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Harper releases his 14-points of unite

(PoliticsWatch posted Sept 29, 2003) OTTAWA -- Stephen Harper's much-talked-about 14-point proposal to unite the right was released to the media today, detailing what appears to be an extremely rapid plan that begins with party approval of the merger in three weeks and ends with a leadership convention in February. 

According to the Alliance, this document is the supposed basis of talks between three high-level emissaries from both parties. 

The 14-points try to strike a balance. While the Alliance is willing to assume the Tories' debt, they are also holding to the one-member, one-vote way of electing a leader. 

Harper's proposal is also rapid. It aims for both he and MacKay to gain the support of their respective parties for the merger by Oct. 10, less than three weeks from today. And the cut-off for new members to vote for leader is Nov. 17. 

All party constitutional items and elections filings are to be completed before the end of the year. And a leadership convention would be held in Ottawa in late February. 

After releasing the proposal, Harper spoke with reporters and repeated his call for Tory Leader Peter MacKay to come forward with his own counterproposals before talks between the emissaries can resume. 

"For us to go forward, we need to get their position." said Harper. "If you're operating in good faith, you give the other side your position."

He also denied an assertion made by Tory emissary Loyola Hearn that he was interfering with the talks. 

"His people are basically not negotiating. He is carrying on the negotiations. We don't run to the phone and call Mr. MacKay every time we have to make a decision," said Hearn last week. 

Harper said he would not apologize for "providing guidance" to his emissaries. 

While the talks between the two parties are not officially dead, the sound coming from the Tory caucus is not positive. 

Tory MP Rick Borotsik today said he did not think the talks were positive for the party or to politics in Canada and accused the Alliance of "trying to regain some life by using our blood."

"It's not a matter of a merger, it's not a matter of equality, it's a matter of them trying to succeed in what they set out to do in the first place, which was to get rid of the Progressive Conservative Party," he said. 

Harper's 14-points to unite the right. 

arrow-trans.gif (111 bytes) New party will be known as the "Conservative Party."
arrow-trans.gif (111 bytes) Conservative Party will assume rights, assets and liabilities of the Alliance and Tories.
arrow-trans.gif (111 bytes)  Harper and MacKay must achieve support of their parties by Oct. 10 "through whatever mechanism necessary."
arrow-trans.gif (111 bytes) CA and PC will name 11 members to an interim governing body, consisting of equal representation from each province.
arrow-trans.gif (111 bytes) The interim governing body will be responsible for Elections Canada filings, drafting a constitution by Dec. 31, establishing riding associations and overseeing nominations.
arrow-trans.gif (111 bytes) The party will establish a trust capable of raising money and retiring PC Party debt.
arrow-trans.gif (111 bytes) CA and PC caucuses of both houses will become the Conservative Party caucuses. 
arrow-trans.gif (111 bytes) Caucus will elect an interim leader immediately and draft a statement of principles by Dec. 31. 
arrow-trans.gif (111 bytes) The interim leader will be the leader of the Opposition, but may not be a candidate in the leadership race.
arrow-trans.gif (111 bytes) CA and PC will name two individuals to a leadership election organizing committee.
arrow-trans.gif (111 bytes) Leadership vote will be conducted by mail-in ballot on the basis of one-member, one-vote. Membership cut-off will be Nov. 17. 
arrow-trans.gif (111 bytes) The founding convention of the Conservative Party will be held in Ottawa Feb. 19-21.
arrow-trans.gif (111 bytes) The convention will amend and adopt a constitution and a statement of principles and policies.
arrow-trans.gif (111 bytes) Where possible, the selection of CA and PC candidates will be grandfathered to the Conservative Party, and further CA and PC nominations meetings shall immediately cease.

Check out these related stories:

arrow-trans.gif (111 bytes) MacKay needs to state merger positions
arrow-trans.gif (111 bytes) Harper expects merger report by end of the week
arrow-trans.gif (111 bytes) Merger talks "getting extremely difficult:" MacKay
arrow-trans.gif (111 bytes) Merger talks resume
arrow-trans.gif (111 bytes) Harper, MacKay cautious on possible merger 
arrow-trans.gif (111 bytes) Talks between MacKay, Harper informal and infrequent
arrow-trans.gif (111 bytes) MacKay "interested" in hearing Harper's vote-splitting solution

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