Letters and Comments

The Welland Tribune (ON), November 25, 2005
Look who's talking ethics

For the past few years many have watched the antics of the Federal Conservative representative for the riding of Central Nova, Nova Scotia and have excused his obvious lack of ethics hoping someday he might grow up.

Following in the footsteps of his illustrious father this young man rose quickly through the ranks of the "then" Progressive Conservative Party to the point where he was considered a prime candidate to be voted in as the new leader of this old line Political Party.

At the convention to elect a new leader the support for all the aspiring candidates was very evenly divided so much so that it was fellow candidate David Orchard’s support that was to decided the outcome and the "New" Leader. His support was to be conditional and Peter McKay, the ambitious rising star could taste victory at "any" cost, so he bought the support of David Orchard.

It must be remembered that David Orchard was a very devoted Canadian, a "Progressive" Conservative from the Prairies and even though he detested his Party’s initiative and support for the NAFTA accord he swallowed it and threw his support behind the party. David’s distrust for the newly minted Reform Party and the ramification he felt would evolve from a merging of the two parties was the driving force that drove him to vie for the leadership.

So! Mr. Orchard’s condition or conditions for supporting any other candidate then himself were written in stone, so to speak, there were no if ands or buts and Peter McKay bought the package and in essence David Orchard’s support.

In his acceptance speech he thanked David Orchard and reiterated his absolute acceptance of the decrees that garnered David’s support and the votes to capture the leadership over other aspiring candidates, The Condition that there would be NO merger with the Reform Party as heralded by the likes of Mike Harris and the Fraser Institute.

The ink had hardily dried before the Canadian Press was speculating on the meeting between Stephen Harper and Peter McKay and this meeting was soon to become a reality, as was the merging of the two Conservative Parties.

I am not a firm believer in the System of Party politics, the Prime Minister, Stephen Harper or Jack Layton, thus I have no axe to grind but ethics I do have and when I hear McKay rail in righteous indignation about ethics I sneer at the audacity of this puppet, knowing his history.

Joseph A. Somers, Welland, ON

Maple Leaf

Simcoe Reformer, Wednesday, November 23, 2005
Time for Conservative Party to pay up

In the softwood lumber wrangle between Canada and the United States, a NAFTA tribunal ruled in favor of Canada. Canada is ready to settle for $3.5 billion, but U.S. would like to tie that payment to a long term agreement. The two matters are separate. Pay up, U.S.A.

In Canada, David Orchard, in his bid for the leadership of the "old" P.C. Party of Canada, raised $55,000 of political donations, submitted the $55,000 to head office, which had the responsibility to issue tax receipts to the donors, return Orchard's share to him within 48 hours, and also to return to him a rebate of $15,000 from his deposit as a candidate.

The "new" Conservative Party has so far refused to look after this $70,000 obligation and has sought to tie payment to an agreement that Orchard will not take legal action against Peter MacKay or anyone else for a role in the joining of the P.C. Party of Canada and the Alliance Party. The two matters are separate. Pay up, Conservative Party of Canada.

What's the difference? Not much. U.S.A. & the Conservative Party of Canada trying to welsh on their obligations to Canada and David Orchard, respectively. Difference? Oh yes, there is a difference – the NAFTA decision does not affect an individual; the $70,000 does and that's a serious financial blow to someone who has invested heavily in "The Fight for Canada."

Finally, does the Conservative Party of Canada realize how many thousands of Canadians they have alienated by failure, thus far, to pay just debts?

Arthur N. Langford, Simcoe

Maple Leaf

Nipawin Journal, Wednesday November 23, 2005
Look in your own backyard before crusading for taxpayer accountability

Election time is fast approaching. Political parties will be putting tax payer accountability on the forefront of their campaigning, as well they should, as it is an important issue.

I would like our local Member of Parliament Brian Fitzpatrick to tell us how the Conservative Party’s handling of David Orchard’s leadership campaign funds is taxpayer accountability?

