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Mansbridge One on One: Preston Manning

The Story

It's the dawn of the Canadian Alliance, and federal politician Preston Manning is starting all over again. Despite criticism over his candidacy, the former head of the Reform Party of Canada is about to take what Peter Mansbridge calls "the biggest political gamble of his life" by running against Alberta treasurer Stockwell Day in a hotly contested race for the leadership of this new party. In this 2000 interview, Manning sits down to discuss the campaign ahead, including his plans to expand the party across Canada and compete with Day for the top spot.

Medium: Television
Program: Mansbridge One on One
Broadcast Date: April 1, 2000
Guest: Preston Manning
Interviewer: Peter Mansbridge
Duration: 22:50

Did You know?

• The son of former Alberta premier Ernest Manning, Preston Manning ran his first political campaign at age 23 during the 1965 federal election as a candidate for the Social Credit Party of Canada.

• After losing his initial bid for office he embarked on a career in business and started the successful Manning Consultants Ltd., a research and management consulting firm which he headed for two decades.

• In November 1987, Preston Manning officially followed in his father's footsteps by establishing and leading the Reform Party of Canada, a federal conservative political organization with strong roots in Western Canada.

• As party chief, Manning won his own Calgary Southwest seat during the 1993 federal election. By 1997 the Reform Party had secured 60 seats to become the Official Opposition.

• Manning was leader of the Reform Party until 2000, when he decided to dismantle and found the Canadian Reform Conservative Alliance, a political party designed to serve as a united federal group. He set his sights on leading this new party despite doubts by peers over his national appeal.

• In July 2000, a few months after this clip aired, Manning lost his quest to front the Canadian Alliance when rival Stockwell Day won the majority of ballots and took helm of the party.

• Despite his leadership loss, Preston Manning won his seat during the November 2000 federal election. He retired from politics two years later.

• In 2005, he created the political think tank Manning Centre for Building Democracy, and was made a Companion of the Order of Canada in June 2007.


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