The Clement-Harper-Stronach Issues Matrix

I was recently talking to several people about where the new Conservative Party of Canada falls on the political spectrum. That is, is it nearer to the old Alliance party, the old PC party, or in-between? A couple of people pointed out that the answer depends, in part, on who gets elected as leader. Obviously, the sum of a candidate's opinions does not a leader make. There are plenty of other factors--experience, vision, charisma--to consider, but I thought this would be a good place to start.

In order to keep track of the platforms of the Conservative Party candidates, and to determine whether I might support one of them, I've created the Clement-Harper-Stronach Issues Matrix, or CHSIM for short. I've assembled a list of issues which interested me, and then sought out specific information on where the candidates stood on each issue.

As you can see, the CHSIM is still in its infancy, and has more blanks that quotes. This is because of the all-Stronach news cycle that we're just coming out of, I haven't had time to search more extensively, and I assume that candidates haven't offered their perspectives on all these issues.

I'd appreciate any assistance that you can furnish on completing the matrix. If you spot a quote from a candidate on one of these issues, please email me at darren AT darrenbarefoot FULL-STOP com. Also, if there are other issues that you think should be on the matrix, let me know.

If you want to send me some data, please include a source. A web page is preferable, but "heard it on the radio" is acceptable to. I'll include that as the source reference, and people can take it for what it's worth. Obviously, some sources are going to be more reliable than others. Additionally, I'm seeking specificity for these issues. For example, probably all three leaders will talk about lowering taxes, but I'm interested in the details of how they propose to do so.

 
Tony Clement Stephen Harper Belinda Stronach
Abortion

"I'm probably about a 6 or 7 out of 10 on a scale of 1 to 10 on pro-life, pro-choice...I believe there are some instances where the woman's right to choose does trump other concerns, and there are instances where that is not the case. I think it's too difficult a moral issue to compartmentalize, at least [for] me, on one extreme or the other."
--LifeSite, Nov. 19, 2001

[Mr. Clement] said...that a party led by him would not move to change the abortion law.
--Globe and Mail, Jan. 16, 2004

"I have always said that controversial issues of a moral or religious nature, such as abortion, should be settled by free votes of MPs, not by party policy."
--Harper's Site, as of Jan. 25, 2004

 

Her campaign manager hastened to add later she is also pro-choice on abortion.
--Vancouver Sun, date unknown
Arts and Culture      
Crime      
Environment In the long term, clean air and water is a continental problem, and we have to work with our neighbours, using innovative ideas like emission trading credits and incentives for early action.
--Clement's site, as of Feb. 4, 2003
   
Foreign Policy      
Gay Marriage [Mr. Clement] said...that he would vote to retain the traditional definition of marriage.
--Globe and Mail, Jan. 16, 2004

"I personally support the traditional definition of marriage."
--Harper's Site, as of Jan. 25, 2004

"I believe that all Canadians should be treated equally under the law so I believe in same-sex marriage,"
Toronto Star, Jan. 21, 2004
Gun Control and Registry I would replace the useless billion dollar firearm registry with tough sentences for gun crime and strict enforcement against gun smuggling.
--Clement's site, as of Feb. 4, 2003
"I will repeal the Liberals' universal firearms registry. It wastes money and turns law-abiding people into criminals for no good reason."
--Harper's Site, as of Jan. 25, 2004

"As a mother, I am scared by gun violence. I would stiffen the penalties for crimes involving guns. What I would not do is to penalize law-abiding farmers and hunters who use firearms as a tool."
--Launch speech, Jan. 20, 2004

"While strengthening gun control, I would scrap the gun registry. I would use the money to fight against illegal guns and drugs."
--Launch speech, Jan. 20, 2004

Health Care Clement said he wants to maintain the basic principles of medicare but "enhance sustainability and accessibility" by allowing more private-sector delivery of publicly funded health-care services, including day surgeries.
--Montreal Gazette, Jan. 27, 2004
[Supports] changing the Canada Health Act to allow the provinces to experiment with private health care delivery.
--About Canada Online, March 23, 2002.

"Canadians must have universal access to health care but Canadians deserve better than equal access to an inadequate system...To encourage openness and transparency, government should send patients regular statements, so they see the true cost of the services they have received from medicare."
--Launch speech, Jan. 20, 2004

Ms. Stronach said she is looking at the Alberta model, where the government has expanded the role of private companies in the delivery of health services to the public, but not gone so far as to allow people to pay out of their own pockets for medically necessary services from private providers.
--Globe and Mail, Jan. 27, 2004

Iraq  

Harper said it's hypocritical of the government to have exchange officers in the war against Iraq while at the same time opposing the conflict and maintaining they're not combatants.
--Canoe.ca, April 1, 2003

"Alliances are a two-way process. Where we are in agreement we should not leave it to the United States to do all the heavy lifting just because it is the world’s only superpower. To do so, I believe, will inevitably undermine one of the most important relationships that we have."
--Town Crier, April 1, 2003

 
Marijuana   Opposition Leader Stephen Harper has been a harsh critic of the Liberal government's pot decriminalization bill.
--Canoe.ca, Oct. 4, 2003
"I oppose the decriminalization of marijuana. This is a question of public safety and public health."
--Launch speech, Jan. 20, 2004
Military Spending "Canada's military badly needs adequate funding for decent pay and updated equipment."
--Clement's site, as of Feb. 4, 2003
  "To defend ourselves and meet our international obligations, I would rebuild our military, giving our troops the equipment, the funding and the recognition they deserve."
--Launch speech, Jan. 20, 2004
Senate Reform I pledge to appoint any Senator elected by any province, and would support a constitutional amendment for an elected Senate put before the people of Canada in referendum. All senior judicial appointments should be reviewed by Parliament.
--Clement's site, as of Feb. 4, 2003
   
Taxation

He'd like to give young taxpayers a break by exempting the first $250,000 they earn.
--Montreal Gazette, Jan. 27, 2004

Clement said the tax break [for young taxpayers], and an unspecified cut in the capital gains tax, are ways of injecting funds into the economy to create more jobs and tax revenue.
--Montreal Gazette, Jan. 27, 2004

 

"To give hardworking Canadians a break, let’s make mortgage interest partially tax deductible."
--Launch speech, Jan. 20, 2004

"We should support higher education by allowing both parents and students to deduct post-secondary tuition from their income tax."
--Launch speech, Jan. 20, 2004

US/Canada Relations "Our domestic security demands that we strengthen our border against terrorism and criminals from abroad - that means working with our continental neighbours to ensure a secure North American perimeter."
--Clement's site, as of Feb. 4, 2003
  Ms. Stronach called for...a "common security perimeter" with the United States.
--Globe and Mail, Jan. 27, 2004