I, along with many others, donated money to his 2003 leadership campaign.

The money was sent in by David to the federal Conservative Party for tax processing, and then was to be returned to him within two working days. Well, it’s 2005 and he’s yet to receive it, over $70,000 forcing him to go to court.

Is it taxpayer accountability to use campaign funds donated by taxpaying citizens in a vindictive manner as it is being used by Steven Harper and the Conservative Party? If this is how the Conservative Party handles its family feuds, how can they be trusted to handle the nation’s affairs?

Brian, tell Stephen to return David’s money and end this affront to democracy. Anyone interested can visit his website http://www.davidorchard.com.

Tom Shore
Carrot River, SK

Maple Leaf

Response from Marjaleena Repo to Susan Riley's Ottawa Citizen, November 21, 2005 column which included the following segment:

"But if the electoral timetable is now clearer, the contretemps [between Harper and Mackay re the timing of the vote of confidence in the House of Commons] revives questions about MacKay's integrity. That was badly damaged in May 2003 when MacKay won the leadership of the Progressive Conservative party with the support of renegade Tory David Orchard -- after MacKay promised Orchard, in writing, that he would not pursue a merger with the Canadian Alliance. Within weeks, MacKay was involved in negotiations with Harper that led to the formation of the new Conservative party.

Some discounted his betrayal of Orchard as mere hardball politics; others see Orchard as a political flake, and, therefore, unworthy of elementary courtesy. Still, the incident raised questions about MacKay's reliability. His apparent readiness to blow off recent promises to Layton and Duceppe should raise fresh doubts, and not only among nervous New Democrats."

Ottawa Citizen, Tuesday, November 22, 2005
Gratuitous insults

Susan Riley in her Column, “All strategy, all the time” (Nov. 21), tosses gratuitous insults at Conservative* leadership candidate David Orchard, calling him a "renegade Tory" and a “political flake” (the latter attributed to anonymous “others”).

As a "renegade" is defined as a "deserter from a religious faith, or political party, an outlaw and traitor," one is left wondering whether Riley understands the words she uses. Orchard joined the PC party back in ’98, with the clearly articulated goal of returning the party to its Canadian conservative roots, which it had strayed from in the Mulroney era. Running twice for the position of a leader and once for a federal seat, if anything, Orchard was the genuine Tory article, and the Mulroneyites the real renegades whose actions betrayed Tory creed and history and critically injured Canadian sovereignty, while in the end decimating the founding party of Canada. Peter MacKay’s actions in betraying the party that he was chosen to lead and brazenly reneging on the agreement with David Orchard that there would be no merger with the Canadian Alliance – an agreement that made him the leader – are the actions of another true renegade, and should be thus named.

As to the "others" who think Orchard is a "political flake," let them step out of the shadows and speak for themselves – unless they are the journalistic alter egos of Susan Riley herself, in which case she ought to defend that statement. As it now stands, calling Orchard derogatory names is both unwarranted and demeaning – and very disappointing coming from a columnist of Riley’s caliber.

Marjaleena Repo
201 Elm Street
Saskatoon, SK
S7J 0G8

(Marjaleena Repo, Saskatchewan vice-president of the Progressive Conservative Party, was David Orchard's campaign manager in '98, 2000 and 2003.)

*Incorrect. David Orchard of course ran for the leadership of the Progressive Conservative party.

Maple Leaf

Montreal Gazette, Tuesday, November 22, 2005
Albertans don't have a monopoly on the work ethic

Zonia Keywan's take on "country hicks" is the usual Albertan monopolistic claim to work ethic (Letters, Nov 24, "Those hicks are paying your bills"), as though hard work disappears at the Albertan border.

The eastern arrogance he resents pales compared with his own since it can't be that difficult to profit from pumping oil these days. Three million Albertans don't have the same challenges as 20 million easterners in aging infrastructures and with the social issues of large urban centres. There are lots of easterners working hard creating more parents and plays than Keywan would care to consider.

