Kim Campbell, Canada’s first female Prime Minister, rose quickly in her political standings reaching, what she would find to be the height of her career only seven years after entering politics. It appeared like the loss of the 1993 election and the all around destruction of the Progressive Conservative party was completely Kim Campbells fault however actually was a joint effort by Brian Mulroney and Kim Campbell. Kim Campbell rose so quickly in her political status that she did not have the experience that most of the others MPs had at her level.
The Tories were finishing their second term in power and the people of Canada were displeased with Brain Mulroney by the time of his resignation. Kim Campbell was voted in as Prime Minister by her party and was not elected by the people of Canada. During the 1993 election Kim Campbell had an American company make a commercial that mocked Liberal party leader Jean Chretiens physical disability. Kim Campbells first entered politics in 1986.
She first won a provincial seat in Vancouver and in 1988 she won her bid for the House of Commons. She had many good ideas, one of them being the USA-Canada Free Trade Agreement. This part of her campaign was recognized by Brian Mulroney who was the current Prime Minister. In 1989 Mulroney appointed Kim Campbell to the position of Minister of State for Indian and Northern Affairs. Later, in 1990 she was appointed Minister of Justice and a year later became the Minister of Defence. Just two years after becoming Minister of Defence and 7 years after entering politics, she ran for leader of the Progressive Conservative party and became Brian Mulroney’s successor. Kim Campbell inexperience in the world of politics gave her a huge disadvantage when things started to go wrong. Brain Mulroney and the Tories had been in power for two terms, a total of 9 years. The Canadians had become tired of Brian Mulroney and his Progressive Conservative government, so when it was announced that he would resign most Canadians were happy to see him go. However his resignation did mean the end of the Progressive Conservatives power in Canada. Canadians unhappy with what the Progressive Conservatives had done chose to elect an other party. When Brain Mulroney resigned there was, in place of a federal election, a leadership convention. The Tories just had to elect a new leader who would then become the Prime Minister. This meant that Kim Campbell was not the choice of Canada but instead the choice of the Progressive Conservative party. So when it came time, 3 months later, for an election Canada not only went with a different leader but an entirely different party. The Liberal party was elected to power and leaving the Progressive Conservative party was left with only two seats. Canadians were not pleased with the Tories no matter who their leader was, this dissatisfaction caused the worst loss in Canadian history. It was in the 1993 federal election that Kim Campbell found she was behind in the poles and made a decision that destroyed her party. She chose to have an American Company make a commercial that made fun of Liberal party leader Jean Chretiens physical disability, Bells palsy. This disease paralyzes on side of the face, where the muscles on the right side of his mouth were paralized The Canadian people responded to this commercial by giving him sympathy and Kim Campbell and the Tories suffered because of it. Campbells problematic performance in the campaign,…and her inability to distance herself from the extremely unpopular Brian Mulroney propelled the party from defeat to disaster.1 The problem started before she took on the leadership, Brian Molruneys nine years in power was too much for Canadians so that when Brian Molruney resigned it would have been difficult to make the PC party more popular. Kim Campbells inexperience in politics was the reason she made the commercial about Jean Chretien and lost her the 1993 election. After the works of Mulroney and Campbell were finished there was not much left of the Progressive Consecrative Party of Canada. It was wiped out completely, even in its traditional stronghold of Alberta.2 So when the facts are taken into account it is obvious that Kim Campbell was aided in the destruction of the PC party by Brian Mulroney and was not alone in the effort. 1 – The Canadian Encyclopedia Plus Copyright © 1996 by McClelland & Stewart Inc. Biographies
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