Conservatives gather for Manning Conference

Conference is ‘a combination professional convention and high school reunion’

by John Geddes

Libertarians and social conservatives, campus right-wingers and corner-office business Tories, powerful federal Conservative cabinet ministers and striving provincial Conservative opposition leaders—they’re all converging on Ottawa today in a horde straight out of a Council of Canadians nightmare.

It’s time for the annual Manning Networking Conference. Last year’s drew 850 activists, ideologues and others with rightward leanings to the capital. Now in its sixth year, the showcase event of Calgary-based Manning Centre for Building Democracy is firmly established as a big deal on the political calendar.

For an insider’s sense of what it’s all about, we turn to Jim Armour, vice-president at the Ottawa consulting firm Summa Strategies, who has worked in the past for Preston Manning (eponymous founder and presiding sage of the Manning centre) and Stephen Harper (whose political strategy and policy preferences preoccupy many attending the conference).  Armour called the confab “a combination of a professional convention and a high-school reunion,” and sets the stage for us here:




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Conservatives gather for Manning Conference

  1. Angry ole white guys and young fogeys….the cracker barrel comes together

    • insults, so utterly predictable

      • LOL no, Cons do insults, I do facts.

        • Since when?

          • Keith, if I gave you a nickle for every time Emily has lowered herself to actually coming up with a purported fact, you’d only be $1.64 short of the cost of a medium coffee at Tim Horton’s.

        • Where is the fact in a insult?

          • Check out the photos of any Con convention.

          • I’m afraid you’re out of date – unfortunately there are larger and larger numbers of young women joining this bandwagon. For what reason, I don’t understand, but they are.

          • Yeah, ‘Prairie Muffins’…..I’ve posted about them before.

          • More like Michelle Rempel types. You need to watch more CPAC. Times have changed since when you were Reform.

          • Michelle Rempel is a prairie muffin as well….you were expecting long skirts and a bonnet?

          • Michelle is attractive,successful and smart. Jealous you old hosebag?

          • She’s also a prairie muffin.

          • Better than a dried up muffin like yourself

          • Ahh the Alberta turnip school of witticisms…..

          • Ah the Ontario school of Welfare Sloths

          • And another Alberta turnip is heard from

          • I officially declare this the stupidest thread I’ve ever read on Macleans.

          • Happens every TGIF

            I’ve blocked most of them, but there’s always somebody new to add to the list.

          • My god, you’re obtuse. Who did you think I was talking about?

          • Your rightwing whackos

          • You can’t block us – your dungeon only exists in your mind.

          • Yeah, I can. Blocked posts don’t come into my inbox….I never see them. At the moment I’m blocking 7 people

            If you want to spend your time on here ranting about Harper, feel free….but concentrate on what you’re doing. Sudden random attacks on me don’t benefit anybody….and don’t help your primary goal.

          • But you comment on them here. I don’t even use the email thing anymore – Disqus tells you whose responded to on on the top of every page, silly. You spend your days and nights attacking people – and you think you can tell me not to disagree with you?
            Why is it you think you have some sort of exemption?

          • You don’t even know who I”m blocking. I know what Discus does….but I’m working all day with numerous windows open….so I only respond to what’s in my inbox. It tells me how many comments there are, so on my next break I clear them.

            I don’t mind if people disagree with me….enjoy it in fact. But only if it’s serious…..not some ‘your mother wears army boots’ thing. Teenage ‘nyah nyah’ and redneck swagger doesn’t interest me. In short, I’m civil to anybody that’s civil to me…..you should know all this Jan.

            Why would you want to disagree with me anyway? I’m not pro-Harper so you have no cause to. And that seems to be the only topic that interests you. I comment on religion, world affairs, science etc….so I really can’t see we have anything to disagree about….or even talk about for that matter.

          • This is the level of insult the Cons use – try to elevate your game.