Furthermore, Peter MacKay is not a hard working Albertan. He is, with all due respect to Maritimers, a double-crosser from Nova Scotia.

Just ask David Orchard and the former Progressive Conservative Party.

John Hamilton
Kirkland, Quebec

Maple Leaf

National Post, October 15, 2005
The MacKay Illusion
by Jacob Rempel

Re. MacKay says no to run at N.S. premiership, October 6, 2005

It seems that reporters and columnists created, and then succumbed to, an illusion of Peter Mackay's leadership potential. Mr. Mackay realistically did not fall for this media creation, however. He realistically recognized that he can never be seen as a worthy successor to Premier John Hamm.

He proved that on his campaign for Progressive Conservative Party of Canada leadership, when he declared to all members that he would not accept a merger with the Canadian Alliance. He needed, asked for, and got David Orchard's support, thanks to his no-merger promise.

Because of that, Mr. MacKay will never be trusted again for party leadership. His rewards for dissolving the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada will be future political and boardroom sinecures.

Maple Leaf

Vancouver Sun, October 12, 2005
Take a good look at NAFTA's pros and cons
by Larry Colero, Delta, B.C.

Re: PM's tough talk on lumber won't hurt relations: Bush, Business BC, October 8, 2005

Why would the Americans take Paul Martin's "tough talk" on the North American Free Trade Agreement seriously? They know that after 10 years of continuing problems with its implementation, our government is still unwilling to conduct any kind of formal review of NAFTA's effectiveness? Isn't it time to at least consider revisions?

We cana rgue for and against NAFTA, but why doesn't our government conduct a thorough review, followed by whatever action is required to ensure the trade agreement is still in Canadians' best interest?

Maple Leaf

Toronto Star, October 11, 2005
MacKay staying put -- again
by Pat Doig, Dundurn, SK

As someone born in Nova Scotia, naturally I have been wondering who would be the best person to become the new premier of Nova Scotia.

What skills, I wondered, should that candidate possess?

When I thought that the new candidate should be courageous, someone not afraid to tell the voters one thing while seeking the leadership, then able to do the opposite if need be for the greater good, I thought of Tory MP Peter MacKay.

Also, I thought the candidate should be someone with a bigger vision, not limiting themselves by their spoken word, their written signature or a mere handshake, again I thought of Peter MacKay and his written contract with leadership rival David Orchard.

I also wanted a candidate with determination, speaking out again and again in defence of ethics and integrity, whether or not they possessed those qualities themselves.

In MacKay, I knew I had my man.

Maple Leaf

Toronto Star, August. 25, 2005
Cancel trade deal
by Robert S.W. Campbell, Toronto

Re. A simple solution to U.S. bullying, Opinion, August 23, 2005

Mel Clark and David Orchard are to be congratulated for speaking out on the absolute necessity of abrogating the Canada/U.S. Free Trade Agreement and the North American Free Trade Agreement. Through the FTA and NAFTA, Canada lost control of its economy and much of its sovereignty.

Canada ought to have withdrawn from these agreements long since, as the article clearly demonstrates that they have been used as weapons against this country in ways that have undermined its institutions and weakened its governmental structures.

With abrogation, Canada's situation would be greatly improved, as it would join forces with other nations having similar interests in the establishment of a fair trade regime. It would no longer be the perennial loser locked in unequal struggle as the lone adversary against the global superpower, doomed always to defeat.

This country has less to lose and more to gain by cancelling these unfair and damaging agreements and rejoining the international community. It could begin the long process of regaining recognition and influence as a leading middle power, rather than as a mere satellite to the U.S. economy.

Maple Leaf

Victoria Times-Colonist, June 9, 2005
Remember real foundation of Tories
by Richard Weatherill, Victoria

For all those who might seriously consider or reconsider Stephen Harper and the "born again" Conservative party, please remember that Harper is the leader of the party thanks to Peter MacKay, who betrayed David Orchard in 2003. This is the real foundation of today's Conservative party.

