Wasn't Brian Mulroney's Fault - Kim Campbell Lost

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Wasn't Brian Mulroney's Fault - Kim Campbell Lost The Election


On October 25, 1993 the Progressive Conservative party suffered the biggest political defeat in Canadian history. Under the leadership of Kim Campbell, the Progressive Conservative Party was reduced from one of the biggest majority governments in Canadian history to only two seats in the House of Commons. It is said that a lot of responsibility for this loss lies in the faulty government of Brian Mulroney. However, Kim Campbell was given the rare opportunity of running a country. For a period of seven months, Kim Campbell made all ultimate decisions that lead to the fate of Canada. Kim Campbell was the first female Prime Minister of Canada and even this fact alone could be used to draw votes from Canadians. In Fact, Kim Campbell had high approval ratings when her party chose her to be the leader of the Progressive Conservatives: “Poles said how well a renewed Conservative Party would do in an election, specifically with Kim Campbell as the new Tory leader. She would, said one of the first poles, win 43 percent of the vote compared to 25 percent for Jean Chrétien.” How did she manage to lose these ratings? How did she manage to bring the Progressive Conservative Party to its lowest number of seats in history? Brian Mulroney was not responsible for the Progressive Conservative Party’s defeat in 1993, unlike many would make him out to be. In the election, Canadians no longer needed to consider the power or opinion of Brian Mulroney. The fact is that on the date of the election, Canadians had a choice between Jean Chrétien and Kim Campbell to be the next Prime Minister of Canada. It was Kim Campbell’s actions that lead to the devastating defeat of the Progressive Conservative Party on October 25, 1993. Kim Campbell was not elected Prime Minister of Canada by the Canadian people because she had a massive ego that offended the Canadian public, and she did not run a smooth and successful election campaign.

Throughout her career in politics, many people were offended due to Kim Campbell’s obvious idealism that she was better then the average person. Kim Campbell had a large ego and let it be known through her actions words during her career. She had a strong past record of being unable to see any other points of view on something she felt strongly about. This factor was definitely considered as Canadians took the polls in 1993. Kim Campbell’s feeling of superiority was shown in reflection to her defeat on the Charlottetown accord. Instead of accepting the decision that the Canadian people had made through a democratic vote, Kim Campbell decided to insult the people who voted against her. She told a Harvard University audience that only the “civically competent” people decided to vote yes on this referendum: “They simply cannot relate to what it means to allow a provincial government to do something as opposed to the federal government... The ‘yes’ side had a very, very preponderant representation of people who have responsibility for decision making. These were people that played elite rolls… positions of responsibility in Canadian society. [Their vote] reflected the attitudes of people who had a specific competence” (The Politics of Kim Campbell, 53). Campbell was so confident in her own opinion on the situation that she failed to even consider the idea that she could be wrong. She spoke of how the people who voted yes, like herself were of a much higher intellect level and understood the issue more, while the no voters were simply ignorant and unable to process the information. Kim Campbell also showed this suspicion of the ignorant Canadian people at a municipalities convention in Whistler. John Turner, the leader of the Reform Party, was criticizing the Canada-U.S Free Trade Agreement. Since Campbell did not agree with what he was saying, she found herself in need to protect the ignorant Canadians who she believed were not worthy of their own opinion and would absorb anything that John Turner said. Campbell recounts her thoughts as she listened to Turner’s speech: “I sat in the audience and realized that the people around me had no basis to judge what he was saying… I couldn’t stay outside that fight.” (The Politics of Kim Campbell, 26) Once again Kim Campbell shows that she believes she is more intelligent and more educated than other Canadian people.

Kim Campbell not only believed herself to be more intelligent than the average Canadian person, but also more intelligent than those among her in politics. This was shown during her campaign for the Vancouver Centre Riding against Liberal candidate Tex Enemark. During a televised candidates’ debate, Kim Campbell shut down Ted Enemark’s in a condescending manner as she tried to avoid a question he asked of her: “The TV host, Jim Hart asked her about her party’s promise of a national child care program. She replied, ‘It’s not a promise, it’s a commitment.’ When asked to explain the difference she replied, ‘A promise is a promise, a commitment is a commitment.’ I said, ‘Wait a minute- a promise refers to something in the future and a commitment is for something that has already been provided for. There’s no money in the fiscal framework for this program- and it’s too big to be hidden anywhere else.’ She just sneered. ‘You don’t know what you’re talking about.’” (The Politics of Kim Campbell, 29). At the threat and realization of being proven wrong, Kim Campbell was unable to admit it and instead decided to simply disagree with her fellow candidate. She had no basis behind her argument but her ego caused her to try and maintain her pride by continuing in ignorance.The job of Prime Minister of Canada is a position that holds a tremendous amount of power. When democratically voting for the person to run the country, Canadians must cons

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