David Orchard
The 1998 PC Leadership Race
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What David Orchard said on Election Night - Nov. 14, 1998

David Orchard: Je voudrais dire quelque mots en anglais et après en français. I would like to offer my sincere congratulations to Mr. Clark, and to his family, for their victory tonight.

I offer my support and I look forward to working with Mr. Clark to take our party forward to victory and to head off the Reform Party's attempt to take control of our party.

I want to thank each and every member of the Conservative party who gave me their confidence tonight in this vote.

Now, I want to thank all of the volunteers in our campaign all across the country who worked so hard over the past five months to mount our unique and astonishing campaign. We fought clean, we fought fair. We spoke to the hopes and dreams of millions of Canadians who long for clean politics and dream of a true north, strong and free. What we didn't have in money, you made up in passion, in vision and in long hours without sleep.

I want you to know that I appreciate from the bottom of my heart the contribution each of you made to our campaign and to our country.

The campaign, our Campaign for Canada, of course is just beginning-the campaign to protect the work of John A. Macdonald, Georges-Etienne Cartier and all of our great leaders who stood for a strong and brave Canada. I want to ask all of those Canadians who joined the party-the new members from all walks of life who joined the Conservative party-to stay with the party so that we can take this party both back and forward to the vision it was founded on, to once again become the party of national destiny. That's what we can do. We have set in place the momentum to begin that work and we've only just begun.

All beautiful things are sometimes difficult. Let us go ahead one step at a time knowing we fight for what is right, knowing we fight for a nation that has a right to be a sovereign power in its own right.

How the CBC commented on David Orchard's speech...

Don Newman: David Orchard conceding his defeat in Toronto to Joe Clark and, Jason Moscowitz, a rather gracious speech saying he wants to stay in the Conservative party, he wants to work with Mr. Clark, wants to block the Reform party from taking the Conservatives over.

Jason Moscowitz: For those who doubted he was a true blue Conservative, maybe they'll believe it a little more now. However, it's worth noting that the Conservative party still believes very firmly in the free trade it as a government introduced and David Orchard is still opposed to free trade. And how much room would there really be for David Orchard within the Conservative party with views such as his? That's something they can fight over.

Don Newman: Well they will and I guess he at least is going to continue the fight within the Conservative party and he is bringing in a significant group of people if they do stay in the party. If you take his first vote go-round, it was about 16% - you can't ignore 16% of the party.

Jason Moscowitz: Well, if you look at free trade as an old battle, what David Orchard said that is really interesting for Joe Clark is he said that I'll help fend off the Reform party. The Conservative party should be the Conservative party on its own, David Orchard says, and should have nothing to do with Preston Manning's views of the United Alternative. And, of course, he shares the view that Joe Clark has on that very subject, and it's a very important subject facing the Conservative party.

Don Newman: It would be interesting if the man that Joe Clark once called a tourist within the Conservative party turned out to be Joe Clark's new best friend. It probably won't go that far, but clearly Orchard has not given up. This is not an attempt for publicity on a cause about which he feels very strongly; he is going to continue, I guess, to try to use the Conservative party to advance that cause.

Jason Moscowitz: And again his views on the Reform party and its future with the Conservative party, those are views that would be very, very much to the heart of Joe Clark; and it's hard to imagine them getting along terribly, terribly well because there are issues that will always separate them, but perhaps the most important issue facing the Conservative party right now is Preston Manning's threat of taking away members and merging them and making one party again and putting the leadership up for grabs, and David Orchard is saying that he is very much on Joe Clark's side.

Don Newman: Let's take a look at why David Orchard has conceded. Although Joe Clark has not gone over the top yet, in the next results he clearly will. And the CBC, we have already declared Joe Clark the leader of the PC Party...

Don Newman: Jason Moscowitz, I guess we're not really surprised at the magnitude of the victory.

Jason Moscowitz: No one should be; it was a foregone conclusion and many Conservatives were wondering why there was this vote today. It should have ended three weeks ago. The other candidates decided to say, Joe Clark, you got 48-1/2% in round one, that's enough, but David Orchard decided to go the limit. And here we are, foregone conclusion. The numbers really don't matter; Clark is the winner.


Don Newman: David Orchard comes second because he stays on the second ballot. Mr. Orchard was gracious in his concession speech. David Orchard joins us now from his party headquarters in Toronto. Mr. Orchard, nice to see you.

David Orchard: Hello.

Don Newman: You can't be really surprised at how this turned out.

