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Monday, July 26, 2004

PCs staging a reverse takeover of the Conservative Alliance? Harper's shadow cabinet

Last week (Jim Prentice - Canada's next prime minister?) and on June 29 (The June 28 election - the Tories lose - the Liberals nearly lose - the Flubs and the Smarts), we said that the Conservative Party must purge itself of its Neanderthal elements. On Thursday, July 22, Stephen Harper excluded some of the party's most obnoxious Neanderthals from his shadow cabinet. On Thursday, Harper appointed to the shadow cabinet, as deputy leader, Peter McKay, former leader of the old Progressive Conservative Party; as social development critic, Peter Van Loan of Toronto, the former PC national president; as native affairs critic, Jim Prentice, former PC second-place leadership candidate together with Alliance moderates Belinda Stronach; Jim Moore; Jim Rajotte; Rahim Jaffer and Rona Ambrose. More significantly, Harper refused to appoint anti-abortionists Cheryl Gallant and Rob Merrifield; B.C. simian antihuman rights activist Randy White and North Okanagan all-around-red-neck Darrel Stinson.

But were the PCs staging a reverse takeover of the old Alliance Party? Not really - only 25% of the shadow cabinet are former Progressive Conservatives. And Harper retained Stockwell ("Alley Oop") Day as his "faith-based" foreign affairs critic. At best, Harper has taken only a half step towards cleaning up his party.



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