Orchard was the 2003 Progressive Conservative leadership contender who put his rival, MacKay, over the top on the strength of the latter's "firm handshake... and his oral and written promises" not to merge the PCs with the Canadian Alliance.

Maple Leaf

Huntsville Forester (Huntsville, ON), May 25, 2005
Canada needs a party full of David Orchards
by Ron Mulligan, Kearney, ON

Re. No reason to vote Conservative, Forester letter, May 11.

Letter-writer David Anderson got it right.

I first became aware of David Orchard after he'd been interviewed on a radio program. I was very impressed by him and phoned him at his home in Saskatchewan. We had a long and very enjoyable chat and i was even more impressed.

By mutual agreement we both joined the Conservative party at the same time. If David has faults, one of them might be he is too trusting and he expects everyone toi be as honest as himself.

At first I was very disappointed when he gave Peter MacKay his support. The I realized that there was nothing else he could have done. His strategy would have worked if Peter MacKay had been the least bit honest. I couldn't believe it when he blatantly stabbed David in the back.

So, what does that tell you about this conservative Party that is asking you to trust and vote for them? Needless to say, I was not a member of the party for long. Believe it or not, we do have a few trustworthy conservatives and I believe we are fortunate enough to have one as our MPP, Norm Miller.

What Canada needs is a party full of David Orchards. To understand him better I suggest you read his book, "The Fight for Canada." He is a true Canadian patriot with a wish of equality for all.

Maple Leaf

Huntsville Forester (Huntsville, ON), May 25, 2005
The real issue facing voters is trust
by Mendelson Joe

Re. No reason to vote Conservative, Forester letter, May 11.

With the glib bleatings of Stephen Harper and his band of neo-republicans repackaged as the Conservative Party of Canada, we the electorate have to figure whether the Chrétien legacy of lies, payoffs and Mulroney-style patronage is preferable to the aforementioned privatizers who'd have sent us to war at the behest of their simian master in Washington. Both these gangs make me puke.

It came as a great comfort when I read David Anderson's analysis of this dilemma, citing that Peter MacKay's sell-out of David Orchard and the (former) Progressive Conservative Party of Canada in order to essentially steal the 'Conservative' tag to rebadge the Reform-Alliance neo-republican gang fronted by glib-eyed Stephen Harper.

Both the Liberals and the Harper crew smell like double-dealing manure.

The real and only issue is trust. I don't trust the MacKay-Harper gang any more than I trust the Chrétien leftovers.

Trust. By default, I have to look at the party that gave all Canadians universal healthcare. It's time to consider the NDP, who've morphed into what used to be known as small 'l' Liberals. Trust.

Maple Leaf

From the Huntsville Forester (Huntsville, ON), May 11, 2005
No reason to vote Conservative
The following is a copy of a letter sent to the Right Honourable Stephen Harper

The sponsorship scandal has reinforced voter cynicism and apathy. This is a time when we needed voter confidence and renewed political direction.

I would like to vote for a federal government of Canada that can overcome the media images of power-hungry politicians and their self-serving cronies.

How can I vote for the Conservative Party of Canada knowing that your party has deceived and cheated one of its own, David Orchard, out of $77,000? After promising to repay him in full, why are you now blackmailing him -- refusing to return his money unless he agrees not to sue Peter MacKay? Is this not extortion?

Stephen Harper, thousands of David Orchard supporters are wondering why you have not returned the money they donated to its rightful, legal owner, David Orchard.

How can I believe in the Conservative Party of Canada's moral high-ground response to the sponsorship scandal when deputy Conservative leader, Peter MacKay, is not interested in honouring his own, media witnessed, written promises to David Orchard? Are all the Conservative Party of Canada's leaders eagerly climbing the political ladder to infamy and disrepute?

