MP Day remained faithful to beliefs

While his policies and perspective may have been an issue of contention for some, few could question his integrity and commitment to his constituents.

While his policies and perspective may have been an issue of contention for some, few could question his integrity and commitment to his constituents.

Stockwell Day caught many by surprise with his announcement that he would not seek another term as MP for Okanagan Coquihalla. While Day was a pretty safe bet to be returned to office in the looming federal election — he routinely carried more than 50 per cent of the vote in previous landslide victories — it is equally clear that Day never entered the political arena simply because it was a game he could win.

Day’s unshakeable vision for Canada and his willingness to defend it, is likely to have swayed many voters who didn’t necessarily share his political philosophy. In a time where too many politicians hedge their bets until they see which way the political winds are blowing, there was never any doubt where Day stood on the issues. And if you disagreed with him, chances are you could tell him face-to-face on one of Day’s regular door-knocking swings through the riding.

Honing his skills at sharpening pencils in the cabinet of Ralph Klein’s Alberta provincial government, Day embodied the small-c conservative values of Canadian politics. Those skills eventually propelled him to the leadership of the Canadian Alliance Party. And when a political shift led to him being shoved aside in favour of Stephen Harper, Day never revealed a hint of bitterness. He remained a loyal soldier in Harper’s Conservative government, the triumph of the views always taking precedent over personal political ambition.

It is fitting that perhaps one of the final acts in Day’s political life was to announce federal funding for Structurlam, the Penticton-based company that has used innovation to overcome the challenges facing the forest industry. It could some up the core principles behind a distinguished political career.

— Penticton Western News