MacKay to Tories: just say 'Yes'

Conservative leader Peter MacKay to kick off national campaign aimed at convincing fellow Tory members to support merger with Alliance

Conservative leader Peter MacKay will kick off a national campaign Thursday aimed at convincing his own party members to support the merger with the Canadian Alliance.

Former Conservative cabinet minister Don Mazankowski, former Ontario premier William Davis and Senator Pierre-Claude Nolin will head up the Conservative Yes Committee, which will try to drum up support for the merger.

They're also selling new memberships to people who will back the merger.

Mazankowski and Davis were emissaries in earlier merger negotiations. The French-speaking Nolin is being added as one of the chairs of the committee.

"People have strong feelings about this. It's a very emotional issue for many," MacKay said following a Tory caucus meeting Wednesday. "It's very personal and people are going to express opinions on this."

The Tories need to get a two-thirds majority in order to dissolve the party and ratify the union with the Canadian Alliance. The two parties would then create a new political party, the Conservative Party of Canada.

According to the deal with the Alliance, both parties must decide whether to support the merger by Dec. 12.

Former Tory leader Joe Clark and former PC leadership hopeful David Orchard are opposed to the merger.