In a fictional and futuristic chronical Canada’s former Premier, Preston Manning, shares some of the events he forecasts for the future of our country.
Manning writes “I come from a Canadian political family with 55 years of experience in the political and public policy arenas.” which makes it clear that he has some authority on the subject he writes about. The essay goes on to cover a series of events that he predicts will unfold in the coming weeks and months in relation to how our government will continue to self destruct as a result of the poor leadership and mismanagement of the COVID19 pandemic.
In the introduction of the 38 page essay Preston explains the following:
“The telling of this fictional story provides an opportunity:
• To identify the many unanswered questions that Canadians have raised
concerning the management of the COVID pandemic.
• To imagine the voluntary testimony of public witnesses, medical and scientific
experts, and government “insiders” whose advice has previously gone
unheeded, in seeking to answer those questions
• To imagine in considerable detail the conclusions, recommendations, and
lessons which would result from such an investigation.”
If you want to read the entire essay you an do so HERE.
A hallmark of Albert Einstein’s career was his use of visualized thought experiments or “Gedankenexperiment” as a fundamental tool for understanding physical issues and for elucidating his scientific concepts to others. These thought experiments employed his incredible imagination and took diverse forms. As a boy, he mentally chased beams of light. For special relativity, he conceived moving trains and flashes of lightning to explain his penetrating insights. For general relativity, he considered a person falling off a roof, accelerating elevators, and even blind beetles crawling on curved surfaces. These thought experiments revolutionized scientific methods and set the stage for the governing trends in physics, science, and even geopolitics in the 20th century.
More than a hundred years after Einstein’s Swiss patent office daydreams, the greatest Prime MInister we never had has delivered a 44 page paper setting out the particulars of his own thought experiment. “The Covid Commission” envisions the Liberal Government metaphorically falling off a roof, and is the product of the vivid imagination of Preston Manning. It might very well contain the very best ideas that anyone in Canada has yet had about how to assess the health, economic, social, cultural, and political impacts of the Covid-19 Pandemic. More specifically, its focus is upon critiquing and even scoring how the Trudeau Government used the levers of power to address what has repeatedly been presented to Canadians as the great public crisis of our time. But how, precisely, you ask, can this inquiry be done in the context of a government under the leadership of an incorrigible narcissist? A scandal ridden government which literally shuts down debate, closes down commissions of inquiry into its unethical, unlawful decisions? A corrupt government which formed an unholy coalition with the NDP in order to prevent any possibility of its unpopular policies sparking a Parliamentary non-confidence vote? Preston Manning answers all of these questions by simply using his imagination.
Preston Manning is of course the genius of populist politics who met with a few disgruntled Albertans in a hotel room in the late 1980’s and then grew that concept into the Reform Party which formed the official opposition in Parliament by 1993. The Reform Party and its base rescued the Progressive Conservative Party that Brian Mulroney had obliterated, amalgamating the two camps into a new Party that would see Stephen Harper lead this country very ably for 10 years before the Trudeau Winter arrived in 2015. Manning is 80 now, but octogenarian life has not addled his mental powers. Suffice it to say that Manning and Joe Biden, although about the same age, are at opposite ends of the senility spectrum. The Covid Commission is not a delusion; it is instead a vision of what we as Canadians can do to restore sense to the Canadian politician landscape, and place political power back where it belongs—in the hands of everyday Canadians. Indeed, it imagines the next phase of what the courageous truckers started during The Freedom Convoy.
So what does the paper say? At the risk of distilling it too much, it sets out a four stage process. Firstly, it posits formation of something called the Common Sense Coalition to found a privately funded public inquiry or commission to investigate how the Trudeau Government dealt with the challenges of the Covid-19 Pandemic. All aspects are to be considered:
Health, economics, social policy, non-pharmaceutical interventions, employment and management of vaccines, and others. Manning readily acknowledges that the Trudeau Liberals would never commission such an inquiry into their own ineptitude and abuses of power, but answers this problem by turning to crowd funding. He posits that if $10M can be raised to support the truckers, then we can certainly raise such a sum to launch the Covid Commission. He further imagines, not unreasonably, that this Commission would receive such broad populist support that even the Liberal Government itself would have to abandon all resistance to participation in the inquiry. Best of all, since the Commission is privately controlled and funded, we would get to decide both who sits on that Commission and the particular issues which they will study.
The second stage involves the posing of 16 key questions about how the Liberal Government handled the Pandemic. All of these are exactly the questions that rational Canadians, regardless of their political stripe, would or should want to have answered. Salient among these are whether any cost-benefit analysis was done prior to imposing non-pharmaceutical interventions or lockdown measures, why scientific debate concerning the risks posed by he virus was censored, the efficacy and dangers of vaccines, restriction of mobility rights of Canadians, and of course, invocation of the Emergencies Act in order to shut down the peaceful Freedom Convoy public protest. These questions would be examined during the course of a public inquiry. Manning then proceeds to provide answers to these key questions based upon data that are already in the public forum, often quoting what the Liberal Government itself has told us, either overtly or inadvertently.
The third stage envisions public release of a 5 June 2023 Commission Report answering the 16 key questions and making a series of recommendations designed to ensure that Canadians are never subjected to such callous and calculated abuse by its Government ever again. This stage is essential since it actively expresses the Rule of Law which the Liberal Government has systemically moved to destroy since taking office 7 years ago. The Covid Commission does not advocate revolution; on the contrary, it champions a practical means by which we as Canadians can employ time honoured Constitutional conventions and traditions to restore some semblance of rationality, sanity, and truth to the presently diseased political state of our nation.
At stage four, the Covid Commission would give rise to an unassailable wave of support for a 2023 Federal election that would sweep the Trudeau Government out of power and witness the formation of a new Federal Government bound to govern Canadians according to “the Supremacy of God and the Rule of Law”, as is so perfectly stated in preamble to our much maligned but enduring Canadian Charter of Rights & Freedoms.
Finally, Manning saves the very best of all questions for last: What is to be done with the authors of this travesty? Are the politician leaders and their sycophantic bureaucrats to be held personally responsible, financially or even criminally, for the horrors perpetrated against all Canadians? The “dear reader” is left to ponder the answer, along with every single person who aspires to public office in this country in the wake of the “Report Of The Covid Commission.”
For Preston Manning, imagination is more than just a catchy Gershwin tune. Manning is not an esoteric political theorist. This is instead the man who recently wrote a book entitled “Do Something: 365 Ways You Can Strengthen Canada.” His politics are about boots on the ground populism. The Covid Commission is thus an ingeniously coherent but eminently practical thought experiment which offers the best ideas yet conceived and articulated to both debrief what happened during the Pandemic and then hold the Liberal Government to account.
“Report Of The Covid Commission” is therefore a must read, and I look forward with great anticipation to discussing it in more detail with Mr. Manning during an upcoming episode of the Grey Matter podcast.