TORONTO, June 30 ( – In his March 4 article in the National Post, “The Long road to political reform”, Peter C. Newman reported on his interview with political strategist and then non-leadership candidate Tom Long. Newman related Long’s surprisingly candid comments about his long-term strategy to use the Canadian Alliance and Preston Manning to create a winning new federal conservative party in the image of the Ontario Tories.

Who would head that party? Not Preston Manning. Newman wrote “Despite his temporary alliance with Preston Manning, helping him to kick start the Canadian Alliance, Mr. Long has his own candidate for   prime minister. ‘Mike Harris has a brand identity,’ points out Mr. Long… ‘He’s got more campaigning left in him, and I think he’s kind of finished what can be done at the provincial   level.’”

Long speculated to Newman that in the next federal election, the CA under Preston Manning should win 15 to 32 Ontario seats. Then, he stated “Once the Liberals are destabilized, we could go to Klein or Harris and say, ‘Let’s get the two parties together. We know the Liberals are beatable—now is your moment.’ “

As for Preston Manning, Long summed up his usefulness to the plan: “I’ve grown to admire Preston Manning’s pragmatism,”…“I’ve worked with him for five months now, and sure he has baggage, but at   least the guy means to get something done.”

The June 19 CBC Newsmagazine report on the Alliance leadership race confirmed that Long’s plans may be alive and well. On this date, Long’s campaign appeared to have been mortally wounded by the Quebec memberships scandal, but the CBC sensed new developments. The announcer stated “suppose the Long campaign has decided they came to the race too late to win. Suppose they’re already planning for the next leadership race and suppose they’d like that race to come sooner, rather than later. In that case it makes sense for them to get behind Manning now.”  Tom Flanagan, Canadian historian and former top advisor to Manning, was also quoted. Flanagan stated “If Stockwell Day wins, you’re looking at a man who will be leader for, you know, 7, 8, 10 years, who nows, but, a substantial length of time. So it may be that the Long people think that by supporting Manning they will get an earlier crack at another try for an Ontario leader, whether it’s for Tom   Long himself or whether they really think Mike Harris will give it a shot, I don’t know.”

See LifeSite’s new page, listing all its Alliance leadership reports, later this evening at (Page currently unavailable)


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