Preston Manning, godfather of the Canadian right, plots a plan to deal with another Liberal government


Neoliberals, like Rust, never sleep. It should come as no surprise then that Preston Manning already seems to be looking to the new Liberal government after the election, just like the former Liberal government.

Of course, no one knows for sure what will happen tomorrow. Maybe all those People’s Party of Canada trolls will get cold feet and return to the loving arms of Erin O’Toole. Maybe we will all wake up Tuesday morning to the progressive reality of Prime Minister Jagmeet Singh.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (Photo: Justin Trudeau / Flickr).

But the punditocracy is already starting to act as if Justin Trudeau and his Liberals are coming back to power, and it seems to me that Mr. Manning, the godfather of the Canadian right, is leaning in the same way as well.

At least he’s already starting to make his case for how the Conservatives should deal with another Liberal government, most likely once again backed by a large NDP contingent in Parliament, as soon as the National post and Globe and Mail finished telling us that Canadians voted for the Liberals again because they are truly conservative at heart.

According to this old brown, who invariably appears in the editorial pages of Canadian newspapers in the aftermath of a Liberal or NDP election victory, newly elected Liberal (or NDP) governments must, quite simply, immediately abandon programs. on which they presented themselves and start delivering Strategies.

Well, now isn’t quite the time for a Preston Manning big thumbsucker in the World make this point. But in the meantime, the behind-the-scenes architect of the Wildrose and Progressive Conservative Alberta merger (how did it work, Preston?), Is already trying out his post-election arguments in front of a sympathetic audience.

Friday, C2C Review, a publication associated with the now renowned Manning Center, published a plea by the former leader of the Reform Party for Canadians to take “a more balanced approach to federal-provincial relations and national unity.” (Sea to Sea, do you understand? The online publication appears to have made its debut as a part of the Manning Center. Now that Mr. Manning has retired, his idea has become the Canada Strong & Free Network.)

It sounds pretty harmless to Canadians, but Mr. Manning has something in mind that is not necessarily very good for Canada.

First of all, he argues, we need a “balance on the environmental and economic front”. That is to say, he means, if we have to go through an environmental assessment every time someone wants to build a bitumen pipeline to the coast of British Columbia, then we should definitely have to conduct an environmental assessment. economic review whenever we want to put in place an environmental protection regime.

Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole (Photo: Erin O’Toole / Flickr).

It does not matter whether governments, newspapers and bodies of cultural power have always does this and always will. Governments are concerned with economic policy. Any environmental, cultural or regulatory idea is always fully examined in light of its potential economic impact, for or against.

To suggest that governments would never do otherwise is ludicrous.

But of course, an old salesman of used ideologies who dreamed of endowing Canadian parliamentary democracy with a sclerotic institution modeled on the United States Senate, designed to curb progressive politics, no matter who voters elect, would love it. The idea of ​​formalizing an economic policy examination of any regulatory policy aimed at protecting the environment, human dignity or any other element likely to stand in the way of unbridled capitalism.

It’s not a balance, of course. It is an effort to tilt an already massively biased field in favor of capitalist economic side of the equation even further against the environment.

This, if I can be so bold, is the perfect expression of what Mr. Manning, in 2013, described as “green conservatism”.

Mr. Manning is also calling for the same kind of “balance” in health care. There have been, he writes, “hundreds of thousands of cases where jobs, income and businesses have been killed by the health protection measures adopted, without any official attempt to measure or report these economic impacts. so that a balance can be found between protecting health and protecting the economy.

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh (Photo: David J. Climenhaga).

It sounds like a reference to the response to COVID-19 in places outside of Mr. Manning’s native Alberta. Given the success of the approach here in Alberta of what he seems to be advocating, he may want to tone that down for a few months.

He also claims that there are a similar number of cases where the charter the rights of Canadians “have been violated by health protection measures”. Despite anti-vaccine hysteria, fueled by intentions Qonfusion south of the medicine line, this is just nonsense.

As Mr. Manning soon reveals, his argument is really just a devious justification for the same old argument of “freedom” for two-tier American-style health care. It makes the false promise that we can enjoy all the benefits of a “mixed” health system, which provides universal (minimal) care through more privatization, union busting and co-payment.

He goes on to call for more balance in federal-provincial relations – which strangely resembles a code allowing Conservative provinces to dismantle national approaches to health care and other programs under provincial or joint jurisdiction. Ditto, he wants a balance for the regions – presumably a plea to treat the workhorses of oil development in the Prairie provinces of Canada as seriously as Quebec’s existential concerns about its language and culture.

If that last point seems to echo Alberta Premier Jason Kenney’s nonsense about how Alberta is sort of a distinct society, there is probably a good reason for it. Arguably, Mr. Kenney owes his work to Mr. Manning’s machinations. (And if he doesn’t keep it longer, the call telling him the gig is over will likely come from Mr. Manning as well.)

Finally, Mr. Manning concludes with a call for the “politics of unity” to replace the “politics of identity” – which he defines as qualities such as “ethnicity, gender, age. or sexual orientation ”.

This one is taken straight from the Trump Republican textbook. A call for fairness by any group of humans who are not white males of European descent, fully engaged in fundamentalist market capitalism, is termed “identity politics”. The interests of what was once precisely called the ruling class is the one principle around which we must all rally.

In truth, there is no better practitioner of identity politics than the conservative right, to better activate its lumpen voting base and eliminate all arguments for a better world like innuendo of fanaticism and impracticability.

“The replacement of identity politics with unitary politics is a prerequisite for achieving national consensus on the key issues necessary to facilitate the implementation of one of the main political positions advanced by federal leaders and parties in their speeches and election platforms, ”Manning said. to an end.

He concludes: “A key question to be answered when analyzing which federal leader, party and candidate to support in the next federal election is, which offers the most balanced approach..

In other words, vote for the guy most likely to put capital rights first.

NOTE: Give C2C Journal its due. He is sincere about his propertydefense of rights. It’s not the only rightwing organization that used one of the author’s photographs without permission, but it was the only one that paid when sending an invoice.

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