U of C politicians talk Reform

By Brian Arkinstall

Last Sunday saw the debut of Canada’s newest national political movement at the University of Calgary.

The Reform Party on Campus and the Progressive Conservative Association at U of C, hosted a meeting to familiarize interested parties with the proposed Canadian Reform Conservative Alliance (Canadian Alliance). The meeting was also intended to encourage student participation in the creation of the proposed party.

"We want to make sure that students have as much input into the creation of this new party as possible," said Co-chair of Youth 4 Canadian Alliance Ben Perrin "The time for students to get involved in this new party is now. We want you [the student] to make your voice heard on the issues that are most important to you."

Speakers at the meeting included U of C students who attended the UA convention as well as a pair of high profile Reform members. The speakers all spoke enthusiastically about the UA convention and the potential of the proposed Canadian Alliance.

"Countries evolve politically, and I think we are in an evolution with this thing [United Alternative]," said Ron Wood, a communications advisor to Preston Manning. "I honestly think that in the next election, this new thing, this new entity, will win a majority of seats. I am certain deep in my bones that you are involved in the start of what will be the next government of Canada."

Calgary Southeast Reform MP Jason Kinney, a frequent visitor to the U of C campus, also commented on the significance of the UA convention.

"What is happening right now is just remarkable," exclaimed Kinney. "Last weekend [the UA convention] will go down as a watershed in modern Canadian political history."

The meeting was well attended for a campus event held on a Sunday evening. In addition to Reformers and Conservatives, several members of the U of C Liberal Association were in attendance.

According to Perrin, the political clubs on campus have a reputation for responding quickly to changes in the Canadian political landscape. For him, credence was given to this reputation by the PC and Reform clubs quick response to the UA convention.

"We’ve been one of the most active groups of young people in the country in pushing for the United Alternative," said Perrin. "After the Reform referendum goes through, we will likely be founding a large event to found the first national campus club of the Canadian Alliance."

There will be more events on campus related to the UA and the Canadian Alliance in the near future.

"We’ve planned to have some high-profile individuals involved in the UA process come out so that students can have their questions answered directly," said Perrin. "We’ll also be involved in the leadership race for the Canadian Alliance over the summer, then we’re in election mode."

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