CANADA DIVIDING ITSELF

PRIME MINISTER JEAN CHRETIEN STAYS IN POWER, BUT NO POLITICAL PARTY CAN CLAIM A NATIONAL MANDATE

The campaign advertisement was designed to push buttons, and it did. Framed in tight close-up were four politicians from Canada's mainly French-speaking province of Quebec, including the incumbent Prime Minister, Jean Chretien. A red line slashed across their faces. Wasn't it time that voters heard a voice for "all Canadians" and "not just Quebec politicians?" asked the narrator. Incensed Quebeckers charged the sponsors of the ad, the western-based Reform Party, with bigotry and racism. In the west, by contrast, the message struck a sympathetic chord. The Reform Party went on to capture 60 seats in Parliament, second only to Chretien's victorious...

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