The current Conservative Party and government would also have never come into being. The idea that a Calgary Tory could be a more popular and credible federalist leader in Quebec than a Montreal Grit would have remained a laughable hypothetical. And Stephen Harper would be just another Calgary School academic.
Manning's political legacy is secure. So why would he want to taint it by demanding that the Alberta PC Party crown him leader?
Preston Manning, founder and former leader of the federal Reform party, said he'd need to be persuaded that entering a Progressive Conservative leadership race would be best for the party, the province and him.
Mr. Manning also said he would have to be convinced there would be enough people willing to do the "heavy lifting" required to sell enough memberships for him to win.
Alberta voters have an unusual habit of keeping one party in office for decades, then suddenly blasting it to kingdom come. The Alberta PC Party has been in office since 1971. Before that, Social Credit held power from 1935 to 1971. Less than three years after Ernest Manning's quarter-century premiership ended, Social Credit collapsed.
Preston Manning may want to keep his father's example in mind--the departure of a long-serving premier who became a practically impregnable institution followed by his party's rapid demise.
If the same sudden towards another party is about to happen--most likely to the Alberta Alliance, less likely to the Liberal Party unless it shifts right--Manning could find himself marooned.
And that would be a sad ending to a glorious career.
Source: Globe and Mail