Canadian Prime Minister Kim Campbell Faces Defeat
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Canadian Prime Minister Kim Campbell Faces Defeat

Kim Campbell was fighting a losing battle to win the 1993 Canadian election as the Progressive Conservative Party historically at their all time low.

The fight for the leadership took on a “not so Canadian turn.” By October of 1993, it was obvious to all that the Liberal Party was win the election, even if they only had a minority government. That being said,

Kim Campbell

was very popular especially for Canadian women, but she was even popular with the men as well, only her party was not popular at all. In Canadian politics, the party has got to win the election and the leader of that party becomes Prime Minister of Canada. As a last resort, to get the party back in favour, the Conservatives launched a campaign of ad attacks on the liberal leader, Jean Chretien.

The final mistake or blunder if you will, was the one to seal Campbell's fate. The Progressive Conservative party went too personal. Their attack of the facial disfigurement of the Liberal leader Jean Chretien hit below the belt. They talked about not being able to figure him out based on his crocked smile. Jean Chretien has bells palsy and nobody in Canada from the politics to average person on the street could accept this kind of “so called political attack.” This was not how we Canadians play politics.

Kim Campbell stated she was not responsible for the ad and called for it to be removed, however, she did not apologize for its airing in the first place and that blunder sealed her fate. Canadians needed to hear an apologize for such a mean-spirited ad and they never got it. The Conservative Party ratings dropped down to the teens and that of course was the sign the Liberal Party would win the election with a major government.

The Canadian Humorist, Will Ferguson, Ferguson renown for his ability to see Canadians as the rest of the world, spoke up. He said that Campbell should accept part of the blame for this kind of ad, but at the same time the shape the Conservative Party was in after Brian Mulroney left it, would be like Campbell taking over the helm of a huge 747 just as it it crashing into the Rockies.

Election night in Canada

The 1993 election brought in a sweeping major government for the Liberal Party. Kim Campbell even lost her Vancouver riding seat to a rookie, Hedy Fry. This was embarrassing to Kim Campbell who did not have a seat in her own party. However, she was not looked upon kindly when she made what was considered a flippant response to losing her seat. She was quoted as saying, “It is a good thing I didn't sell my car.”

Kim Campbell did not have the finesse that Brian Mulroney possessed, she did not seduce the public with her winning smile. Kim Campbell would have done better to learn how and what to say in public. It just may have saved her so much embarrassment down the road. Whether it could have saved the Progressive Conservative Party from a disastrous defeat remains uncertain.

As it stood, Kim Campbell's defeat was only the third time in Canadian politics that a former Prime Minister did not win the seat in the party after the party did go down in defeat. What is common, is that the party would be defeated, then it would become opposition party and the former prime minister would still have a seat in the party, though not always remaining the party leader. On the other hand, former Prime Ministers who did not win back their seat in parliament, but their party won the election, had to run again in a bi-election to gain a seat so they could return to Parliament and resume their post.

In all fairness, Kim Campbell really did not have much of a chance to govern the country. She was put into office only two months before the election. It was Brian Mulroney, who retired just two months short of party mandate that put her in this precarious position. After her defeat she resigned as party leader.

Source

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kim_Campbell

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Comments (2)

Thanks for the news.

Thank for the update.

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