Brandon Sun (Newspaper) - July 5, 2002, Brandon, Manitoba
Friday, July 5, 2002Opinion
121st Year — No. 164
Mark giving much thought to future
It looks like it will soon be a long way back to the future for Inky Mark. ,The cautious conservative for Daiiphin-Swan River-Marquette continues to consult and contemplate his association with other politicians around Parliament.
He still sits as an independent and likely will continue in that mode until federal Tories deal with leadership and policy matters in Edmonton next month.
Barring a bizarre shift in direction to the Liberals — which would no doubt necessitate a cabinet post or Senate seat — he has three options.
He can remain an independent. He can return to the Canadian Alliance. He can return to the Conservatives.
As an independent, Mark has maintained a loose alliance with the Conservatives.
He left the Tories to join Reform — precursor to the Alliance — in 1997.
When asked about returning to the Stephen Harper’s reformed Alliance party, Mark has been fond of saying: “You can’t go back to the future.”
He exited in a huff last year in the middle of the Stockwell Day leadership fiasco.
But he took the time back then to ask constituents before jumping.
Today, he still appears to be in the middle of a similar process.
He has done a little public-expense polling, surveying and chatting.
“I have always been a democrat and I will let the people decide,” Mark says.
Of course, he also says: “Through the summer I am hearing people say they will support me whichever way I
So, we are still left to wonder which way will he go.
The betting here is that the next move will be to Joe Clark’s Tories.
Brandon-Souris MP Rick Borotsik, himself a Conservative, tends to agree.
“If I had to be a betting man, I would have to suggest Inky will be coming to us.”
Mark is weighing comments from constituents and thinking about a Tory reform package linking the party to Alliance policies and principles.
What does Inky Mark think?
“Inky Mark will stay an independent until after the August PC convention because Inky Mark needs to know the reform package the Tories have put up will be passed.”
That ought to tell us the man of policies and principles will be likely become Conservative MP No. 14 by the time Parliamentarians sit again in the fall.
Can a politician like Mark really go back to the future?
Maybe it is just a question of distance.
33-ton truck on display at Provincial Exhibition
SIXTY YEARS AGO
W.A. Cameron is president of the Provincial Exhibition, William Davidson vice-president and Miss B M. Benson secretary-manager.
British headquarters announced today that the Axis had been driven back in Egypt for the second successive day.
There were 41 births in Brandon in the month of June, 41 marriages and 22 deaths.
FIFTY YEARS AGO
The “largest truck in the world” is on display at the Provincial Exhibition this week. Valued at $50,000, the truck is 60 feet long, weights 33 tons and carries a payload of 55 tons. It is powered by a 300 horsepower diesel engine. Each tire costs $4,000.
Sharkey the Seal, a 230-pound sea lion and one of the best known animals acts in show business, endeared himself to those who saw the grandstand shows during the Provincial Exhibition. He is one of the feature acts with “Ernie Young’s Varieties of ’52”.
Members of the Manitoba Clydesdale club at a special meeting held in the board room at the Provincial Exhibition presented a life membership to one of the best-known and most highly regarded of their numbers, A M. “Mac” Brownridge of Portage la Prairie.
FORTY YEARS AGO
Machine Row at the Provincial Exhibition was the focal point for 125 farm equipment dealers in Brandon yesterday for the official unveiling of the all-new Cockshot 431 self-propelled harvester combine. The machine is said to have the biggest grain handling capacity available to Canadian farmers.
The bay gelding, Chief Mclwin, a surprise to the large crowd when he didn’t win the elimination heat, came through as expected to capture the 15th Annual Manitoba Colt Classic at the
Clark rolling the dice again with Chretien-Martin battle
Provincial Exhibition yesterday afternoon. He is owned by Ed McCrae and was driven by Jim Findlay.
A half-million-dollar addition to Brandon Collegiate is planned for 1963. This will include an extension along with renovations of existing buildings.
THIRTY YEARS AGO
The Circle Tour begins this week with all tours leaving from the Manitoba Motor Transit office on 12th Street. The first tour will run from July 5 to Aug. 13 and will cover points of interest in and around the city of Brandon each evening.
City council last night approved a plan to close Rosser Avenue between Kith and Sixth streets on an experimental two-month basis to create a mall.
TWENTY YEARS AGO
The Traveller’s Day Parade, which kicked off Homecoming week, attracted about 20,(HK) people along the route. About 1,500 people took part in the parade which had 150 floats.
Princess Anne arrived in Ottawa to begin her two-week Canadian tour today.
George Balkwill captured the shortest bearded person prize in the centennial beard growing contest. It was his second try as he was in the city’s contest 25 years ago as well.
TEN YEARS AGO
A plane will fly IOO tonnes of grain harvesting equipment from Winnipeg to Russia next week as part of a joint venture in the former Soviet Union for Western Combine Corp. of Portage la Prairie. Three farmers will accompany the shipment.
More than IOO Carberry residents and guests turned out today to help open the Seton Centre, a tribute to one of the town’s most famous citizens, renowned author, artist and naturalist Ernest Thompson Seton.
