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The [Manning] centre would not be another political party, but help build an “infrastructure” for existing Conservative parties federally and provincially, Mr. Manning said. (source)
As other progressive bloggers have pointed out, the Manning Centre for Building Democracy is obviously partisan – slanted towards the Conservatives. You really just had to look at their board of directors,
1. Preston Manning – Reform party founder and leader for many years. Long time associates with Harper for obvious reasons.
2. Cliff Fryers – currently the far-right party Wildrose party chairman. He was also party and campaign chairman for the Reform Party in the early 1990s.
3. Blair Nixon – no explicit connections, but tax advisor to a few natural resource companies.
4. Rick Anderson – national director of the Reform party in the early 1990s.
5. Thompson MacDonald – no explicit connections, but board member of an American mining company.
6. Gwyn Morgan – ties to various big corporations, including oil company Encana.
7. Tasha Kheiriddin – self-described conservative, also the President of the Progressive Conservative Youth Federation during the time of far-right Mike Hudak.
8. Tom Long – involved and worked for the Brian Mulroney PCs, then campaign manager to various PC candidates federally and provincially, then President of the Ontario PCs from 1986 to 1989, helped get Mike Harris elected, and was a founding member of the Canadian Alliance – and this is just according to the bio on the Manning Centre!
9. Dan Nowlan – Vice president of banking investment group, and according to an Elections Ontario file, in 2009 was the chief financial officer for the Progressive Conservatives’ Tim Hudak.
10. Chuck Strahl – former Conservative MP, active in the early reform days.
This is every member on the board. Which makes 8 out of 10 (80%) having explicit connections to right-wing political parties (Conservative, and its father, Reform Party), and 10 out of 10 (100%) having either a connection to a political party or business. This is why it’s so obvious this organization is a front for right-wing and business interests.
Regardless, I compiled some more data just to make this pronouncement even more conclusive. I looked at their 2012 youtube channel, which is the msot updated, and compiled some data. There’s (as of September 21st, 2012) 12 videos – 10 of which are speeches or conferences. One of those speeches is just from Preston Manning, so I have excluded it as well. In total, we’re looking at 10 videos, and the political affiliations of those speaking and participating.
So, made a list of all the speakers in each speech, and tracked their political affiliations. Keep in mind, for this, I excluded anyone who was already a board member from this list. I also won’t be tracking business connections, as I think that’s unnecessary considering the findings. I will be tracking influential unions members, just because there’s only one, so it doesn’t really detract from the end result.
Here are my findings:
- Six current Conservative Member of Parliament
- Including four current Conservative Cabinet Ministers
- Three former Conservative MPs
- One former Reform Party MP (Remember, not including board members)
- Three others with direct connections to the Conservatives (Campaign Manager, donor, chief of staff)
- One Republican
- One British Tory
- One Union Leader
- Zero current or former opposition members
- One guy with some past connection to the Parti Quebecois
See for yourself, here is the list of links and subsequent speakers and participants:
Speaker: HON. JOE OLIVER, MINISTER (Conservative Minister)
– Dawn Farrell, Executive
– Nancy Olewiler, Economist
– Robert Blakely, Union Leader (Union)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2wfJXb1WQbc&feature=plcp– March 16th
Chair: Dave Quist, IMFC
Speaker: MARVIN OLASKY, WRITER
– Michael Coren, TV Host
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9p6xHAIZL4M&feature=plcp– March 16th
Chair: Nicolas Offord, Executive
Speaker: HON. DIANE FINLEY, MINISTER (Conservative Minister)
– Kate Bahen, Charity Expert
– Ray Pennings, Cardus
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sBKeck2fZAI&feature=plcp– March 15th
Chair: Youri Chassin, Economist
– Eric Duhaime, Commentator
– Mathieu Bock-Côté, Sociologist (activity with PQ?)
– Tasha Kheiriddin, TV Host (National Post)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T3aWJEiCkN8&feature=plcp– march 14th
Hostess and Coordinator: Leah Costello, Writer
-Craig Dellandrea (Conservative donor and supporter)
– Cliff Fryers, Executive (Reform/UA activist)
– Deb Grey, Former MP (First Reform MP)
– Steve Madely, Radio Host
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_zE8luHStHc&feature=plcp– March 14th
Chair: Preston Manning, Manning Centre
Speaker: HON. PETER MACKAY, MINISTER (Conservative Minister)
-Barry Cooper, Professor – Duff Crerar, Military Historian
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ckDSQzsslgc&feature=plcp– March 14th
Chair: Dan Nowlan, Executive
Speaker: HON. TONY CLEMENT, MINISTER
Bill Robson, CD HOWE (Right-wing think-tank)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nGlnbCI7mvs&feature=plcp– March 14th
Chair: Nick Gafuik, Commentator
– Monte Solberg, Commentator (Conservative MP till 2008)
– Robert Sopuck, MP (Conservative MP)
– Bob Mills, Former MP (Conservative MP till 2008)
– Michelle Rempel, MP (Conservative MP)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LEtKYAf-y3M&feature=plcp– March 13th
Tom Flanagan, Professor (Long time buddies with Harper, current working for the Wild Rose Party)
Travis Smith, Professor
Ian Brodie, Strategist (former chief of staff for Harper)
Andrew Coyne, Commentator (National Post)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q8OYWCTtqzA&feature=plcp– March 13th
The [Manning] centre would not be another political party, but help build an “infrastructure” for existing Conservative parties federally and provincially, Mr. Manning said. (source)Continue reading