David Orchard: I'm happy! I'm pleased. We have a substantial base in the Conservative party and tonight was a great victory for all those people who want to see the Conservative party once again become a major factor, a party of national destiny.

Don Newman: You said you wanted to work with Mr. Clark. You said earlier though when we were talking in an interview that your litmus test is the free trade policy of the Conservative party. I take it that is still your main point. If Mr. Clark does not want to reverse free trade, do you still want to work with him?

David Orchard: I would like the Conservative party to do a study of the impact of the Free Trade Agreement, how it has impacted our country over the last 10 years. And if the study turns out as I think it would - it would show the detrimental effects - and I would like that study to be the basis for our policy going into the next election. And then we would provide a clear alternative to the Liberals and I believe we could sweep this country.

Don Newman: So when you meet Mr. Clark - and I take it you have a plan to do that - you will tell him, if you want me and my people in the party, you have to do this study?

David Orchard: Oh, I don't think I'll put it that way. We'll sit down and have a good meeting with Mr. Clark and discuss our concerns. It's not a question of ultimatums.

Don Newman: Supposing Mr. Clark says, well I like the policy the way it is; I voted for it; I was the foreign minister when we adopted it. What do you do then? Say, so long, it's been good to know you?

David Orchard: No, I told Mr. Clark, and I said publicly tonight, that I want to help him hold off the attempt by the Reform party to take control of our party. [I'm getting some feedback in my ear; I don't know how I'm sounding, Don.]

Don Newman: Well, you're sounding just fine. Let me push on and thank you for persevering under these circumstances. Mr. Clark has said that he is going to come up with something other than the United Alternative Assembly in February to attract people back to the Conservative party. Do you have any idea what that be other than this study on free trade?

David Orchard: What I would like to do is present a broad, united alternative to the Reform party, not way out on the right wing, but in the centre of the political spectrum. We would draw in disaffected Liberals, we'd draw in people who voted Reform, people who voted for the NDP, for the Green Party - those are all of the people who came into my campaign. We would present a broad alternative right at the centre of the political spectrum, right where John Diefenbaker took the party in the 50's and we would defeat the Liberals. We can't do it by going and marrying up with Preston Manning. That would be, as I've said many times, a disaster for our party, but if we take it to the centre of the political spectrum, we would draw in all of those people who have previously voted for those other parties and people who have voted for no political party who have come through my campaign because they feel homeless.

Don Newman: Thank you, David Orchard, for your time. Good to talk to you.

David Orchard: You're welcome.


Don Newman: David Orchard speaking to us from his headquarters in Toronto. Let's go now to the Congress Centre here in Ottawa and join the winner, the new leader, the former leader, the new leader of the Conservative party, Joe Clark. Congratulations, Mr. Clark, on your very convincing victory.

Joe Clark: Thank you, Don.

Don Newman: Now, I don't know if you could hear David Orchard. When you were accepting the victory, you said you hoped he would stay in the party, that he had been very gracious to you on the telephone. He said the Conservative Party should now do a study on the impact of free trade over the past ten years, that he thinks that would show it's been a bad idea. He would like to see the party do that to convince he and his supporters...

Joe Clark: I just lost you, Don.

Don Newman: We'll have to get Mr. Clark hooked up again. Well, Jason, that seems to be the marker - Mr. Orchard said it wasn't an ultimatum - but it seems to the marker that Mr. Orchard has put down - a study on free trade.

Jason Moscowitz: And it would be very difficult to imagine that the Conservative party and Joe Clark as its leader would question the very thing it stood for as a government. David Orchard would have a lot of convincing to do to get the Conservative party to do that study.

Don Newman: Mr. Clark, David Orchard said he wants to study the impact of free trade, that is in a sense to convince him and the people he brought into the party that they have a future in the party. Do you have any interest in studying the impact over the past, what is it, nine years?

Joe Clark: Well I think the first thing, the first principle I should establish is that Mr. Orchard and I should sit down together - which we'll find an opportunity to do - and talk about these things face to face. I said during the campaign, and indeed before the campaign, I made the point that a party like ours, which had been as vigorous as we were in bringing the Free Trade Agreement into place, had to be equally vigorous in looking to some of the problems that were created by that regime. And there are some people, people in agriculture, there are people in some other areas, where we should be taking a look at the implications of the Agreement. That was a position of mine some time ago and still is. We'll just have to see what common ground there is with Mr. Orchard. What I did hear him say, which I think is very true, is that when we are trying to draw Canadians together, we have to draw them from a very large base. That is very much on my mind when I look at the groups which didn't vote for us in the past whose vote we have to seek in the future.

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