The former Manning Conference had a special guest this year, former prime minister Stephen Harper. Much of Harper’s effort at the conference was to try to knit together old and new conservative supporters. He even told the audience of conservatives of some of the mistakes that Pierre Poilievre has been making.
He pointed out that the current requirement for the opposition leader is to hold the government to account, not to tell them what he would do as prime minister. It was also amusing when the former prime minister referred to the NDP as a branch plant of the liberal government.
This was a new Stephen Harper. He set aside his old vendetta with Preston Manning, founder of the Reform Party. The two had argued years ago over the direction of the reform movement. He had also resisted Manning’s control over the back bench but used the same techniques when he was leader of the Conservative Party of Canada which included the former Reform. The two were almost chummy when they did a combined fireside chat shtick at the conference.
The new name of the annual event is the Canada Strong and Free Networking Conference. It seems most older conservatives prefer to refer to it by its earlier and simpler name as the Manning Networking Conference.
It seems that Mr. Harper thinks that Pierre Poilievre is scorned in the same way as anti-establishment conservatives such as Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher were scorned in their day. Neither of them had any credentials in economics either.
Mind you, if that is the case, there is no earthly reason for Poilievre to be elected anywhere. Just because he is as confused as those two, is absolutely no reason for him to be elected.
And it should be further noted that Mr. Harper is not as universally loved and respected as he would like to be either.
Copyright 2023 © Peter Lowry
Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be sent to: