LifeSite Special Report   TORONTO, May 16, 2002 ( – In the recent leadership race, say Ontario Progressive Conservatives, the party faced a clear choice between (a.) adopting moderate positions that would shift the party towards the political centre, and (b.) adhering to the proven election-winning formula of staking out bold positions on the right.  Former deputy premier Jim Flaherty was slow at first to take strong conservative stances, particularly on life issues, notes Jim Hughes,  president of Campaign Life Coalition. But the Flaherty campaign eventually did so with increasing strategic acumen during the race, climbing from 6% support in December to 38.6% at the leadership convention. In March 2002, Flaherty stood out as the province’s small-c conservative standard-bearer.  Now, it is clear from news reports that Flaherty is out of the decision-making loop. He was given what many see as a marginal “innovation” portfolio. His former opponent, Premier Ernie Eves, is far more likely to seek advice from liberal Tories Elizabeth Witmer and Janet Ecker and most of all from Isabel Bassett, his ultra-liberal live-in partner of a few years, .

The result is, as Eves promised, a government more progressive than conservative.

See the rest of today’s Special Report analyzing the Ernie Eve’s government from a social conservative perspective.