This story is a day too early for an April Fool's prank so it must be true. The Conservative Party and Brian Mulroney are feuding over his membership status. The party says he ain't a member, but Brian insists 'till death do us part!
Simmering tensions between Prime Minister Stephen Harper's government and predecessor Brian Mulroney boiled over with party sources saying he was no longer a Conservative and the ex-leader insisting he will be a party member as long as he draws breath.
Senior Conservatives contacted select reporters Tuesday to tell them Mulroney had effectively torn up his party card.
"I can confirm he is no longer a member," said one Conservative source.
The source said Mulroney called a senior party official two months ago to ask that his name be pulled off all party lists and materials and that communications with him cease.
"It was a call made at a senior level," said the source. "As is the case with anyone, we complied and did so."
Mulroney briskly fired off an unequivocal statement through his public relations team.
"I remain a member of the Conservative Party and I will remain so until the day I die," Mulroney said.
Well, I admire Brian's loyalty, if not much else. He should check his calendar though: this is the week the Conservative Party of Canada and the former Progressive Conservatives are totally different. Sorry Hugh Segal, Marjory Lebreton et al. But don't worry. I think next week it'll be back to a long, proud history of conservatism in Canada.
It's interesting though. Harper has for awhile been doing a reasonably effective job of rebuilding the old PC coalition that Mulroney road to successive majority governments: Quebec nationalists, the West, and progressive conservatives/red tories. Well, Harper had made progress on the first two anyway. And he was trying to replace the red tories by winning over conservative-sympathetic ethnic voters, and making progress too. But now he's losing Quebec, and this ongoing tiff with Mulroney, where I'm told they're rather fond of him, won't help.
Obviously at this point Harper has abandoned the Mulroney coalition model. One that, well, worked pretty well. For a time, anyways. Which begs the question: what's Harper's new gameplan? Or is the strategic master just making it up as he goes along?
You know who Harper should call advice?
Brian ... oh, yeah, right. Never mind. Recommend this Post on Progressive Bloggers