An election will cost taxpayers approximately $300 million. The Conservatives originally supported the Liberal budget. Now they do not support it. Where is the renewed Conservative vision for Canada taking us? If an election is called, would Ontarians be in interested in Conservative minority rule with the help of the Bloc?

Mr. Harper, I have no confidence in your moral high ground response to sponsorship, and no confidence in your party's renewed political direction. I believe the Conservative Party of Canada is lacking decency and common sense.

David Anderson, Huntsville, ON

Maple Leaf

Letters and Comments on the MacKay Betrayal

Thunder Bay Chronicle-Journal, May 28, 2005
Troubled MacKay no stranger to betrayal

Even the most hard hearted observer had to sympathize with Peter MacKay's personal pain last week when he learned of Ms. Stronach's defection to the Liberals from the Conservative party both he and Ms. Stronach were instrumental in founding and uniting. So his bitter comment about going home to walk his dog, because "dogs are loyal," was understandable.

However, Mr. MacKay is no stranger to betrayal. After all, to gain David Orchard's support for his own leadership ambitions, didn't he sign a letter that as leader of the Progressive Conservative party, he, Peter MacKay, would never unite with the Canadian Alliance?

No doubt in each instance of betrayal, both Ms. Stronach and Mr. MacKay convinced themselves that they were behaving in the best interest of their country.

So did Marcus Brutus when he stabbed his friend Julius Caesar. But instead of saving the Roman Republic, Brutus's actions led to several years of civil war until Augustus Caesar was able to to proclaim himself the first Roman Emperor.

Jim Foulds, Thunder Bay, ON

Maple Leaf

Lethbridge Herald (Lethbridge, AB), May 26, 2005
It seems no betrayal goes unpunished

Misdeeds do come home to roost! It seems like just a few months ago with the proposed amalgamation of the Alliance and Progressive Conservative party that PC Leader Peter MacKay had given his word and promise to David Orchard that he would not give his blessing to the proposed political union. Shortly after their handshake, we all know Orchard was stabbed in the back by his political ally.

Mr. MacKay now feels the same betrayal. It's common knowledge now that David Orchard and his book on the fallacy and truth about the free trade deal was totally muffled and buried by this political assassination.

The farmers, ranchers, loggers and the many other industrial workers of Canada now have suffered untold billions of dollars of loss, pain and anxiety because of the Free Trade Agreement. The United States has reneged on most of their trade deals with us. Upon deep research into world trade agreements, the U.S. is guilty of the same betrayal worldwide trade agreements in forcing hardships on many poor countries. The U.S. political system, with its huge subsidies for farm and industrial products, is a fact. The ever-interfering geo-legal system with power to interfere on trade issues, really negates trade agreements worldwide.

We must not forget that Mulroney with his Conservative majority cajoled Canada into this one-sided deal with the U.S. He, of course, had been CEO for the largest U.S. company in Canada, namely Iron ore of Labrador.

It is imperative that Canada take a second look at our U.S. trade relationship and plan to stabilize economic benefits for Canada, even before the question of water is falsely taken away from our sovereignty with one-sided tarde deals.

Please call your politicians and demand withdrawal from the free trade agreement to protect our sovereignty and welfare.

Frank J. Toti, Milk River, AB

Maple Leaf

StarPhoenix (Saskatoon, SK), May 26, 2005
Rhetoric, name-calling hurt credibility of Conservatives

... What struck me in particular was the behaviour of Stronach's former Conservative caucus colleagues. The tone of their comments went from political to the personal and vulgar, with words such as "prostitute" and "whore" flying from loose lips of various Conservative MPs. After being called on it by media, the best defence they could offer was that the despicable words are equally applicable to both males and females. ...

As for Peter MacKay, his broken heart is not newsworthy, since it is a personal matter. His repudiation of a written agreement with David Orchard at the Conservative leadership convention – that was strictly business.

