Somebody do something


Preston Manning appeals to a general need for renewal in Ottawa.

Whatever the content of a “fresh start plan,” its necessity will never be accepted by politicians until we accept the principle that there are limits to partisanship that should be recognized and respected by all.

Those limits derive from the fact that voters are never as partisan as the partisans. They will never love us and our party as much as we do, and they will never dislike our opponents and their party as much as we may. When we step outside those boundaries – deifying our own cause and demonizing that of our opponents – we will lose public support. When we stay within those boundaries – clearly distinguishing ourselves from our opponents but in believable terms – we stand a better chance of restoring public confidence in ourselves, in our parties, in Parliament, and in democracy itself.

He manages, at the same time, to claim that the last session was “among the most productive in Canadian parliamentary history.” Ned Franks and David Mitchell disagree rather strongly. Paul Wells too.


Somebody do something

  1. Wasn't Manning partly responsible for creating the politician that is Stephen Harper?

    • You bet he was. He was also the leader of the party that elevated disrespect for Parliament to the level that has resulted in the hyper-partisanship that he now bemoans.

      • Not according to Jim Travers at TorStar:
        ''…Always a blood sport, federal politics is now a brawl.
        Liberals threw the first punches by demonizing the Reform Party and then its successors as agents of a secret agenda. Conservatives are swinging back harder…''

        I'll add to that the media piled on to the demonizing of the Reform Party and their successors too.
        Travers and Delacourt seem to be doing a wee bit of soul searching lately.

        • Wilson makes an excellent point.

          • Besides which, he is excessively modest. Wilson is wilson.

            And I'm marking this date on the calendar. You concur with something Mr. Travers wrote.

  2. Actually all the parties are responsible, nice try to spin this just against the old reform party.

    • While the Liberals did certainly lay it on thick in terms of demonizing the Reform/Alliance the advent of both Reform and the Bloc brought in a large swath of Parliamentarians who did not believe in Parliament and were not particulalry interested in making it work. (Yes, yes, they were all duly elected with every right to take their seats.)

  3. Manning should save his pretentious, pious lectures for his pal Mike Harris.
    There is very little to chose between the two except one achieved power and the other didn't.

    • Quite the contrary. They are very different men.

      • I'm sure there are lots of very different men in the Fraser Inst., but they just agree on everything!

  4. Preston is one of the last remaining decent guys out there in the dirty politics racket that federal politics has become in this country. At least, Preston always stood up for his principles — principles that would make this country a better country (or, perhaps, at long last, a real country).

    It's no surprise that there's been so much bad blood between Harper and Preston. Harper is, after all, just a liberal pretending to be a conservative (yes, Harper got his start in politics with the Young Liberals).

    • Yup. A real country…. just not the one we live in.

      The old shapeshifter is always whining on about something.
      Which usually amounts to " why can't we be more like Texas ? "

    • Preston Manning is the only politican with enough crediability, that if he said
      'ok, we tried, but now the West wants out'….it would be done.
      I don't think anyone west of the Ontario border realizes that the LiberalDipperBloc coalition attempt to steal our voices in Western Canada, was equal to the damage done with Trudeau's NEP.

      • I don't think anyone east of the Manitoba/Ontario border realizes that the LiberalDipperBloc coalition attempt to steal our voices in Western Canada, was equal to the damage done with Trudeau's NEP.

        That's OK. I sometimes don't think anyone west of that border understands that the fact that the10,290,082 people in "the West" have a significantly smaller voice in the national governance of the country than the 20,769,418 people in Ontario and Quebec isn't some sinister conspiracy against the west, but is what we on this side of the divide call "democracy". I for one don't like the notion that I should somehow feel guilty about the fact that my province has more influence over the direction of the country than "the West", given that my province has about 2 million more people living in it than the four provinces of "the West" combined.

        • Thank you LKO!

  5. err s/b
    anyone east of the Manitoba/Ontario border

    • S'all right. If you can't spell credibility I'm not shallow enough to assert that you might not have any.

      But that's just me.

  6. Grrr. Close italics tag.

    • If you signed up for an Intense Debate account, you could have edited that comment to fix the italics.

  7. I suspect obviously good ideas which are easy to implement are merely put quietly in place, usually at a bureaucratic level.

    Since we're talking about Manning, there's every likelihood the ideas he's thinking of aren't place not because of dogheaded resistance to change, but because they're bad ideas.