Volume 92, Issue 4

Friday, June 5, 1998

george likes his chicken spicy


Uniting in opposition

Tom Baumgartner/Gazette

I AM NOT A CROOK. Finger push-ups were one of the many activities Reform Party leader Preston Manning took part in last weekend at the London Convention Centre.

By Sabrina Carinci

Gazette Staff

Last Thursday, London became a three-day host to the Reform Party of Canada's national convention where leader Preston Manning introduced his latest plans for the party to approximately 1,800 delegates.

In a lengthy speech the following night, Manning expressed the importance of rekindling the national dream so Canadians can be united with their dreams and allow them to come true. "Do you not dream of freedom, choice, control over your own destiny, unity and security? Of course you do," he said.

The centre of Manning's speech was a proposal for a United Alternative Assembly, a gathering of Canadians from all political backgrounds who share a belief in the four Reform principles of maintaining a strong sense of family, fiscal and social responsibility, a commitment to democratic accountability and a united and reformed federation.

Manning said he hoped to define a platform and a political action plan for electing members to the House of Commons who would be committed to these principles at the next federal election.

In a vote on Saturday, over 90 per cent of delegates accepted Manning's proposal.

Gray Shanahan, a political science student at Western, said although Manning did not directly address student issues, education was certainly an issue which would be incorporated into the united alternative philosophy. "Preston Manning is pro-education, it's definitely desirable," he said.

Jason Kenney, revenue and natural resources critic, said the theme of the convention, "leadership for a new generation," was certainly complimented by Manning. "Preston Manning is a great leader and has shown exquisite leadership abilities – he has put principle back into politics of this country."

Bryan Rogers, a political science student at the University of Alberta, said he sees the Reform Party helping out students if they become the governing party. "I see increasing funding for post secondary education and the party supporting Income Contingent Loan Repayment Plans."

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Copyright The Gazette 1998