Acres of print and aeons of TV time went
into covering the Alliance Party leadership
race, but nothing has been said about why
Preston Manning was challenged. So let me be
the first to tell you.
It was because that he is really in the
camp of the politically correct, and also
because he is a hypocrite.
But first, let me put my biases on the
In 1988 I was asked to run for the Reform
Party in West Vancouver-Capilano and looked
all set to be elected. Over a thousand
people turned out for the nomination
Without consulting his national
executive, however, Manning said in advance
that he would not sign my nomination papers.
There was a "perception", he said,
that I harbored racist views. Which in
liberal terms I did and do. So what? The
constituency knew my views well enough.
A big row ensued in the national
executive, after which he said he would
agree to the nomination provided I signed a
paper promising in effect to obey his
This in spite of the fact that the Reform
Party's constitution was supposedly based on
a "grass roots" policy that gave
authority to the constituencies, not to him.
I refused to sign, since no other
candidate was being asked to touch his cap
to Manning. So I withdrew.
- Hands Off the
It was an example of Manning's
dictatorial determination to be boss. It was
also a sign of things to come.
Subsequently, many other casualties were
recorded: John Gamble of Toronto, who had
once run for the Tory leadership, was deemed
persona non grata. Bob Ringma, MP, Dave
Chatters, MP., and Jim Hart, MP, were
temporarily tossed out of the revolving
caucus door for having made the wrong
remarks. The recently deceased, Reform
prominento Don Serling also fell by the
Professor Herb Grubel, a world-class
economist and the party's finance critic,
was dropped like a hot brick when, half-way
through his term, he said he would not be
running again. But the real reason for his
being cast into the shadows was a
politically incorrect remark about Canadian
Indians and South Sea Islanders.
The list is a kind of Who’s Not Who.
Randy White, MP, was dropped from the shadow
cabinet for some real or imagined opposition
to Manning's views. Ted White, MP, has never
been "in" because he is just too
forthright. Ron Gamble (no relation to John)
was one of the founders of the party. He
left in disgust.