Oops! Gazette endorses Stronach?
By Dan Perry
According to an e-mail sent out by Belinda Stronach’s
campaign team, The Gazette endorsed the candidate in the recent
Conservative Party of Canada leadership race; according to
The Gazette, Stronach’s campaign team is horribly, horribly
The Thursday, Mar. 18 “Belinda Stronach Update” e-mail
read: “Belinda has been endorsed by The Gazette, the
student newspaper at the University of Western Ontario.” The
e-mail then went on to quote two lines from Gazette News Editor
Anton Vidgen’s Ad Nauseum opinion column. Vidgen’s
comments solely represented his personal opinion and in no
way reflected the consensus of the editorial board.
The alleged endorsement was listed under the heading: “Belinda
Continues to Win Youth Support,” and gave the following
summation: “The endorsement praises Belinda’s message
of economic opportunity and her policy of tuition tax deductibility.
Belinda continues to inspire youth to get involved in politics
and to bring change to Ottawa.”
Dave Forestell, a Western law student and national youth chair
for Stronach’s campaign said the e-mail citing the endorsement
was sent to over 140,000 Conservative party members.
“I think that was an error,” he said. “I
sent the link along to the campaign. Certainly, we apologize
if there was any miscommunication to our members. We just intended
to provide a link to the article.
“She did have youth support,” he said.
Gord Haugh, Tony Clement’s campaign communications director,
laughed off the suggestion that the reference to the ‘endorsement’ was
“They’ll run just about anything — that’s
the way the game’s played,” he said. “To
someone in Western Canada, [the mistake] wouldn’t even
make a difference.”
“I’m going to give them the benefit of the doubt
and say it was probably a mistake,” said Carolyn Stewart-Olson,
Stephen Harper’s campaign secretary.
The Stronach campaign team disregarded an earlier opinion
column by Gazette Editor-in-Chief Emmett Macfarlane, which
The false endorsement report likely had no impact on the outcome
of the vote. Stronach garnered only 35 per cent of the vote,
and lost to Harper.