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Guest Stockwell Day

Regardless of where you stand politically, you've gotta admit: Stockwell Day has had a significant influence on politics in this country. As a provincial politician, a federal Party leader and then a federal cabinet minister, he's been one of the most prominent - and some would say, polarizing - figures in Canadian politics.

Now, Day's life wasn't always so public. He actually started out as a youth minister near Red Deer, Alberta. Then, in 1986, he won a seat in the provincial election, and quickly rose through the ranks.

But Day really made his mark once he hit the national stage. In 2000, he was elected to lead the newly-formed Canadian Alliance Party. Within weeks, he was thrown into an election, where he went toe-to-toe with Canadian political giants. Day held his own, and the Alliance formed the official opposition.

Now, it wasn't always a smooth sailing. Critics attacked Day as a hard-line social conservative, and accused the Alliance of having a "hidden agenda". In 2002, Day lost the party leadership to Stephen Harper, but he stuck around as an influential voice, first for the Alliance, then for the Conservatives. Since 2006, he's been a big part of the federal government, heading up Public Safety, International Trade and the Treasury Board.

But last month, after 25 years in politics, Day announced plans to retire and not run in this election.

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