Corporate Executive : Mulroney Politics Among The Public

Essay by zombat00High School, 12th gradeA-, September 2004

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During his years as a corporate executive, Mulroney remained active in

politics, taking every occasion to increase his visibility among the public and

to gain support from within the party for his upcoming leadership bid. In

1982, because of an economic depression, the Iron Ore Company of Canada

was forced to close one of its mining and milling towns in Quebec. At first

this appeared to be a terrible political setback for Mulroney. However, he

turned it into a public relations success by making the people of the town in

question believe that there were other alternatives when there were none and

by negotiating generous settlements for the workers who had lost their jobs.

This earned him respect and won him general support and his reputation as

an expert labor lawyer and industrial relations specialist was improved. After

the election most of his promises were shown to be false hopes but by that

time the people had already decided.

In mid-1983 Clark's leadership of the

Progressive Conservative Party was being questioned, forcing him to call a

national party convention and leadership review. Brian Mulroney was again

a candidate, and he campaigned more sensibly than he had done seven years

before. He actually had been paying people to ruin Clarks chances of getting

the nomination again. He had suffered through one dark period in his life he

resolved there would be no more. He was elected party leader on June 11,

1983, after attracting broad support from among the many factions of the

party, especially from representatives of his native Quebec.

Mulroney's major initiatives between 1984 and 1988 were the Meech Lake

Accord, a package of constitutional changes designed to end Quebec's

boycott of the 1982 constitutional reform, and the negotiation of a free trade

agreement with the United States.