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Preston Manning

Leader of the Reform Party of Canada, and Leader of the Official Opposition in the Canadian Parliament


Click here for essays by Preston Manning
Some people ... want their MP to represent their views on a particular issue in the Parliament ... the 'delegate view of representation.' People say ... that they expect politicians to keep their promises and implement the program on which they sought public support in the first place ... the 'mandate theory of representation' ... People say ... they expect you to use your judgement on the issues that come up in the Parliament, ... the 'trusteeship theory of representation.' ... The challenge for modern democratic parties and institutions is to integrate these three into one coherent theory of representation and develop guidelines for voting in caucus and voting in Parliament in accordance with that model.

from "Obstacles and Opportunities for Parliamentary Reform", published in the Canadian Parliamentary Review
A revolutionary should neither look or act like one to get ahead in Canada.

1995 - quoted in The Canadian Revolution, by Peter Newman
As special interest groups are given more status, privileges, and public funding, they use their bargaining power to exact concessions from governments that are both economically inefficient and politically undemocratic.

In the case of Canada's aboriginal peoples, special status in federal law based on race has been the governing principle since before Confederation. Surely no one would argue that this approach has led to the social, economic, or cultural benefit of aboriginal Canadians. It has been an unmitigated disaster.

If subsequent generations of politicians had left the problem of French-English tension within the provincial confines to which the Fathers of Confederation had relegated it, and expanded and built upon the new foundation of Canada as a federation of provinces rather than a federation of founding peoples, Canada might not be in the dilemma it is today.

Effective representation in a modern democracy ... is not a matter of representing constituent interests only, or party principles and platform only, or member's judgement only, but a judicious and practical combination of the three in accordance with well-understood principles and practices.

...there is less freedom of speech and freedom of political action in the Canadian House of Commons than there is in any other political forum in the country.

The role of the federal government should be neutral towards culture just as it is towards religion.

...the fathers of Confederation worked to create new constitutional arrangements and structures, which sought to bypass the discredited concept of a partnership between the English and the French, rather than perpetuate it.