In my research to discover how a party founded in bigotry is now running our country, I have to stop now and then and remind myself that they do not represent the views of the majority of Canadians. The video I posted is wonderfully inspirational and a shot of humanity that I need right now.
This story is about an early Reform Party member, Doug Collins. It kind of represents the thinking within this party, and the views of Preston Manning and Stephen Harper. While they encouraged extreme right-wing fringe groups, they also tried to distance themselves from them, if they proved to be an embarrassment. Then and only then, did they expel them. But Mr. Collin's story is a little different and kind of epitomizes the ideology.
Preston Manning would always use the tired phrase of his father's when anti-semitism was exposed in the Social Credit party 'A bright light attracts bugs'. But as my own late father would probably say; 'so does shite!'
Doug Collins, Racism and the Reform Party of Canada
Depending on who you talk to, Doug Collins was either a crusty, tell it like it is, journalist; or a racist pig. In fact, he was somewhere in between the two, but his story is worth telling. We heard him speak in favour of the National Citizens Coalition's 'Boat People' campaign, and the ridiculous notion that it was part of an Asian invasion. However, his bigotry went much further than that, making him a perfect fit for the Reformers and Harper's Northern Foundation.
"Doug Collins is a member of Canadian Friends of South Africa ... and has written numerous sympathetic articles ... Collins is also a member of CFAR ... an extremist right-wing group founded by Paul Fromm. While Manning felt obliged to stop the candidacy of the outspoken Doug Collins (he wanted to run for the reform Party in 1988), he seems less concerned about Donovan Carter, a man whose activities - including organized spying for a foreign power - have been mostly clandestine and therefore not an embarrassment to the party." (Dobbin. 1992. Pg. 100-107)
Not an embarrassment to the party. That's definitely what it was all about.
I've said it before, that all of the parties that Stephen Harper and Preston Manning were involved in, were all about the anti's and the notion of some kind of conspiracy. For Social Credit it was a Jewish conspiracy. Later Ernest Manning made it about a socialist/communist conspiracy. Part of that was Pierre Trudeau, whom Manning firmly believed was a communist; and the notion of immigrant 'invasions' from communist countries, especially 'Red China'. It then went to any non-white 'invasion' that threatened the anglo culture.
For the current Conservative party, it is primarily a Muslim invasion though Jason Kenney is trying to keep out all the 'undesirables' (anyone not white, wealthy, Christian, heterosexual and Conservative). But what it all boils down to is the notion of 'pro-Anglo' culture and 'white nationalism'. Other groups with similar goals are called 'white supremacists' and neo-Nazis.'
When Stephen Harper was working as the legislative assistant to PC James Hawkes, Mr. Hawkes stated that Steve did a lot of work on immigration. "Harper soon found himself studying the intricate relations between immigration and the economy, demography and politics." He criticised Mulroney for not making the tough decisions.
After reading Peter Brimelow's book, Harper bought 10 copies to share with friends. William Gairdner became a party mentor and sold his book at all Reform gatherings. Paul Fromm spoke at several Northern Foundation conferences and sold memberships to C-FAR at Reform Party assemblies. The Reform Party regularly advertised in NF's publication the Northern Voice.
They definitely would not have had a problem with Doug Collins'; Immigration: the destruction of English Canada, or any of his views.
Connections and Disconnections
Besides being just a controversial journalist, Doug Collins had connections with several questionable people and organizations. Mind you most of these were also connected to the Reform Party and possibly members of our current government.
I've already mentioned Paul Fromm and C-FAR, but another person who played a role was Doug Christie. I mentioned Mr. Christie in several of my posts about Stockwell Day. He was a good friend of Stockwell's father and the Sr. Day was an active member of Christies separatist party, the Western Canada Concept.
Doug Christie was also the lawyer for many of the most notorious anti-Semites, including James Keegstra and Ernst Zundel. Doug Collins attended the latter's trial to show support "...and Doug Collins, a B.C. weekly newspaper columnist and revisionist who labelled the Canadian Jewish Congress "hatemongers." ( Web of Hate: Inside Canada's Far Right Network - Author: Warren Kinsella Toronto : Harper Collins, 1994 ISBN 0-00-255074-1 Pg. 80)
Doug Christie is also general counsel for an organization called the Canadian Free Speech League (CFSL), which has presented its "George Orwell Award" to controversial figures, including BC columnist Doug Collins, who authored an article titled Swindler's List attacking Steven Spielberg's Holocaust film Schindler's List.
