In a recent column concerning the Conservative Party of Canada leadership race, Rex Murphy mused perplexedly over the paucity of confabulatory prose by this nation’s columnists and news writers on the topic of the race.
Rex, the leadership race is not dead. Your editors have merely found another story and they’re running with it. I’m talking, of course, about the American Democratic Party Leadership Race. Why is our nation’s news media so focused on a topic that they usually abhor? Indeed, our national news peddlers tend to give American news less attention than its worth. Yet, why does our opposition’s leadership race get so much less coverage than the American’s opposition leadership race receives? The American Democrats and the Canadian Conservatives are trying to do the same thing, in effect: change the government. However, Peter Mansbridge has spoken more about John Kerry than Belinda Stronach, and we’ve heard more about Lieberman’s Joementum (or lack thereof) than we have heard about Tony Clement.
Our leadership race is news. Rex, you should ask your editors why they’re choosing to ignore the story. Without media coverage, our leadership contenders can only be heard as far as they can shout. Mr. Murphy has declared that Belinda Stronach, Tony Clement and Stephen Harper have all climbed inside a “Trojan horse”, ready to attack the Liberal party’s stranglehold on power. It’s not that the three intend to stay within the horse, rather, it’s that nobody has told the city of Troy that the horse is waiting outside its gates.
Add another MP to the growing list of public endorsements of Belinda Stronach. Today Val Meredith, a founding member of the Reform Party of Canada, threw her support behind Belinda. She explained,
“I have known and worked with Stephen Harper for over 15 years, and he is a key reason why we are here today. I am friends with Tony Clement and appreciate his track record as an Ontario cabinet minister. However, Belinda not only offers proven leadership skills from her term as President and CEO of one of the largest corporations in Canada, she has demonstrated that she can capture the imagination of Canadians.”
Belinda Stronach reassured Meredith that MPs will be able to vote based upon the wishes of their constituents and not necessarily that of the leader. Belinda supports free votes for MPs: a fundamental principle of the former Canadian Alliance party.
I hear that the Ontario PC policy convention this weekend was quite busy. While Ontario Tory policy was discussed, the convention provided a showcase for the three candidates vying for the leadership of the Conservative Party of Canada. Tony Clement, Belinda Stronach and Stephen Harper all put on hospitality suites to woo the attending members of the Ontario Progressive Conservative Party.
Some putative policies were underlined by the three leadership hopefuls. Tony Clement declared that he believes that capital punishment should be an option for extreme cases.
“My personal view is that in the case of serial killers and murderers of police officers, for instance, that it would be appropriate in those circumstances”. — Tony Clement
On the same issue, Belinda Stronach declared “I’m against the death penalty”.
Furthermore, the 37 year-old mother of two voiced her concern that women are underrepresented in parliament. Stronach explained that women make-up only 20% of the federal legislature. Meanwhile she criticized the media for their focus on image. While the media’s focus doesn’t bother her, she worried that it may discourage other women from running for office.
“It should be about the ideas, not necessarily about the shoes you’re wearing. We should reflect on how other young women would feel about the focus on the clothes and the shoes” — Belinda Stronach
Stephen Harper, Belinda Stronach and Tony Clement were all active friday night as they hosted party members, yet Harper did not campaign on Saturday at the convention.
Well, I found the Google advertisement attacking Belinda Stronach on her wealth. The above advertisement “Even the playing field” links to Stephen Harper’s oneconservativevoice.ca and the bottom advertisement is the standard Belinda Stronach google ad. It should be noted that both of these ads were displayed when “Belinda Stronach” was googled.
Today I noticed a couple interesting things as I was meandering around the Internet. As I was googling on Google, I noticed some rather savvy/sneaky techniques used by Belinda Stronach, Stephen Harper and Tony Clement. It seems that if one searches for Tony Clement on Google, a Belinda Stronach ad is displayed as a Google advertisement off to the side. Similarly, if one searches Stephen Harper the very same thing happens; plainly and emphatically “Belinda Stronach campaign. Join. Recruit. Vote.” I found this little strategy to be a little amusing and to her campaign team’s credit, very clever. Out of the three, Belinda Stronach has the most polished website, with its very own blog and sophisticated recruitment program. Stephen Harper has a website which is decent in comparison while Tony Clement’s website is so very very basic. More interestingly is the backlash by the campaign team of Stephen Harper in response to the Google campaign of Belinda Stronach. When one googles Stephen Harper there’s the Belinda Stronach ad but under it is a much more interesting ad. It’s an ad that seems to point to the fake internet address “Shesabillionairedamnit.ca” with the tagline which says something like “She’s a billionaire damnit. Click. her. ads. waste. her. money”. When you click on the advertisement it redirects you to the campaign website of Stephen Harper.
I wish that I had gotten a screen shot because when I reloaded the Google search in disbelief, the Shesabillionairedamnit ad had disappeared. Maybe my clickthrough on the google ad had capped-off the ad’s daily spending limit? Anyways, is this a sign that Stephen Harper’s team is feeling a little heat from Belinda Stronach? I wish that I had gotten a screen shot because when I reloaded the Google search in disbelief, the Shesabillionairedamnit ad had disappeared. Maybe my clickthrough on the google ad had capped-off the ad’s daily spending limit? So, a google war between Stephen Harper and Belinda Stronach. We’ll just see how much of an effect these internet campaigns will have on the leadership race.
Oh, and Tony: Really! Please do something about your website!