vertising; special interest advocacyngroups; foreign aid; subsidies and taxnconcessions to business; Crown corporationsn(to be sold); and universal socialnprograms such as daycare.nTax reform would be undertakennwith the principal objective of raisingnfunds to pay for government programsnthe people approve. The party opposesnthe use of tax concessions in attemptsnto manipulate investment behavior andnindustrial structure. All consumptionntaxes should be visible, and a flat tax isndesirable.nSocial reform encompasses the welfarenstate, language and culture, andnimmigration. The Reform Party believesnthat although the truly indigentnmust be cared for, the legitimate role ofngovernment is to do for people “whatevernthey need to have done, butncannot do at all — or do as well — fornthemselves individually or throughnnon-governmental organizations.” Itnsupports a recognition of French innQuebec and English elsewhere as thenlanguages of work and society, upholdsnthe right of individuals or groups tonpreserve cultural heritages, but opposesngovernment intervention in culturalnmatters and would abolish the federalndepartment of multiculturalism. Itnwould orient immigration policy towardnCanada’s economic needs, butnhere again would submit all proposednchanges to referendum.nHow do these proposals sit with thenCanadian public? The 1988 federalnelection came too soon after the party’snfounding to judge. Nevertheless, it ranncandidates in 72 of the 282 ridings, gotn2.1 percent of the popular vote, andnalthough it failed to win a seat it tooknvotes away from the winning ProgressivenConservatives in a dozen or morenclose-run ridings. Manning ran againstnformer prime minister Joe Clark (PC)nin Alberta and came an easy second tonhim with 11,152 votes against hisn17,847. In another Alberta riding,nhowever, the PC winner died five daysnlater, and when the obligatory byelectionnwas called in April 1989,nReform candidate Deborah Grey —nwho had come a close fourth in thengeneral elecHon — won handily withn11,154 votes, as many as the othernthree candidates combined. Sixnmonths later, the Alberta governmentnheld ‘ an unprecedented election fornone of its Senate seats that had fallennvacant, and Reform’s Stanley Watersnwon it with almost twice as many votesnas the runner-up.nIn the January 6, 1992, issue ofnMaclean’s, its Decima poll rated supportnfor the party at 59 percent innManning’s native Alberta and an averagenof 46 percent in the nine Englishspeakingnprovinces. Richard Johnston,na University of British Columbia politicalnscientist, was quoted as saying thatnthis did not necessarily mean that 46npercent of English Canadians wouldnvote for Reform in the next elecHon,nbut that support for the party wasn”serious.” _,- ~^-^nPerhaps the best gauge of Reform’snsuccess is the reaction to it. The threenolder parties attack it openly. Thenprevailing left-liberal print and electronicnpress, and the New Class itnpanders to, focus on the immigration,nlanguage, and multicultural policiesnthat are their natural targets. But these,npolls show, are prime irritants to anmajority of Canadians — the ignorednmajority that Manning appeals to.nThe fact is that Reform’s proposalsnare not new; they have bubbled fornyears in the newsletters of voluntaryngroups — such as the 40,000 membernNational Citizens’ Coalition — that advocatenmore freedom through less government.nBut so long as the ideas werenrejected by the three old-line parHes,nthere could be no representative voicenin Pariiament; the groups could offernno prospect of tangible results. Now,ntheir supporters have somewhere tonturn.nThus does Preston Manning standnto reap where many others sowed. Henhad not only the political wit to see ansuppressed majority yearning for reform,nbut the organizing ability andneven more the personal guts and integritynto stake out ground on which he isnnow being attacked. In the next federalnelection (1992 or 1993), his party willnwin seats. Whether they are enough tongive it a balance of power is lessnimportant than the fact that it will benvoicing opinions in national debatesnthat have not been heard for a generation.nKenneth McDonald is a freelancenwriter living in Toronto.nnnLetter From thenLower Rightnby John Shelton ReednSeeing the Wizard OffnA historical sense can be a wonderfulnthing to have. Not long ago, for instance,nsomeone reminded me thatnwhen Christianity was as old as Islam isnnow, the Inquisition was going full tilt.nWhen Islam gets to be two thousandnyears old, he suggested, maybe it’ll be asnguilt-ridden and effete as Christianitynhas become. I find that comforting,ndon’t you?nLast November I called on history tonconsole a friend who’d recently movednto Baton Rouge and found himselfndismayed by the gubernatorial contestnbetween Edwin Edwards and DavidnDuke. Having to choose between ancandidate known as the “Silver Zipper”nand another billed as a “Nazi for then90’s” made him — well, uncomfortable.nI pointed out that whoever wonnwouldn’t be the worst governor Louisiananever had; in fact, he probablynwouldn’t even be the worst governor innliving memory. For some reason, thatndidn’t cheer him up.nBoy, was I wrong when I complainedna couple of years ago in this magazinenthat Southern politics have become boring.nI was wrong that they’ve becomenboring, and I was wrong to complain. Inwill stay after class and write 500 times:n”Boring is not necessarily bad.”nWhat went awry in the land ofndreamy dreams? Four or five years ago,nJames Moffett, head of the LouisiananCouncil for Fiscal Reform, was tellingnthe “Wall Street journal that “a modernnera of politics is fixing to evolve” in hisnstate. Yet here was a Baton RougenJunior Leaguer saying in the WashingtonnPost that she was going to vote fornDuke because, unlike Edwards, henwouldn’t last more than four years innoffice and maybe somebody wouldnshoot him sooner than that. She wasn’tnthe only Louisianan talking wistfullynabout the “.38 calibre recall” that tooknout Huey Long. How did matters getnthat out of hand?nThe problem, of course, went backnto the primary, when roughly twothirdsnof the voters voted against eachnof the three major candidates. In eachnMARCH 1992/43n