The Reform Party of Canada is one of the bookends that was Brian Mulroney's strategy for building his party--the other became what is now known as the Bloc Quebecois.

The irony of a party founded upon the Alienated West, feeling under-represented, and bitter about Ontario and Quebec, is that in the final stages of its leadership campaign, between Stockwell Day and Preston Manning--the former leader of the former Reform Party--they are fighting it out in Ontario, for Ontario members. And it is doing this with the supporters, and political machine of defeated leadership contender Tom Long, Mike Harris backroom operator.

No matter who wins, he will have to campaign in Ontario for Ontario voters. This is the political map of Canada. For any party to be government, it must win Ontario. The fate of all previous prairie populist parties has been sealed by their failure to do do this.

Reform couldn't. If the Canadian Alliance does this, will it then become the very thing it doesn't want to be?