Chris Antonopoulos, Saskatoon, SK

Maple Leaf

Orillia Today, May 25, 2005
Does Belinda owe David an apology?
By Trish McCracken, Washago, ON

In the past, under Chrétien, we saw big mistakes made by both Pierre Pettigrew, who did not have to answer to the public for the HRDC scandal, and Jane Stewart, who had to take the heat for those mistakes, and made others.

It shows great initiative on Paul Martin's side to put Belinda Stronach into that same portfolio, because she comes with HR experience.

I was a victim of the merger of the Alliance and the PCs, and feel like an orphan. I could blame Stronach, MacKay and Harper, but that wasn't the only thing that killed our progressive party. It was the members who "en masse" humiliated the committed progressives.

Belinda has been in the game now for enough time to listen to constituents, participate in a policy conference and get to know the thinking of the new party on public and intimate levels.

If you look at a media study, and look at Belinda's face, especially at the policy conference, you will see a very unhappy person. But 80 per cent of political (devotees) will not engage with you in a discussion of policy.

I am wondering if now that Belinda has seen the light of the 'red,' does she wish she had fought with David Orchard for the views of the Red Tories? Will she meet with David Orchard and make sure his money is returned and beg his forgiveness?

There was a middle ground between the far-right Alliance and the left-of-centre Liberals, but it exists no more. There is a new progressive party, which needs more support to thrive.

But the move of Belinda, a woman who thrives and is experienced in the corporate world, is creating a situation where the rights of women are being supported in the media. The boys of the new Conservative party need to mature, and I am sure the mature men and women of the party are trying to get them to shape up.

The man who has the job David Orchard should have had, is not a leader and that's the subject of a 3,000-word essay. (A Conservative MP used the term 'whoring' in relation to Belinda's shift.) That childishness was not weeded out in the selection of candidates who ran for that party last time - an element of leadership.

So I wish Belinda luck, although I did not support her ability to be an MPP or a party leader. I congratulate her on making decisions and look forward to seeing her political maturity evolve further.

I look forward to hearing that she has met with David Orchard to apologize.

Maple Leaf

Ottawa Citizen, May 25, 2005
No sympathy needed

Regarding columnist Charles Gordon's observation that "every time the Peter MacKay heartbreak interview plays on TV, the Tory sympathy vote goes up." I think any sympathy for Mr. MacKay is sorely misplaced.... I'm sure David Orchard vividly remembers the promise Mr. MacKay made to him to win Mr. Orchard's support for Mr. MacKay's bid to lead the Conservatives. Mr. MacKay solemnly promised Mr. Orchard not to merge with the Canadian Alliance.

In a way, he kept his promise; he didn't negotiate a merger with the Alliance so much as a takeover by it. If he had kept his word on this, it's doubtful that Ms. Stronach would now be a Liberal. It was Stephen Harper's Alliance tactics that she couldn't accept.

It isn't sympathy that Mr. MacKay deserves but a reminder that what goes around comes around. He should control his quivering lower lip.

Oli Cosgrove, Ottawa

Maple Leaf

The Sherbrooke Record (PQ), May 25, 2005
Commitment, opportunity, power
y Arthur Langford, Simcoe, ON

It is not surprising that many Canadians who follow the unfolding saga of federal politicians have increasing trouble separating political commitment and the drive for power on the part of the aspirants. Who is committed to what? Surely those seeking leadership committed to the groups they sought to lead, e.g., Scott Brison to the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada? Yes both are now Liberal cabinet ministers.

The press indicate that a romance has been shattered. Surely Peter MacKay could have managed this one by declaring himself as a born-again Liberal, moving smoothly to cabinet rank alongside his one-time competitor. He knows about commitment, about the lust for power and, indeed, about opportunity.