From the files of 'I he Brandon Sun.
By Chan i al Hebert
For The Sun
OTTAWA — Fresh from losing his gamble that Stockwell Day would manage to hang onto the leadership of the Canadian Alliance and sink his party in the process, Joe Clark is now set to bet the dwindling Tory chips on Prime Minister Jean Chretien prevailing over Paul Martin.
Only a month ago, Clark and advisers were openly admitting that they had squandered a full year trying to rebuild the Progressive Conservative party on the shaky foundation of a handful of Alliance dissidents.
With nothing to show for his coalition-building efforts, there were signs Clark might give up his dream of leading his party to a comeback.
With the Tory leader in a psychological slump, some friends set out to (design an exit strategy.
Clark’s consolation prize would have been that he had kept the party standing at one of the most perilous junctures in its history.
Without him at the helm, it is doubtful that the Tories would have managed to hang on to 12 seats in the last election.
A Tory byelection victory in Newfoundland in April would also have allowed Clark to both leave on a modest high note and relinquish his seat without imperilling his party’s fragile official status in the House of Commons.
But that was before the rift between Chretien and Martin broke wide open.
Now, once again, Clark is seeing an opening for himself.
And, for a rare time in his career, he is cheering on his old foe Chretien.
If the prime minister were to prevail in the upcoming Liberal leadership review, he would undoubtedly drive Martin
out of politics.
For Clark and the Tories, that would be a win-win scenario.
A Chretien victory over Martin would remove the Liberal politician most likely to appeal to conservative-minded voters from the picture.
These days, it is safe to assume that more lapsed Tory supporters are signing up to become Liberals so as to support Martin against Chretien than renewing membership in the Conservative party.
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lf Chretien were to stay to fight in another election or even if he were replaced by a less formidable successor before then, some voters might well want to take their dismay over the
Martin loss out on the Liberal party.
It is not illogical to think that many of those would turn to the Conservative party because it is the top second choice of Liberal supporters.
But, as they often do, Clark’s calculations come with potentially fatal flaws.
For one, he is probably overestimating the net impact of Tory gains at the expense of a Martin-less Liberal party on his own party’s overall situation.
If the prime minister does drive Martin out, such an outcome would likely firm up Alliance and Bloc Quebecois support.
They, not the Liberals, are shutting Tories out of large swaths of the country.
Moreover, one can’t discount the possibility Stephen Harper would also reap some benefit from Liberal divisions.
Even then, Clark’s hopes involve a major leap of faith, as the odds that Chretien will prevail over Martin without serious and lasting damage to himself and his record are getting longer by the day.
Still, it is now clear that when Tories vote on Clark’s leadership at their convention next month, they will implicitly be endorsing him as the person to lead them in the next election.
It does seem that they will do just that.
For this is a rare case when Clark’s best-case scenario fits many Tories’ worst-case one.
Clark’s sense that Chretien will prevail over Martin is not necessarily widely shared by Tory insiders.
At least as many, if not more, are bracing for a Martin victory.
Along with the Bloc Quebecois, the Conservative party stands to be the most hurt by a Martin-led Liberal party in the next election.
But at least the BQ was not meant to be a permanent fixture on the political landscape.
Against Martin, Clark might not be able to hold on to more than a handful of seats, essentially in the Atlantic region.
But none of his possible replacements is likely to do much better.
If the Tories were to lose a new leader to such a debacle, one can only wonder who would want to come forward to pick up the pieces.
So it is that, while Clark wants his party to give him a mandate to go On because lit dunks lie secs senile light ai die end of the tunnel, many Tories are likely to let him have his way because they fully expect to collide head on against a Martin wall in the next election.
Chamal Hebert is a national affairs writer.
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Smoke clashes with clean-air right
his letter is in response to the front page article you ran on July 2 — “Smoker launches ‘attack’ on bylaw.”
In this article, Mr. Darling states that “They’re basically
saying the smoker has no rights ...”
What rights are we talking about?
Could it be the right to smoke a substance that you are
addicted to, namely nicotine?
Then yes, go ahead and smoke, but in choosing to smoke in public places you take my rights away from me.
The right to clean air.
When a smoker lights up, all the people in the area a affected by the smoke, not just the smoker.
I do not choose to inhale the 50 known carcinogenic su stances in second-hand smoke.
I do not choose to put my health at risk through smokinj
Therefore, I choose not to frequent establishments th allow smoking and I feel that the bylaw is a positive step ensunng that people are no longer at risk.
Glenn Johnson: Editor and Director of Readership Development Gordon Wright: City Editor Jim Lewthwaite: News Editor
The Sun welcomes your signed letters. Please send them to 501 Rosser Avenue, Brandon, MB, R7A 0K4, send us a fax at 727-0385 or an e-mail message at opinionsbrandonsun.com. Include a phone number for confirmation. We reserve the right to edit for length, libel, spelling and good taste.BRANDON OSUN
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