The short, fractious reign of Stockwell Day came to a
close last night as party members chose Stephen Harper as
the new leader of the Canadian Alliance.
Harper, a 42-year-old economist and former Reform member of Parliament,
received just over 55 per cent of the mail-in ballots
to capture the simple majority required for victory.
"You have just voted to move our party forward into
the future," Harper told a cheering crowd after the results
were announced at a party convention.
Harper said a transition team will be set up in
the next few days based on the view that the
Alliance is a "permanent political institution here to stay."
He promised to "continue to oppose the visionless agenda of
the governing Liberals."
Day, who received just over 37 per cent of the
vote, was gracious in defeat and urged the party to
rally around Harper.
"We are so glad there's a conclusive result here tonight,"
Art Hanger, the Alliance MP who sparked the firestorm of
controversy around Day when he openly questioned his leadership last
spring, said the party's future is much brighter under Harper.