During the Winter of 2001 one man from Ontario played a major role in the downfall of Stockwell Day: Charles Moffat.
Charles Moffat is many things. An art historian, an artist and a behind-the-scenes political activist. He is the guy who painted the now famous "United States Censorship" painting which has been plastered all over the internet in recent years and even made its way into an American documentary about censorship.
Apparently in the Winter of 2001 Charles Moffat started to play a prank on Stockwell Day, a prank which would involve an embarrassing interview/biography of the then leader of the Canadian Alliance party. But then Moffat thought about his intended goal and aborted his plan, but not before writing a scathing letter to every seated MP of the Canadian Alliance party and urging them to revolt against Day's horrible leadership gaffs.
And revolt they did.
Led by MPs Chuck Strahl and Deborah Grey (central figures in the old Reform party) the party almost collapsed from internal bickering and the revolt eventually toppled Stockwell Day from power.
Which led to Stephen Harper's rise to leader of the Canadian Alliance, the merger with the Progressive Conservatives and the forging of the Conservative Party of Canada, which won a minority government in 2006.
Indeed, without Charles Moffat's prank Stephen Harper would never have had the opportunity to run for leader when he did and he never would have become Prime Minister of Canada.
Stockwell Day is now Public Safety Minister, a less important post.
So Charles Moffat's prank did ruin Day's chances of becoming Prime Minister, but it didn't entirely ruin his career.
Overall Moffat's prank was very good for the right wing of Canada because it allowed them to finally unify under one banner and finally win a minority government.
As a firm Progressive Conservative myself I still can't find myself to vote for the new Conservative Party. They are TOO right wing for my tastes and not progressive enough. I miss the old days of Brian Mulroney and I'm much more likely for Trudeau junior than I am to vote for Stephen Harper (whom I consider to be a heartless bean counter).
In the next decade (after Stephen Harper is gone) I predict the Conservative Party will become more progressive and lean more towards the centre of politics. Maybe then they will get my vote.
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