"Our defence in this issue is truth and fair comment. The meeting in question was hosted by Christie's Free Speech League and attended by people who've promoted hate and published racist views in the past." "These people include Doug Collins, who suggested Holocaust deaths were exaggerated in a column he wrote in the North Shore News."
Mr. Collins' beliefs and connections would not be news to Harper or Manning, but it was also becoming apparent to the 'grassroots', that this was not a populist party, and that maybe 'grassroots' views were not the issue.
"Rumblings of Grassroots Discontent - By the fall of 1990, the provincial politics issue was turning into the most divisive issue in the party ... the issue was focusing attention on the party's central office and it's alleged desire to control the membership.
"Dissidents in the party ... openly claimed that the party was being run by a 'Calgary clique' "A lot of people are frustrated - we're seeing the inevitable erosion of grassroots politics into a smaller more domineering group at the top...'
"The clique that was being criticized in 1990 consisted of Manning and four of his staff members. One of the key members was thirty-two-year-old Stephen Harper, a founding member of the party, it's Chief Policy Officer, and the man who became known as Manning's chief political lieutenant. Though only a staff member, he often made speeches and was one of the two people, the other being Waters, whom Manning trusted to speak for the party. He spent four years working for the oil industry after arriving in Alberta from Toronto in 1978..." (Dobbins pg 121-122)
This discontent was reflected in the Reform Party candidacy of Doug Collins, who was acclaimed in Capilano—Howe Sound riding in the 1988 federal election. Initially Preston Manning was on board, but after some complaints of Collin's past racist remarks, Manning had a change of heart.
However, he didn't stop him from running, but only agreed to sign his nomination papers if Mr. Collins would refrain from making anymore public comments that could be deemed racist or anti-Semitic. Naturally the outspoken Collins refused, so was dropped from the list of candidates.
What's interesting to note here, and is a recurring theme, was that they had no problem allowing someone with his extreme views to possibly sit in Parliament, he just had to keep his views to himself. There is something very wrong with that. How can he represent a multicultural country when he believes that only one segment of that country's people are worthy of representation?
Another group with ties to the Reform Party, was the League of Rights and they had a lot to say on the subject.
"When well known Vancouver journalist, Doug Collins, offered to stand for the Reform Party, he felt that here was a party which might tackle some of Canada's basic problems, including immigration. ... A large and enthusiastic Reform Party virtually demanded that Collins stand as their candidate. No other candidate was even considered. But 12 hours after accepting the Reform Party nomination, Collins was bowing out with Reform Party leader ... Manning, refusing to sign his nomination papers .... Manning suggested he sign a document which he described as 'most remarkable ever sent to any candidate seeking political office, and that included the Soviet Union'. A man of great moral courage, Collins appeared as a witness at the Keegstra and Zundel trials; claiming that the basic issue was freedom of speech."
"The most notable political developments of the past few weeks were the election of Stephen Harper as the new leader of the Alliance Party, succeeding Stockwell Day; and Mr. Harper's immediate meeting with PC leader Joe Clark, in which he challenged him to stop piddling around and wasting time, and join the Alliance in 'uniting the right,' or else get out of the way as the Alliance moves forward ... Mr. Harper, because of his early background with the Reform movement, his several years' experience in the House of Commons and as leader of the National Citizens' Coalition, should be well equipped for his new role. As this short report is written (April 10), Mr. Harper seems well on his way to bringing unity and esprit de corps to his own party. His challenge now is to prepare the Alliance for a major breakthrough in Central Canada within the next two years, in order to mount a successful challenge to the present government in the next federal election."
The Reform-Conservatives 'clique' and muzzle system hasn't changed. Many in the party have very controversial views, so I can understand why he doesn't allow them to share those views. But why elect a Member of Parliament to speak for us, when they aren't allowed to speak at all?