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Tuesday, October 04, 2005

On the Influence of the 'Calgary School'

From a comment on my own blog, and a post at the Shotgun, the topic of the 'Calgary School' and its influence has come up today. (For the classic article on the 'School' see here).

The group is made up of:

Rainer Knopff, F. L. "Ted" Morton, David Bercuson, Barry Cooper and Thomas Flanagan.

The
influence of this group cannot be underestimated. With Flanagan behind Harper, and Morton as a dark-horse to lead the Alberta Tories, they have moved their academic prowess into tangible applications.

In the 'Calgary School' Canadian conservativism had one of the few academic think-tanks that provided real muscle to the movement (the other being the
Fraser Institute).

Since the efforts of this group were centered in Western Canada, and their views marginalized by Central Canadian MSM and its power brokers, this unofficial 'think-tank' has not been influential in a way that it could have been.

Now that
Preston Manning's think-tank has been inaugurated, it seems appropriate to reflect on the Calgary School's impact.

By building critical mass, the conservative movement could have achieved success at the federal level, if they would have started 30 years ago.

But the
beginnings of 'Fabian' thinking are simply too little too late for many Albertans.

The inherent regionalism in Canada is flaming up again. The difference now is that the region of Alberta will not allow the federals to take their money again (NEP2).

The most influential thing that the Calgary School has achieved is by giving Albertans
the philosophical justification for their regionalism... even to the point of separation.

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