At the June 2003 P.C. leadership convention. Jim Prentice and Scott Brison did not want to see either Peter MacKay or David Orchard win (gain power). MacKay seized the opportunity for power by signing the now famous and well-known agreement with Orchard, a four-part commitment, a deal soon broken, before he made any comments in the House regarding the integrity of the Liberals.

Shed a tear or two for Peter MacKay. He took the opportunity to gain power through commitment to David Orchard, a pole star of unchanging principle since the '80s, but it was a hollow victory. Did MacKay miss an opportunity for power by not accompanying Ms. Stronach across the aisle into the arms of the Liberals without jeopardizing any approach to that cathedral aisle that he might have travelled?

Arthur N. Langford, Simcoe, ON

Maple Leaf

Beacon Herald (Stratford, ON), May 24, 2005
New Conservative party no stranger to hypocrisy

... The new Conservative party was born on betrayal… or have they forgotten Peter MacKay's betrayal with David Orchard and other PCs. As a result, Conservative Leader hen became their second choice as leader. And he has dug his own grave with his outdated ideas, his ambition, his passive/aggressive rage and his shoddy treatment of Ms. Stronach, his main rival for leadership. Remember his childish tantrum at the convention when he kicked a chair across the room when he got angry at Mr. MacKay… a real statesman indeed.

As for Mr. MacKay, he could call Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger for advice… he married a Democrat, the woman he loved.

D.A. Hansen, Stratford, ON

Maple Leaf

Daily News (Halifax, N.S.), May 24, 2005
Scant sympathy for MacKay

It's pretty hard to have any sympathy for Peter MacKay after the way he sold out the Progressive Conservative party to Stephen Harper and lied to David Orchard at the PC's leadership convention. He's a hypocrite who deserves neither trust nor sympathy. Someone ought to remind him that the way he feels now is likely how Orchard felt the day after MacKay betrayed him. Stay on the potato farm, Pete. It's about the only field you're likely to be outstanding in in the near future.

Allan Nielsen, Halifax, N.S.

Maple Leaf

Globe and Mail, May 24, 2005
The art of betrayal

When Conservatives try to portray the Peter and Belinda story as a re-write of the Adam and Eve story, they would do well to remember that Adam did not betray the orchard before Eve was offered the apple.

Eric Mendelsohn, Toronto

Maple Leaf

Edmonton Journal, May 21, 2005
Now it's MacKay who feel betrayed

... I suggest that MacKay get away from Ottawa for a while and come out West where the sky is clear and huge and there are vast spaces to quietly reflect and mend the soul.

I am sure that David Orchard's farm near Borden, Sask. would be a good place for MacKay to cure his soul of the sting of the broken word and the humiliation of being betrayed in public.

Bob Borreson, Bon Accord, AB

Maple Leaf

Times-Colonist (Victoria, B.C.), May 21, 2005
A taste of his own medicine

Belinda Stronach gave Peter MacKay just what he deserved. MacKay set up and lied to David Orchard to get himself the leadership of the Progressive Conservatives. Now he's on the receiving end. Good for her.

Les Saul, Thetis Island, B.C.

Maple Leaf

Victoria Times-Colonist, May 21, 2005
Orchard could help MacKay

Perhaps David Orchard would be willing to assist a forlorn Peter MacKay rebound from the flight of his lost love, Belinda Stronach. After all, Orchard does have some experience, having recently been betrayed himself.

David Noonan, Victoria, B.C.

Maple Leaf

Winnipeg Sun, May 21, 2005
Dizzying observation

The first thought I had when I saw your front-page picture of poor Peter MacKay on Tuesday was, "Maybe now he knows how David Orchard felt." What goes around comes around.

Heather Groom, Winnipeg, MB

Maple Leaf

Toronto Star, May 20, 2005
Betrayal a theme in national politics

I find it amusing that Canadians are still shocked by political betrayals judging by the uproar over Belinda Stronach's defection. In fact, betrayal has become the main theme in Canadian politics. The Conservative party that Stronach brokered into being was based on a betrayal of David Orchard. In 1984, the Brian Mulroney government betrayed the Canadian people when it pushed a free trade deal that before the election they said they opposed. Mulroney was thrown out of office by the Chrétien Liberals who campaigned on their Red Book, but then betrayed Canadians once again by systematically junking it after being safely elected.

John Williams, Toronto

Maple Leaf

Vancouver Sun, May 20, 2005
This time, MacKay's on the other end of the betrayal

Ah, romance. It seems that Peter MacKay knew not what his romantic partner was about to do. Belinda Stronach jumped ship to join the people that MacKay and his boss Stephen Harper are now referring to as thieves and scoundrels. It seems that poor Peter feels spurned by her action, as thought she did an about-face on some unspoken commitment.

Changed parties, did she? Perhaps MacKay now understands how David Orchard feels. It doesn't seem that long ago that MacKay did his own about-face with Orchard, breaking a verbal agreement to leave the Progressive Conservative party intact.

Jerry Coulson, Gibsons, B.C.

Maple Leaf

Adam Radwanski, Thursday, May 19, 2005
If only Agony Elsie was still writing...

I feel for Peter MacKay. Honestly, I do. Much as I wouldn’t trust him as far as I could throw him after the whole David Orchard mess (even if you think Orchard’s an oddball, a signed agreement is a signed agreement), he’s a pretty likeable guy. And having your high-profile relationship ended on national TV is pretty humiliating.

But seriously, man:. Suck it up. Don’t have Stephen Harper explain you’re too devastated to show your face in public, which conjures images of you locked in your bedroom eating Haagen Dazs straight from the container. Don’t turn up the next night talking in hushed tones, looking like you’re about to burst into tears, about how hurt you are. And for the love of God, don’t have your dad go on TV moments after to spell out the fatherly advice he’s been giving you behind closed doors.

If there’s been a more ridiculous moment in Canadian politics, at least in this lifetime, I can’t think of it.

(Oh, and kudos to anyone who got the headline on this post. Your Pundit t-shirt is in the mail.)

Send your comments to Adam Radwanski at aradwanski@nationalpost.com

Maple Leaf

CBC Radio, The Current, May 19, 2005
The Voice

"It's Thursday May 19th. Poor Peter, poor poor Peter, standing there in his potato patch. A pitchfork in hand...the guy looked like he just pulled it out of his back. Ouch. That's gotta hurt.

"Currently, you know Peter, if you're feeling blue, feeling betrayed, maybe like you don't know who to trust anymore, there is someone you can talk to, someone with a shoulder you can cry on, a guy who knows exactly how you must feel. Give David Orchard a call. You've got his number. This is The Current."

Maple Leaf

The Province (Vancouver, B.C.), May 19, 2005
MacKay had it coming

...Conservative Party Leader Stephen Harper is bemoaning how Stronach unceremoniously "dumped" MacKay through her change of allegiance. Yet, MacKay himself became a traitor when he he promised in writing to David Orchard that he wouldn’t seek unification with the Alliance Party in order to gain the leadership of the Progressive Conservative Party.

It took him only a few weeks to break that promise. So, he had it coming.

Ernie Schreiber, Ottawa

Maple Leaf

Toronto Star, May 19, 2005
How it feels

Now that Belinda Stronach has left Peter MacKay behind, perhaps he will know just how David Orchard felt when MacKay did the same to him. Brings to mind the saying "What goes around comes around."

Jon Taylor, Toronto

Maple Leaf

Globe and Mail, May 18, 2005
Heights of illogic

Peter MacKay (Tories Unleash Attack Ads -- May 17) says "people need to know the facts about what's happening [at the Gomery inquiry]" but then adds that they "don't need to wait to hear [the final report] to make up their minds."

Mr. MacKay does have a history of having it both ways -- witness his broken deal on uniting the right -- but this time he's scaled new heights of illogic.

J. E. Mullin, Frederiction

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