Clement made that accusation during the televised debates for the leadership of the Canadian Alliance Party (formerly known as the Reform Party of Canada and now the Conservative Party of Canada.)
He also accused his adversary of proposing to build a firewall around Alberta, of writing off electoral prospects in Quebec and of badmouthing Atlantic Canadians.
All of this was certainly true, but we know that Harper went on to win the leadership race, and ultimately the job of prime minister. Does Tony Clement still feel this way? I guess only he knows that, but a lot of things are said at leadership races. It's the nature of competition.
"How can anybody when their track record has been completely contrary to a building exercise, driving people apart, driving wedges, have any credibility or be believable that he can bring people together?"- Conservative MP Peter MacKay reacting to Stockwell Day's proposal to merge the Conservative and Alliance Parties, June 14th, 2001.
We all know that Peter MacKay would eventually sell out his party to the Alliance, who are still driving wedges and have very little credibility.
Does Mackay still feel that way about Stockwell Day or his colleagues from the Reform/Alliance? Again, only he knows.
You might wonder then why the Reformers are now using things said by Justin Trudeau during the 2006 Liberal leadership race, against Michael Ignatieff; in attack ads suggesting rifts in the party.
What am I saying? It's the Reform/Conservative/Republican Party. It's what they do.
This isn't the first time they tried this. Kady O'Malley reported in September:
There’s a surprising new star making a cameo appearance in Conservative ads attacking Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff: his name is Justin Trudeau.
French-language TV ads that have begun airing in Quebec show the rookie MP blasting a few volleys of friendly fire at his leader. The ads include clips from an interview Trudeau did during the 2006 Liberal leadership race.
Did the TV ads work? It's difficult to say, since the Conservative fortunes have gone up and down since then. Ignatieff's premature election call, sent him spiralling, but it would appear that Harper's gang are going to give it one more kick at the can.
Only this time, they have no intention of paying for the misleading ads themselves. Yes, at a time when they are preaching restraint, they are charging taxpayers once again for pure nonsense.
From the Montreal Chronicle:
The Harper Conservatives are trying to set up Justin Trudeau against his leader Michael Ignatieff.
Clearly the Conservatives are running out of options, so are once again going on the attack. I think Quebecers are smarter than this though, I really do.
And they’ve found a way of doing it with taxpayers’ money, without using a penny of their own funds. They’ve had thousands of partisan pamphlets printed up, and are passing them off in Quebec as MPs newsletters which Canada Post is duty-bound to deliver free of charge. The U.S.-style attack pamphlets quote Trudeau as saying disparaging things about Ignatieff at the Liberal Party leadership convention back in December 2006.
There's another interesting aside to this though. In a cached article from the Globe and Mail, dated May 17, 2002:
OTTAWA -- The federal Tories are charging that interim Canadian Alliance leader John Reynolds abused his free-mail privileges to send out a political letter to woo Progressive Conservative members.1. Go to the article and leave a comment.
The letter, signed by new Alliance Leader Stephen Harper, was mailed out to Tories across the country by Mr. Reynolds, who has led the party in Parliament since Stockwell Day stepped down in December to launch a leadership race. But Mr. Reynolds used his so-called "franking" privileges, the free-mail system for MPs, to send the letter.
Tory House Leader Peter MacKay charged that the letter was an abuse of the privilege that allows MPs to send mail related to their parliamentary functions for free.
IS THIS REALLY YOUR CANADA? WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO ABOUT IT?
2. You can tell five friends about not only the horrendous nature of the attack but the fact that your tax dollars are being wasted.
3. You can email Justin Trudeau (Trudeau.J@parl.gc.ca) and copy it to the Prime Minister (firstname.lastname@example.org) and your local MP.
4. You can also contact your own MP, especially if they are Conservative, and let them know that at a time when they should be using restraint, this abuse of tax dollars is not sending a very good message. Be sure to tell them that it will be an election issue.
I left a comment:
THIS IS HOW WE WILL TAKE OUR COUNTRY BACK.
Stephen . . . you've been on the record as a wall-builder. I want to be on the record as a bridge-builder." Tony Clement to Stephen Harper, February 11, 2004
Mr. Clement then went on to accuse Stephen Harper of proposing to build a firewall around Alberta, of writing off electoral prospects in Quebec and of badmouthing Atlantic Canadians. This was during the televised debate for leadership of the Alliance Party. Should we put this in an attack ad and distribute it in Clement's riding?
I don't care about the ads, because it shows they have nothing left. I do care that I am paying for them.