Poisoned Chalice

Poisoned Chalice

The Last Campaign Of The Progressive Conservative Party?

Book - 1994
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Poisoned Chalice chronicles the fateful end of the federal Progressive Conservative government in Ottawa. The Progressive Conservative Party sought to remake itself by choosing the first woman prime minister in Canadian history, but failed to heed the lessons of Meech or Charlottetown. Their strategy nearly worked. By the time the election was called, the Tories were neck and neck with Jean Chr#65533;tien's Liberals. Then it all fell apart. This book, published exactly one year after the event, tells how and why it happened.

It gives a day-by-day account of an election campaign seemingly doomed to failure. It covers the strategy, tactics and political machinations that drove the Conservative campaign from the point of view of someone "on the bus." Read the strategy memos given to Kim Campbell. Listen in on her election-night phone call to Jean Chr#65533;tien. Relive Kim Campbell's campaigh from one end of the country to the other.

More than just that, Poisoned Chalice asks fundamental questions about how one of the founding political parties of Canada could come to such an ignominious state. Does the Progressive Conservative Party have a future? Has it been overtaken for good by Reform? This book takes the reader back to the seeds of the Tories' defeat, from the constitutional debate and referendum, to the Conservative leadership race that never was, to Kim Campbell's shining summer, to the electoral devastation of just two seats.

Publisher: Toronto : Dundurn Press, 1994.
ISBN: 9781550022209
Branch Call Number: 971.0647 MCL
Characteristics: x, 322 p. : ill.


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Nov 30, 2013

The first part of this book is a useful lesson on federal-provincial decision processes, specifically those involved in the Charlottetown Accord. By half way through, it degenerates into hour by hour details of the entire 47 day election campaign that followed that belongs in archives not in a book. You'll have a lower opinion of Campbell when you're done than I remember at the time, but I'm not sure that it was worth the turgid reading.

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