Volume 94, Issue 52

Thursday, November 30, 2000


New fund opens door for Western

York strike turns ugly

Law faculty boosted with new scholarship program

Alliance faces problem of uniting the right

Campus Briefs

New bill aims to seize mob profits

Alliance faces problem of uniting the right

By Sean Maraj
Gazette Staff

Prime Minister Jean Chretien and the Liberal Party ran away with the federal election this past Monday, but for the Canadian Alliance party and the conservative right, questions remain.

The Nov. 27 election was projected to be the breakthrough election for the Alliance. Although dominating Western Canada for the past two elections, the Alliance was hoping to win seats in the Liberal-dominated Ontario. That did not materialize as the Alliance only managed to win two seats in Ontario and the Liberal Party walked away with 100 out of 103.

"It was a bittersweet result, we were hoping to see more seats in Ontario," said Tony Gronow, a spokesperson for the Alliance party.

Gronow was also quick to point out that although the Alliance did not win many seats outside of Western Canada, the party's overall support increased.

"In the bigger picture we were the only party outside the Liberals to increase in the popular votes and seats. Slowly but surely our message is getting through," he said.

The other party on the right side of the spectrum, Joe Clark and the Progressive Conservative party, barely held on to party status as they walked away with the minimum 12 seats required for official party status.

Susan Elliott, national director of the PC party, said she was happy with the election results.

"We're happy, we set ourselves two objectives. Retain party status and elect our leader, and we did that," she said.

One of the most debatable issues for these parties was the idea of vote-splitting. Gronow said he thought vote splitting played a factor in his party's outcome.

"If you go through the newspapers and take 50 per cent of the number of votes that went to the third place guy [usually a Tory] you suddenly realize that there were a number of seats that could've gone the other way," he said.

Elliott said she did not agree. Instead, she thought many Tory votes likely went to the Liberals, rather than the Alliance.

"The evidence is, is that people who don't vote PC, vote for Liberals. That's the reason why they got their majority. The evidence of vote-splitting is a shimmer," she said.

Western professor of political science, Miriam Lapp, said in the wake of the election results, the Alliance will need take a new approach.

"The Alliance is going to have to re-think their strategy in Ontario – the Tories did not self-destruct," Lapp said.

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