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Leadership Mocked

Windsor Star, June 10, 2015

By Marjaleena Repo

Re: Peter MacKay was a politician of many titles, but little achievement, guest column by Andrew Coyne, National Post, May 30.

In his critical examination of the political career of Peter MacKay, Andrew Coyne feels the need to throw gratuitous insults at David Orchard, the man who made MacKay's leadership possible through a signed agreement which MacKay soon unceremoniously scuttled, betraying Orchard and destroying the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada, the founding party of Canada.

According to Coyne, "David Orchard [is] a fanatical anti-free trader who hoped, with the aid of his glint-eyed followers, to turn the party into his personal cult."

In reality, as anyone who has read Orchard's book, The Fight for Canada: Four Centuries of Resistance to American Expansionism, knows fully well that Orchard was never a fanatic but is a good historian and an astute and knowledgeable critic of the Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement and NAFTA.

It is the globalization worshippers like Coyne who are the real fanatics who tolerate no criticism of their pet ideology, where "free" and "trade" have become unquestionable concepts, never mind the reality that the terms cover up.

As for the "glint" in the eyes of Orchard's supporters, it was more likely for the hope of better and more democratic policies that Orchard advocated when he twice ran for the leadership of the PC Party of Canada.

Oddly, when other leaders are praised for their leadership qualities and political charisma, these in Orchard's case are denigrated into a "personality cult" that needs to be mocked by the likes of Andrew Coyne.

MARJALEENA REPO, David Orchard's leadership campaign manager, 1998 and 2003, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

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