          • Well, you would know all about Cons

          • I prefer to know who the enemy actually is and not rely on old catch phrases. You don’t defeat a Michelle Rempell by calling her a ‘prairie muffin’. You just make yourself sound like an angry old woman.

          • You prefer to live in the Twilight Zone…..I’m not running an election.

          • That’s just juvenile.

          • You would know

        • Musings from a lonely old woman’s deluded reality are not facts

          • I’m sorry to hear that….do you have a church group or bingo you could go to between conventions?

          • Do you ever get out of the house and interact with the real world?

          • I work online. And this IS the real world.

      • And so boooooooooooooooooooring

      • Yep, that is what the left does best. When really, they envy the successes of people who didn’t count on government.

        • Yep, all those self-made folks who don’t rely on the government, and who’d certainly enjoy the same standard of living and success if they happened to be born in Haiti instead of Canada.
          Pull the other one.

          • Very good….thank you!

    • Your prejudice & hate are heartwarming.

  2. “The University of Calgary is empty, and all the devils are here” – W. Shakespeare

  3. Don’t forget the reporters from broadcast and print media who are speaking.
    Who knew they were right wingers?

  4. I’m sure they’ll all be discussing Trudeau’s invitation to vote Liberal in the next election. And having a good laugh about it.

    • Quite right. If you’re actually going to the Manning Centre conference, you are unlikely to be in Trudeau’s target group for those remarks.

    • Given the Cons are at 30% in the polls and Trudeau 37%, I think they are probably in panic mode…

      • Not at all. We can invest elsewhere as the left and low morals types destroy the nation.

      • The same way the Liberals in BC or Conservatives were when they read the polls. How are Premier Dix and Premier Smith doing these days Sport?

        • They’re own pollster is not painting a bright picture.

        • Trudeau is a progressive conservative. He’s fighting for the red Tory vote and so far has got it all. Of course, voters can protest in polls but vote another way on election night.

    • Their pollster dished out some bad news to them. I don’t think it made them laugh.

  5. Here’s the current state of conservative thinking about First Nations in Canada, a breakout session with the mining industry talking about them:

    “Northern Hope: Aboriginal economic development:
    On the huge potential of northern resource development with Canadian First Nations.

    Featuring:
    Bob Gannicott, CEO of Dominion Diamonds Corp
    Pierre Gratton, President and CEO, Mining Association of Canada”

    • And not a FN among ‘em.

        • Cons can’t deal with FN….makes them all tizzy-like

          Honour the treaties honey…..it’s the only thing that’s going to work.

          • Treaties or extortion Only the government can chattel our kids with the debts of others in taxing one group for a single race. And it isn’t working for either group, just the corrupt in the middle.

          • You have to pay taxes Dave….get over it.

        • name them..simple

      • Most FN don’t want jobs, they want other peoples money for nothing. More idle time to sulk because this country will not make all people equal in law, taxes, services and in the need to get a job.

        • This is called ‘whitesplainin’ Dave…when white people tell FN what FN want….it is also the cause of the problem.

          • 1. Identify a problem.
            2. Blame white men.
            3. ?????????????
            4. Claim the system is unfair.
            Rinse, repeat.

        • Most dave777s do want to pay for what they have. They want to take whatever land and resources they want and pay nothing for it. Then they want to dump whatever they like into the atmosphere, land and water at no cost to themselves.
          Freeloaders like dave777 want everything for nothing.

          • Ah, but if you ask this particular dave777, he’ll tell you (ad nauseam) that he’s creating “other people’s jobs”.

            In his worldview, that’s a noble calling. In fact, it’s the only calling.

        • You’re doing a great job of confirming a perception of Cons as the party that harbours white racists.

          Keep it up. The notion does them no good at at.

    • Yup. It’s a stark contrast to Liberal and NDP policies where they think that the only thing keeping FN’s from success is the lack of just the right social program.

      Conservatives want to give FNs opportunities to succeed. The leftists just want to cut them a check to leave them alone.

