federal election shortly after his arrival in the House (he won the right to represent Okanagan-Coquihalla in a by-election after his election as party leader). Prime Minister Jean Chrétien called an election for that November; it was during this campaign that Canada became extremely familiar with Stockwell.

The 2000 Canadian Federal Election

Throughout the campaign, Day promised to reevaluate Canada’s health care system, and pushed for better federal-provincial relations. At its outset, he came across to many as “leadership material.” Then some other things happened.

Speed bumps

Much of Day’s popularity came from the fact that, despite a well-publicized attempt at a “makeover,” he was undoubtedly more “media savvy” than Manning (who was often stereotyped as being old and out of touch). Supporters and critics alike agree that there are few other Canadian politicians who can play to a camera like Stockwell Day. This just didn’t always work to his advantage.

In an attempt to increase the amount of “power” held by the Canadian populace should the Alliance be elected as the governing party, Day announced that, should the party win a majority government, it would introduce legislation that would hold a referendum on any issue if at least 4% of the population signed a petition in favour of holding such a vote. The only problem is that, in a country of roughly 30 million people, 4% of the population is not a large number – at all. In an attempt to prove this, the good people at This Hour Has 22 Minutes decided to put together a mock petition campaign challenging Day to change his first name to Doris. The petition received over a million signatures (well more than the 4% required to stage a referendum if the Alliance won power, which they didn’t) and Day attempted to use the incident to increase his level of “approachability:” he appeared on 22 Minutes saying that Doris Day was before his time, but some of the Liberals might remember her. He also sang part of Que Sera, Sera, and several million people rolled their eyes in unison. (He and several other members of the Canadian Alliance caucus also appeared in a mock music video produced by 22 Minutes after the election was called. They lip synced ‘Raise a Little Hell.’)

Day, a devout Christian, also raised eyebrows by announcing that he was making a point of not campaigning on Sundays. This would not have been much of a ‘gaffe’ except in that he drew so much attention to it that something that should have been a personal decision ended up the target of an elaborate musical number on Royal Canadian Air Farce: Don Ferguson, the Air Farce member who plays Day in the troupe’s skits, appeared as the Alliance leader in what appeared to be a small church with a group of dancing congregants. He sang a reworked version of Never on Sunday and eventually joined in the traditional Greek dance. He was also wearing a wetsuit. Confused? Read on.

The incident for which Day is perhaps the most remembered is his arrival at a news conference on a Jet Ski, clad in a wetsuit. He claimed his point was to illustrate his dedication to his constituency and his hobbies, but the press jumped all over this one. Every time he is portrayed on Air Farce – to this very day, nearly five years later – he is depicted wearing a wetsuit. Political analysts and media experts often cite the incident as one of the most disastrous blunders in political history. Photographic evidence of the moment lives on through the miracle of the Internet, right next to photos of Margaret Thatcher on a toboggan. bewilderbeast points out that at one event, after having been drenched in chocolate milk by a protestor, Day attempted to salvage his dignity by saying he wished he had a wetsuit at the time, but the damage had already been done. By this point, many Canadians (most of whom indicated that they wouldn’t necessarily be willing to vote for the Alliance anyway) grew disenchanted with Day and his unique brand of politics.

The political half of the campaign

Despite the aforementioned stunts and blunders, Day did campaign fiercely throughout the 2000 race. He took the government to task on matters including health care and national defense. He attempted to come out as a fighter during the televised debates, during one of which (if I recall correctly) he must have set the record for most uses of the phrase “Answer the question” in one 60 minute period. Day is also remembered for making frequent use of a handwritten sign reading “No 2-Tier Healthcare” throughout the debate, a reference to his attempt to portray himself as an advocate for Canada’s unilateral health care system. The moderator admonished him on several occasions for making use of the sign (props aren’t allowed at these debates). He claimed they were his lecture notes, but most people didn’t believe him.

Day and the Alliance fared considerably well in the 2000 Canadian Federal Election despite growing concerns as to his ability to lead the party. They, though unable to win, retained their position as official opposition and increased their seat count. For the first time ever, a Reform/Alliance party also won seats in Ontario. Day’s tenure as leader of the opposition continued throughout most of the 37th parliament, until dissident MPs put a stop to it.

Cast off

Day’s actions and statements throughout the 2000 election campaign, though they didn’t have any major adverse effect on the Alliance’s election results, were damaging to both Day’s approval rating and general public opinion of the party. This became increasingly controversial when certain Alliance members openly criticized Day’s leadership skills and techniques and were subsequently suspended from the caucus. As various MPs began to get fed up with his leadership, a small group of them formally split from the party in the summer of 2001 (Reform Party original member Deborah Grey among them) and sat independently as the Democratic Representative Caucus. In the fall of 2001, Day offered to welcome the 12 MPs back into the Alliance caucus if they were to promise not to criticize his leadership. Some accepted but others remained independents. During this time, they co-operated with Joe Clark and the Progressive Conservative Party.

As this continued and his popularity rating decreased, Day realized that such actions would not be good for the party and that it would therefore be unable to act as an effective opposition and/or viable alternative government. He then offered to resign his position as leader and hold a leadership convention, granted that he was able to run for the position again, thus leaving the choice up to members of the party. He was defeated by Stephen Harper, an Alliance MP from Calgary, on the first ballot. He was promptly appointed as the party’s foreign affairs critic.

Stockwell Day in today’s parliament

Day was re-elected in the 2004 Canadian Federal Election and continues to serve as the Conservative Party of Canada’s foreign affairs critic (the Alliance merged with the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada in December 2003).

When the Conservatives stumbled into a minority government in the 2006 Canadian federal election, Day was appointed Minister of Public Safety. In the period between the election and the swearing-in of the new government, there was a great deal of speculation that he would be appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs (as that had been his critic portfolio). This caused a great deal of controversy, as Day himself was seen to be somewhat of a controversial figure to represent the country on certain issues. The post went to Peter MacKay instead.

Stockwell Day splits his time between his constituency in British Columbia and Ottawa. He is married and has three sons and eight grandchildren.

Constituency Office http://www.stockwellday.com/stock.htm April 27, 2005
Federal Political Experience – DAY, Stockwell Burt http://www.parl.gc.ca/information/about/people/key/bio.asp?lang=E&query=17719&s=M April 27, 2005
Personal interest in Canadian politics

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