Kudos to the CBC's Don Newman for taking off the gloves to denounce the whole Reform/Alliance/Conservative movement as the cancer on effective national government in Canada.
"...Reformers came to Ottawa with the argument that everything in the Nation's Capital was corrupt. In fact, Reform MPs were ordered at one point not to stay in Ottawa over the weekends in case they became corrupted by this latter day Babylon.
If you remember, Manning wasn't going to sit on the front bench but lead from the middle row.
He also said the Official Opposition leader should not live in Stornoway, the government residence provided for the leader of the party with the second largest number of seats in the House.
And Reform MPs were not to take the supposedly fat-cat pensions that all members were entitled to.
...Well, Manning was soon sitting on the front bench and, when he became the Official Opposition leader, he moved into Stornoway instead of turning it into a bingo hall, as he had once threatened.
Today, even those Conservative MPs who were once Reformers are all enrolled in the parliamentary pension plan.
Manning, of course, is long gone. Replaced first by Stockwell Day, then by one of the original Reformers, Stephen Harper, the current prime minister.
But while Harper lives at 24 Sussex and seems to enjoy all the trappings of the prime minister's office, as indeed he should, he seems to maintain the Reformer's deep suspicion of Ottawa and all other political parties.
In the first Conservative minority from 2006 to 2008, rather than looking for ways to make Parliament work, the Harper government prepared a document telling Conservative committee chairman how to make sure their committees didn't function — in order to bolster their plea for a majority mandate in the next campaign."
Overall, Newman's piece is thoughtful, insightful and probative. There is a disease that's choking the arteries of Parliament Hill, infecting the nation and threatening our unity. It's malignant. It's the Harper Conservative movement.