Thirteen years before Tom Long and Gaspé became part of the lore, Stan Roberts quit the Reform Party's first leadership race because of "irregularities" in the selection of delegates.
Preston Manning was well on his way to victory then, as some say he is today. Still, a lot has happened between the two races.
The Reform Party has left few politicians unscathed since 1987. There was the bitter fight over the Charlottetown accord, the lure of Stornoway, the huffing and puffing over "gold-plated" pensions -- they later proved irresistible -- and the periodic episodes of back-stabbing.
Through all of this, the party changed its name to the Canadian Conservative Reform Alliance -- allowing foes to tack on the work "party" at the end and call it CCRAP.
What follows are key moments and quotes in the history of a party that vowed to do things differently -- and has been true to its word. Key moments Building on discontent with the Mulroney government, the Western Assembly on Canada's Economic and Political Future convened in Vancouver in May, 1987. The slogan "The West Wants In" was coined to express the movement's rejection of western separatism. Three-quarters of delegates voted to create a new party.
In late 1987, a founding convention was held in Winnipeg. Delegates chose the name Reform Party (over things like the Alliance Party and the One Canada Party) and picked Mr. Manning as leader.
In the 1988 general election, Reform ran only in the West, and failed to win a single seat. The party scored best in Alberta, with 15 per cent of the vote.
In a 1989 by-election, Deborah Grey won the party's first ever seat in the House. One year later, then-prime minister Brian Mulroney appointed Reformer Stan Waters to the Senate, after an unofficial election in Alberta.
After fielding candidates only in the West, Reform decided in 1991 to run east of Manitoba as well. The results proved disappointing. There has been only one victory since in Eastern Canada.
In 1992, the Reform Party's presence was fully felt on the national stage, during the fight over the Charlottetown accord. Characterizing it as "Mulroney's deal," Mr. Manning helped defeat it in a referendum.
In the 1993 general election, the Reform Party won 54 seats, but fell short of becoming the Official Opposition by two seats.
In the next election in 1997, Reform moved ahead of the Bloc Québécois, allowing Mr. Manning to move into the Opposition's official residence, Stornoway.
In May, 1998, the Reform Party met in London, Ont., to face a key fact: The party had to shed some baggage to vie for power.
In February, 1999, the UA held a first meeting in Ottawa, where delegates voted to create a new party out of the ashes of Reform. The hope was to attract the Progressive Conservative Party into the fold.
In January, 2000, the UA officially endorsed the creation of a new party called the Canadian Alliance. The leadership race was officially launched in March, when Reform members agreed to kill off the old party. Forgettable Reformers, unforgettable quotes "You fat little, chubby little sucker."
-- Reform MP Darrel Stinson throws a verbal uppercut at former Conservative leader Jean Charest.
"When the woman lays with the man, she has made her choice. Once you make that choice, if you end up pregnant, carry the baby, deliver the baby and help those people that want to adopt."
-- Ron Mix during his failed attempt to win the riding of Edmonton North for Reform in the 1993 election.
"If someone's working for [an employer]and responsible for his business failing, than he should be able to just say, 'Hey, I don't need you in my employ' or 'I'm going to switch you to the back of the shop.' "
-- Former Reform whip Bob Ringma, speaking in 1995 about hiding a gay employee or a member of a visible minority from bigoted customers. Quotes from the leader "Politically, we are in one of those situations where it is 'bold actions, not further calculations, which will carry the day.' "
-- Mr. Manning quotes Napoleon in 1986, urging westerners to abandon the Conservative Party and coalesce behind a new movement.
"You almost blew it. You do not deserve a second chance."
-- During a debate in the 1997 election, Mr. Manning chastises Prime Minister Jean Chrétien for his near failure in the Quebec referendum two years earlier. Opposition sayings "I have a problem too when they give themselves a name that you can't pronounce in front of kids."
-- Mr. Chrétien on CCRAP.
"It's called the Reform Party in pantyhose."
-- Mr. Mulroney dismisses the Canadian Alliance as an unreformed Reform Party, this month.