Re: “Harper’s ‘permanent campaign’ paying off,” Barry Cooper, Opinion, April 6.
Barry Cooper is singing from the Ezra Levant hymn book when he makes reference to the 1985 Ontario provincial election and “the subterranean deal David Peterson and Bob Rae cooked up after the Conservatives won the election.”
The facts are these: The Conservatives, led by their new leader, Frank Miller, won 52 seats. The Liberals won 48 seats with a larger popular vote than the Tories. The NDP won 25 seats.
Thus, the combined Liberal and NDP held 73 seats to the Tories’ 52. The combined popular vote for the Liberals and NDP was 30 points higher than for the Tories. Miller was leading a divided party and, as I recall, had little stomach for leading such a minority government already split over his leadership.
The Liberals and NDP negotiated an accord that allowed the Liberals to form a government for two years rather than the inevitable dysfunctional parliament and another, early election. Nothing “subterranean” about it.
Hugh Linet, Calgary