By Ruth Cohen
Severe essays at the contemporary Tory executive in Ontario; A Globe and Mail bestseller.
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Extra info for Alien Invasion: How the Harris Tories Mismanaged Ontario
Long was temporarily brought out of 'retirement' at Egon Zehnder to serve as Harris administration spokesperson against the Toronto Days of Action protests. Most recently, Long ran an unsuccessful campaign for the leadership of the federal Canadian Reform Conservative Alliance Party. Long is on record as saying a central element in the shaping of his ideology was the economic philosophy of the free-market Austrian economist, Friedrich A. von Hayek. Within the Harris administration, conflict exists between the Tom Long element—which, like Hayek, has great contempt for traditional conservative values such as respect for democracy, benevolence toward the poor and maintaining existing institutions as much as possible—and a number of backbench MPs of a moderate or 'Red Tory' stamp.
Alister Campbell: A young insurance executive whose bearded and bespectacled visage personifies his role as the academic brain trust of the group. Leslie Noble: A tough and intelligent woman who elbowed her way into the Tory boys' club to become one of its top strategists. In typical revolutionary style, the four took over the party's youth wing in the 1980s and used it to gain control of the party itself. Fans of Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan, they programmed the homespun Mike Harris with their Ivy League free market ideas, then ran the successful 1995 election campaign.
It rules by sudden and disruptive decree, replacing civic debate with public scapegoating and smearing opponents as subversive or belonging to 'special interests'. Totalitarianism's hallmark characteristic is 'the big lie'—blurring fact and fiction by the saturating repetition of mind-shackling falsehoods. Its ultimate apparatus of social control is a pervasive propaganda system that appeals beneath reason to the primordial hatreds and fantasies of economically destabilized masses. The prior social conditions required for totalitarianism to grow as a social movement are deepening unemployment and insecurity of livelihood, decay of civil infrastructures, and a corrosive cynicism about old-style government.
Alien Invasion: How the Harris Tories Mismanaged Ontario by Ruth Cohen