      • My complaint isn’t that they are discussing economic development for First Nations, it’s that they are doing it without First Nations involvement. Mining industry executives are experts in extracting mineral wealth from indigenous territories on a global scale, and could be part of a discussion on economic development for First Nations communities but the fact that the Manning Centre is relying solely on their perspective is retrograde and flawed. An honest conservative would see that.

        • There are First Nation’s there. I know it’s hard to believe to you Liberals, but there are First Nation’s that are conservatives as well. Or are only “Official” natives allowed to speak for natives now?

          • “Or are only “Official” natives allowed to speak for natives now?”

            Of course not, Stupie! In what kind of bizarro world would a peoples’ representatives represent them?

            You’re sure not get any smarter. But, maybe that very lack of change is itself comforting to the conservative mind.

          • He’s right. Patrick Brazeau is working the coat check.

          • +420.

          • So you’re saying there will be First Nations people listening to the presentation about them led by mining executives? Can’t imagine why they wouldn’t be on the panel. Somehow that’s even ickier than talking about them while they aren’t there.

  6. Adam Smith – People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public ….

    • Well these people *are* meeting together on an annual basis. Plus Manning trains conservative activists in “campaign workshops.” In fact, the idea of voter-suppressing techniques used by Cons in the 2011 election originated in these campaign workshops.

  7. I wonder how many illegal funds they are going to obtain this year in their back room dealings while Preston talks about how we need more open democracy in this country.

  8. Well, the speakers are a motley crew … and who cares anyway.
    I’m far more interested in working my way through the long list
    of corporate sponsors. Speakers talk but money talks louder.

  9. Why do neo-cons always put Orwellian labels on things? “Manning Center for Democracy” (“Building Canada’s conservative movement”.) “Fair Elections Act” (Legalizing voter suppression; making it more difficult to prosecute election fraud.) “Right to work” legislation. (Busting labor; driving down wages.)

    Most people read “1984″ and are horrified at the corruption and brutality. Neo-cons see it as an instruction manual…

    • ’1984′ had Newspeak….exactly what the Cons are using.

    • Probably due to the LIEberal labeling things like: “Feel-good Fest For Nathalie,” or “Affordable Care Act,” or “Action Plan.”

      • Right, as in Economic “Action Plan”…oh, wait, that’s a Con lie.

    • “Cognitive framing,” is the term used to describe catch words that the Cons are known for. Google, “Conservatives and cognitive framing.”

    • Not all people want to be government chickens. Big problem with the left and statism types is the greed of other peoples money. More than 1/2 of Ottawa spending no longer goes to common good. Ottawa has become so corrupt I doubt it will eve be fixed.

  10. WOW, the cons are getting a bit touchy on here, I wonder why?

    Highly defensive, responding with redirection and attacks, hmmm, I wonder if the facts are getting to be so obvious even the cons are noticing… highly sensitive and defensive at any rate……

    • Probably because we don’t think like statism government chickens. Real conservatives, not the Young Liberal of Canada Harper types, think we have too much corrupt government.

      Conservative-libertarians are fighting a losing battle. I am one, but gave up on Canadians seeing the light. Really boils down to people like having “blind faith” in big corrupt governments treating them like tax chickens for bailouts, inflated buddy contracts, corporate/provincial/FN/other able welfare. Using the tax system to steal from the productive to fund the unproductive and government consumption of no common value wastes. Not really unlike the fall of the Roman Empire.

      If it isn’t the left other peoples money for nothing, its the religious corrupt conservatism, all statism types looking for other peoples money via the tax man, power to tell people how government manage them to fulfill the power-greed.

      Now self made retired early, I get a chance to study the sociology of our society. And its really just a huge greed fest.

      • Wait a sec…if FN are the subject of a whole workshop, for whom (white) resource people have been recruited and paid to speak, aren’t they creating other people’s jobs?

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