Perhaps a day late on my part, but yesterday Stephen Harper wrote an open letter to the National Council confirming that he will stay on as leader of the Conservative Party of Canada.
Good for him and good for the party.
Stephen Harper ran a good and an overall positive campaign and should not be blamed for the 11th hour loss of the election. He has always put up a good fight against the Liberals on the issue of Liberal sponsorship dealings and was even fighting that battle long before Sheila Fraser’s report. His calm and professional campaign showed Canadians that while we weren’t granted the priveledge to lead, we were granted the responsibility of holding this new Liberal minority to account, and as a party we have been dubbed a government-in-waiting.
So kudos to Stephen Harper! This member is glad he’s staying on.
Here’s his letter:
July 19, 2004
Mr. Don Plett
President, National Council
Conservative Party of Canada
This is to advise you formally of my intention to lead the Conservative Party of Canada through the next federal general election.
Since the federal election of June 28th, I have engaged in wide consultations in order to make a decision about my personal future in the best interest of the party and of our country. In the course of those consultations, I have detected no body of opinion in the caucus, in the party, or in the public at large that would seem to favour a leadership change at this time.
Broadly speaking, there is a consensus that our party has made rapid progress in a short period of time and has the capacity to make even more over the coming months. I want to lead that effort and ensure that the Conservative Party becomes the next government of Canada.
I am pleased to assure you also that this decision carries the unwavering support of my family, who understand what this renewed commitment will entail as we prepare for the next election.
In closing, please let me express my heartfelt thanks to you and to the rest of Council for the resounding support expressed to me in our meeting of July 7th and my genuine appreciation for the hard work you all continue to do on behalf of the Conservative Party of Canada.
Stephen Harper, M.P.
Leader of the Opposition
Leader of the Conservative Party of Canada