Solon in the sixth century B.C. passed arnlaw that those who abstained from majorrnconflicts confronting the Athenian peoplernwere disenfranchised. If wc hope tornavoid the ethnic wars that are America’srnlikely future, we need to act. We are notrnlikely to be given the 25 years it took LernPen to achieve his current position.rnE. Christian Kopffis a professor of Greekrnand Latin at the University of Coloradornin Boulder.rnMr. Manning Goesrnto Ottawarnby Greg KazarnImagine a political party that favors thernwithdrawal of troops from Bosnia andrnformal debate over whether to remain inrnNATO, yet in the next breath opposesrngovernment-imposed privileges for homosexualsrnand other politically correctrngroups, among them Sikhs demandingrnto wear turbans to work. This party notrnonly supports cutting corporate welfarernand abolishing taxpayer-subsidized benefitsrnfor wealthy senior citizens, but consistentlyrnsupports a reduction of its ownrnpolitical pork, including lavish tax-free,rnfederal pensions.rnAmericans should be so lucky. Ofrncourse, this is not the Republican Party ofrnNewt Gingrich. Canadian Preston Manningrnand the Reform Party that he leadsrnare unique in the democratic world: theirrnplatform is built around opposition to thernobscene perquisites of political life. Lastrnyear. Reform Members of Parliamentrntook Ottawa, Canada’s capital, by storm,rnaccepting voluntary salary cuts and optingrnout of the lucrative legislative retirementrnsystem. Maclean’s magazine, thernCanadian Time, attacked Reform as “Ottawa’srnNew Puritans,” whining that “thernobsession with cutting perks has gone toornfar.” Reform received attention of a differentrnsort from the Canadian Securityrnhitelligence Service (CSIS), an FBI-typernpolice unit. According to media reports,rnCSIS paid an alleged neo-Nazi informantrnto infiltrate and gather intelligence onrnReform and a Jewish group.rnTaking on the Canadian ruling class.rnManning has accomplished somethingrnthat stateside antiestablishmentariansrncan only dream about: electoral success.rnIn the last national election, held irr 1993,rnReform destroyed the ruling ProgressivernConservatives, Canada’s version ofrnAmerican corporate-style Republicans.rnThe Progressive Conservative governmentrnfell, and their strength in the 295-rnseat Canadian national parliament declinedrnfrom 168 to only two. Reform wonrnnearly 20 percent of the national vote,rnand increased its representation from onernto 52 seats. Reform’s strength is on a parrnwith the Bloc Qucbecois, an Eastern European-rnstyle separatist party, which controlsrn53 seats and serves as Her Majesty’srnLoyal Opposition to the ruling Liberalrngovernment. If Manning maneuversrnadroitly. Reform could either emerge asrnthe official opposition, if an independencernreferendum in Quebec fails laterrnthis year, or form a coalition governmentrnafter the next national election in 1997.rnOtherwise, Reform would probably devolverninto a regional protest party similarrnto Social Credit, a western Canadianrnpopulist movement that is now virtuallyrndefunct. Eorty-six of Reform’s 52 MPsrnhail from Canada’s two westernmostrnprovinces: Alberta and British Columbia.rnOnly two MPs are from east of Saskatchewan.rnWestern Canada’s alienation from thernProgressive Conservatives’ preoccupationrnwith Quebec played a key role in the ReformrnParty’s emergence. In June 1987,rnProgressive Conservative Prime MinisterrnBrian Mulroney negotiated the MeechrnLake Accord with Quebec’s politicalrnelite. Language recognizing francophonernQuebec as “a distinct society” was viewedrnin parts of Canada as hostile to English;rnMeech Lake unraveled after Anglo parliamentsrnin Manitoba and Newfoundlandrnfailed to ratify the accord. “Meech Lakernreally made the Reform Party,” an Ottawarnstaffer explained. Those foundingrnReform in 1987 included ex-ProgressivernConservatives unhappy with Mulroney, arnGeorge Bush clone who also imposed arnhated General Services Tax during hisrntenure in Ottawa.rnReform leader Manning, 53, studiedrnWestern Canadian alienation firsthandrnwhile growing up on a farm near Edmonton.rnCanada is essentially ruled by politiciansrnfrom the nation’s two most populousrnprovinces: Ontario and Quebec.rnThe Canadian establishment has focusedrnin recent decades on the demands ofrnQuebec’s francophone majority, largelyrnto the exclusion of the nation’s Westernrnprovinces. This has given rise to Westernrnprotest movements, among them SocialrnCredit, whose plan to reform the bankingrnsystem found its greatest support amongrnfarmers. Manning’s father, Ernest, wasrnAlberta’s Social Credit premier fromrn1943 to 1968. Renowned for his weeklyrnradio show, “Back to the Bible Hour,”rnErnest Manning was no doctrinaire conservative.rnHe used Alberta’s growing oilrnrevenues to build up the province’s publicrnschool and welfare systems. He alsornmoved to purge racist elements from SocialrnCredit, including those who blamedrnthe Great Depression on “Jewish financiers.”rnIn 1982, B’nai B’rith gave himrna Humanitarian Award for his efforts.rnThe younger Manning has faced similarrnelements within the Reform Party. InrnOctober 1993, a Reform MP candidate inrnOntario was dropped after he bashed immigrantsrnin an interview. The candidate,rnJohn Beck, later told the Toronto Star, “Itrnseems to be predominantly Jewish peoplernwho are running this country.” Accordingrnto the February 21, 1994, issue ofrnMaclean’s, a newsletter issued by the localrnoffice of British Columbia ReformrnMP Werner Schmidt contained a quotationrnfrom Adolf Hitler which Manningrntermed “regrettable.”rnLike other right-wing movements.rnReform has attracted its share of crackpots,rnsome of them perhaps drawn by thernparty’s pledge to restrict immigrationrnfrom 250,000 to between 100,000 andrn150,000 annually. During the 1993 elections.rnReform critics, including ProgressivernConservatives, charged racism onrnmore than one occasion. But Manning’srnmoral leadership and a clever Reform TVrnadvertisement that featured an Asian-rnCanadian talking about the importancernof economic opportunity for all groupsrndeflected much of the criticism. Sincernthen, Canadian public opinion on the issuernhas moved in Reform’s direction,rnforcing the ruling Liberals to propose arnnew policy that reflects a less charitablernmood: immigrants would be limited torn190,000-215,000 per year.rnReform also opposes government-imposedrnprivileges for politically correctrngroups. This has included so-called haterncrimes legislation, which in Canadarnresembles thought crimes straight outrnof George Orwell’s J 984. Reform MPsrnvoted this year against a bill extendingrnthe hate crimes statute to homosexuals.rnIn response, homosexuals have bashedrnManning, an evangelical Christian,rnwhose wife Sandra and he have beenrnmarried for 29 years. The couple has fivernchildren. A parliamentary member ofrnthe socialist New Democrat Party, whichrnOCTOBER 1995/47rnrnrn