In a letter written to the Saskatoon Star Phoenix, Marjaleena Repo reminds Canadians that, although the 2004 merger of the Canadian Alliance and the Progressive Conservative Party -- forming the modern Conservative Party of Canada -- has long been old news, there are still those who remain preoccupied with it.
Apparently resenting the description of the Liberal Party/NDP attempt to form a coalition government -- also worth reiterating: a government that would have been irresponsibly mortgaged to the separatist Bloc Quebecois -- as a coup d'etat, Repo instead describes the CA-PC merger as the same:
"In discussing the possibility of a Liberal-New Democrats merger, frequent reference is made to the Alliance-PC Party 'merger' as the natural and logical one, unlike the projected one of the two opposition parties.Repo goes on to describe MacKay's decision to explore merging the two parties in conspiratorial terms:
Those who participated in the 2003 Progressive Conservative Party leadership campaign and its aftermath know well the so-called merger was simply a coup d'état."
"Leader-elect Peter MacKay ran as a 'non-merger candidate' and signed an agreement with David Orchard pledging not to pursue a merger with the Alliance and to respect the party's constitution that explicitly forbade a merger.Repo may object too much. After all, Orchard and his anti-merger cabal only accounted for 25% of PC membership. A significant minority perhaps, but still a minority.
He did the very opposite and opened PC membership to a flood of Alliance members. These dual Alliance-PC members were able to overtake the much smaller PC membership and, in a manipulated teleconference vote, get the merger approved"
Conversely, when a vote was held on whether or not to accept the merger as proposed in 2003, the result was a landslide.
"Had MacKay abided by the agreement he signed, far from leaving the 2003 leadership convention with no choice but to cave in to the Alliance, the PC party would have carried on the rejuvenation and revitalization process that saw its caucus grow with byelection wins.As it turned out, both Orchard and Repo -- who, herself could never be mistaken as an impartial observer, as she served as senior political advisor to Orchard -- instead joined the Adscam-stained Liberals.
The thousands of Orchard supporters and those who had supported MacKay as a no-merger candidate, would have contributed to the regrowth.
Indeed, it is quite possible the PC party would have done well in the 2004 election, when Canadians were eagerly looking for an alternative to the Adscam-stained Liberals."
In other words, at the end of the day, there was little to no difference between Orchard and the Liberals at all. There was, however, strong similarities and common conservative causes between the Progressive Conservative Party and the Canadian Alliance.
MacKay wisely recognized this, and recognized the folly of keeping the Canadian Alliance and Progressive Conservative parties divided, despite the common philosophical bonds between the two parties -- all in the name of David Orchard's political vanity.
There was not one logical reason to do this. In fact, it would have actually run counter to Peter MacKay's responsibilities as the leader of the PCs: that is, to do what is best for his party.
Perhaps Repo considers her speculation on what could have happened to be pertinent cause to re-think the merger. But the results of what actually happened -- with the Conservative Party of Canada forming the government within two years of the merger -- speaks for itself.
Certainly, some former Progressive Conservative stalwarts abandoned the party after the merger -- but they did this by choice. Some did it out of sheer opportunism (Belinda Stronach, who crossed the floor to become a cabinet minister). Others did it out of being unable to set aside their differences with the former Canadian Alliance and work with who they deemed to be the "wrong" conservatives -- whom many of them contemptuously deemed "Hats and Horses" conservatives.
Marjaleena Repo, for her own part, has gone on to be a contributor to Global Research -- a haven for far left conspiracy theorists, including 9/11 truthers. Orchard himself has also contributed to this dubious think tank.
It's just as fair to speculate that the Liberal Party would have continued to govern Canada had the CPC merger never taken place. And while the Liberals wish they could treat the Sponsorship Scandal as an isolated incident, it's worth mentioning that when a decision regarding the taxation of income trusts was leaked to investors in 2005, the Liberals simply declined to investigate.
In the end, the Minister of Finance, Ralph Goodaale, was cleared of any wrongdoing. A civil servant working in the Finance Department was eventually charged and convicted. Wrongdoing had taken place, and the Liberals simply declined to investigate. Their approach to matters of corruption was, as such, wholly unacceptable from a party expecting to continue governing.
In other words, the stakes for Canada were very high. Peter MacKay recognized this very early, and did not only what was best for his party, but was best for his country. He did what David Orchard simply would not.
At the end of the story, history will speak very favourably about Peter MacKay's decision -- and less-than-favourably of David Orchard and his ideological vanity, if it speaks about Orchard at all.