Tag Archives: Manning

Carbon tax: a conservative concept, not the Liberals


By: Werner Patels

Jonathan Kay raises interesting points about the carbon tax and posits that it’s actually quite a “conservative” tax. I’d like to refer readers to Kay’s article, in which he makes a number of very valid observations – apart from the fact that Stéphane Dion should be sacked, he also reminds people that conservatism is not the mean-spirited ideology that the less-than-intellectual always make it out to be:

Many people casually associate the word “conservative” with unfettered capitalism and mindless consumerism. That is a fallacy. A true conservative in the Edmund Burke mold is suspicious of any revolutionary creed that challenges the established qualities of a humane society, especially a creed — such as unbridled materialism — that corrodes family life and human spirituality.

Absolutely true. This is why a real conservative won’t be the typical frenetic Bible-thumper, because he or she has realized that a fundamentalist Christian is often no better or worse than a fundamentalist Islamist, for example.

I fully agree that Dion deserves to be sacked — not only over his Green Shift, but quite generally. He’s not cut out for politics and should be sent back to his Ivory Tower at university where he belongs (or some Marxist summer camp in Paris) – back to your real roots, Monsieur Dion!

Having said that, it was a high-profile conservative who made a very strong case for shifting taxation away from income and on to consumption: David Frum, in his excellent book Comeback: Conservatism That Can Win Again.

So, a carbon tax is actually quite a good concept in theory, one that fits right in with the green-blue environmental conservatism championed by none other than one of Canada’s greatest politicians ever, if not the greatest, Preston Manning.

Manning formed the Reform Party in 1987. His chief policy adviser was Stephen Harper, a student at the University of Calgary and now the Prime Minister of Canada. Harper designed the Reform Party’s 1988 campaign platform. The Reform Party was a combination of fiscal conservatism and populism, though aspects of social-conservatism grew, branding the party as “very right-wing.”

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Mr. Stelmach may have failed to consider larger issues such as the environment


Preston Manning launched a broadside yesterday against Alberta Premier Ed Stelmach, attacking the Progressive Conservative leader’s competence and predicting his electoral demise.

The former Reform Party leader – whose father Ernest was Alberta’s longest-serving premier, as part of the Social Credit dynasty in the mid-20th century – said Mr. Stelmach failed to consider larger issues such as the environment and energy security last month in deciding to raise oil royalties.

“I think he’s a sincere and honest man,” Mr. Manning said yesterday on CTV’s Question Period. “I think the bigger question with Premier Stelmach and the administration is one of its competence. Does it have the competence to deal with these big-picture issues?”

Mr. Manning said the opposition Liberals and New Democrats display even less understanding of Alberta’s potential leadership role, but predicted they could benefit from Tory failings.

The Progressive Conservatives have been in power since 1971, but Mr. Manning cast doubt on whether Mr. Stelmach will win the next election.

“I think it’s becoming increasingly unlikely unless, say, the government demonstrates a capacity that it hasn’t shown thus far,” he said.

“I don’t see votes going to the Liberals or the NDP. I think their biggest danger is another 150,000 people staying home who voted Conservative the last time and then that puts

dozens and dozens of seats up for grabs.”

Tom Olsen, Mr. Stelmach’s spokesman, said that the Premier wouldn’t be “rattled” by Mr. Manning’s comments, and that he remains focused on achieving a number of goals before calling the next election.

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