Manning says the Achilles heel of the conservative movement is members who discredit it by speaking their minds.
He referred to Tom Flanagan, the veteran party strategist who was recently ostracized for suggesting that people who look at child pornography shouldn’t be jailed.
Manning said Conservative governments, parties, and campaigns can’t afford such blindsides.
Flanagan, who Manning called a friend, had been scheduled to address the conference but was dropped.
Manning said the movement had to dump him.
He added that Canadians have every right to ask whether those who can’t govern their own tongue can govern the party.
Harper’s conservatism — reckless deficit spending, silence about free speech, diminishing the importance of dealing with abortion, a cynical big government law and order agenda — is not my conservatism. So I won’t shut up. I’ll instead follow the example of Manning’s invited featured speakers, Ron Paul and Nigel Farage, and talk the issues I care about and will let the Conservative Party know they don’t have my support as long as they abide by a neutered conservatism.
Politicians are either stupid or liars, so it’s always rich when they try to tell you how to speak and think — especially when their goal is, as Manning makes abundantly clear, to make their careers as easy and lucrative as possible.
What we lowly plebes get out of this arrangement is a mystery to me.