Well, I'm with you on the 'beer and smoke' plan.
I'm fascinated by the names you mentioned. I'd never have guessed. Down here, you'd truly qualify as an 'idependant'.
As for Clinton, there's no doubt he 'reaganized' the Dems. I could cite chapter and verse, but obviously, I don't have to.
On a personal note, I had no problem with Clinton ( I actually liked the guy), politically or otherwise, with one exception. No, not Monica (what a red herring and wast of time!), but rather with Paula Jones, or rather, how he handled the matter, politically. He attempted to use his office to delay her a day in court-- which was outrageous.
OK, Buchanon, I can understand, but Perot? I mean, he run a govt using statistics as his giude. Statistics!
Joe Clark was in a no win situation. Post Trudeau, bad luck, a la Gerald Ford, luggage losing, tripping, non photogenic.
I think he actually distinguished himself in Gulf War 1. His speeches, positions and clarity hadn't been seen since Pearson. He's also not given enough credit for his foreign policy policies/instincts. I think he came along 5 years too early. I really was a moral guy.
Preston Manning too, like you, I respect. Not only for sticking to his guns, but because he did the impossible-- creatred a new party in English Canada. Lot more depth there than he's given credit for.
As for the right having moved far right, in soem circles, the same could be said for the left, Clinton notwithstanding.
I do believe though, that there is a more centrist (read: both sides of the political spectrum) majority than either side wants to admit to.