COVER

Notes from the Edge

Memo to Stock: ‘nice guys finish....’

Anthony Wilson-Smith November 13 2000
COVER

Notes from the Edge

Memo to Stock: ‘nice guys finish....’

Anthony Wilson-Smith November 13 2000

Notes from the Edge

COVER

Memo to Stock: ‘nice guys finish....’

Anthony Wilson-Smith

Canadian Alliance strategists are unhappy with campaign co-chairman Jason Kenney. The 32-year-old Alberta MP imprudently mused about the need for “choices” in the health-care system last week, feeding voter fears the party would create a two-tier system in which the wealthy could pay for faster, better care. The uproar only abated when the Liberals released their Red Book, deflecting attention from those remarks. “People are really questioning why Kenney would go there,” says an exasperated Alliance adviser. Still, Stockwell Day is reluctant to

discipline Kenney, a key supporter during the party leadership race earlier this year.

Meanwhile, the pivotal debate over the Alliance’s basic strategy—the so-called agenda of respect—rages on. Macleans has learned that campaign strategy director Rod Love, campaign co-chairman Peter White and communications adviser Rick Anderson have advocated hard-hitting ads that bluntly ask voters if Jean Chrétien de| serves another term. But Day is unwilling 1 to resort to such personal attacks. Election I strategists say such ads could focus atten2, tion on a vulnerable Liberal issue—their Day, wife Valorie, security: get down early election call, three years and less than

six months into a five-year term. Some Liberals concede that if the public equates that with arrogance on Chrétiens part, it could tip the balance in key areas such as rural Ontario. “The Liberals have run a stupid campaign with warmed-over porridge as our platform,” says a Liberal insider. “But the Alliance has been running a vanilla-style campaign. If they get tough, they still have a chance to beat us.”

Mary Janigan

Say, are you the Real Slim Shady?

Jean Chrétien and Stockwell Day are Britney guys, while Joe Clark and Alexa

McDonough prefer Christina. Those are among the findings of a MuchMusic questionnaire sent to the four leaders. Their responses (or those sent back under their names):

Who is the Real Slim Shady and what do you think of his music?

Chrétien: I don’t know—so let’s ask the people: ‘Will the Real Slim Shady please stand up?’

Clark: The Real Slim Shady is Eminem. As to his music—I wouldn’t use it as a campaign song!

Day: I am not a fan of Eminem. His lyrics promote domestic violence.

McDonough: It’s Eminem. I have never listened to a full song, but it’s really not my thing.

Which video would you request on MuchMusic?

Chrétien: The Tragically Hip, Ahead by a Century.

Clark: Trooper, Raise a Little Hell.

Day: U2, Beautiful Day.

McDonough: ABBA, Take a Chance on Me.

^ Here is the tally from the second week of the Maclean’s Web canvass. Cast your vote at www.macleans.ca. The question:

Which party leader do you think would make the best

I Stockwell Day .........40%

Jean Chrétien .........31%

Joe Clark.............13%

Alexa McDonough.......11%

Gilles Duceppe..........5%

Note: This is not a scientific poll based on the customary random sample

The PM:

Toronto’s favourite

It’s hardly a majority, but Jean Chrétien leads the field when it comes to choosing the person best suited to be prime minister. In a new poll provided to Macleans, Environics Research Group finds that the incumbent is viewed as the best choice by 36 per cent of Canadians. Twenty-three per cent prefer Stockwell Day, followed by Joe Clark (eight per cent),

Alexa McDonough (six) and Gilles Duceppe (four). One in 10 respondents rejected all leaders and 13 per cent responded “don’t know.”

There are significant regional differences. The PM is regarded most highly in Toronto (50 per cent), in Ontario as a whole (48) and Atlantic Canada (40). In contrast, Day is preferred by Albertans (44 per cent) and British Columbians (34), especially those in Vancouver (36 per cent). (The Environics figures are based on interviews with 1,351 eligible voters in a nighdy tracking survey. The national results are deemed to be accurate within 2.7 percentage points,

19 times out of 20.)