Also known as Prestone Manning and Presto! Manning. Parsonish. Son of Ernest Manning, long-time Premier of Alberta. Preston just loves that word Refooooorm! He founded the Reform Party of Canada in 1987. Arguably he was a better leader of Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition than Lucien Bouchard was, at least. Achieved self-immolation via the Canadian Alliance Party. Is now a party elder and a radio host. Former riding: Calgary Southwest.

In this last week of the campaign for the leadership of the Canadian Alliance watching Preston Manning has been quite eerie.

Under his cowboy hat at the Calgary Stampede, where he used to be the king, he is looking more and more like Joe Clark.

Hard to believe that only a decade ago he was the great hope of the west. His standard "The West wants in!" What happenned?

He succumbed to what he had fought against. When he moved into Stornoway, the home of the Opposition Leader, which--for a time he refused--he became the enemy.

And now, Stockwell Day. Hardly any difference between the two in terms of what they believe--just style. Manning's edges have been worn down. This is what politics does.

Maybe his successor will be different. Maybe he will be lucky enough to ride the wave of political fashion into power.

I, for one, hope this future is the same as the past.

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