Tuesday, May 17, 2005

May 17, 2005: Conservative reaction to Stronach's defection

Copyright 2005 CTV Television, Inc.
CTV Television, Inc.
May 17, 2005, Tuesday 23:00:00 - 23:30:00 Eastern Time
LENGTH: 479 words

HEADLINE: Reaction from Conservatives over Stronach's defection



LLOYD ROBERTSON: Now, after the initial shock wore off, the harsh
reality to set in, triggering a storm of furious reaction from Conservatives. It
was visceral and personal. Rounding up reaction in Ottawa and elsewhere
tonight, CTV's Roger Smith.

ROGER SMITH [Reporter]: What else to do when you've just been stabbed in
the back? Stephen Harper pulled out the knife and used it himself, saying
Belinda Stronach only jumped because she couldn't be leader.

STEPHEN HARPER [Conservative Leader]: There's no grand principles involved
in this switch of decision, just ambition.

SMITH: While the defection hurts Harper's chance of forcing an election,
Stronach's attack may also hurt his hopes of winning one by reinforcing doubts
about his leadership. But Tories say no, the real story is Liberal desperation.

PIERRE POILIEVRE [Conservative Ontario]: It has everything to do with the
fact she was offered a plum job, and Paul Martin is using any bribe he can to
hold on to power.

SMITH: As Stronach climbed into her new ministerial car, there was Liberal

ANNE MCLELLAN [Deputy Prime Minister]: I think it's good for her, for her, I
think it's good for us, I think it's good for the country. And you know what,
madam, she has great shoes.

SMITH: And Tory anger.

JAMES MOORE [Conservative - British Columbia]: I think it shows there are
two kinds of people in public life. People of principle and people like Belinda

VIC TOEWS [Conservative - Manitoba]: Well I guess even billionaires have
their price.

SMITH: Blonde ambition and betrayal, her critics call it. Voting to topple the
government one week and signing on the next. Sitting in on a weekend
strategy session even as she negotiated her departure.

TONY ABBOTT [Conservative MLA]: To me what it is, it's a little rich girl who
is basically whoring herself out to the Liberals.

CLINT DUNFORD [Conservative MLA]: Can I say "pissed off" on television?
I'm pissed off.

SMITH: Harper, too, stepped up the attack.

HARPER: I've never really noticed complexity to be Belinda's strong point.

SMITH: In Stronach's riding, while some are still behind her...

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: She's always said that the budget was good for
Canada, so I feel she's made the right decision.

SMITH: More, it seems, are not.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Forget it. I hope she gets thrashed in the next election.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: It's a betrayal as far as I'm concerned.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: I think she's a Judas.

SMITH: After an emergency caucus meeting tonight, Conservatives vowed
they'll still try to topple the government on the second of two budget votes
Thursday. The Liberals, though, more confident now they can either survive
that vote or win the election if that's what it comes to. Lloyd.

ROBERTSON: Thank you, Roger. CTV's Roger Smith.