Manning, Preston

Bible-puncher, Gay community pinup boy, speech-slick and son of former Alberta Social Credit Premier Ernest Manning. Preston became a culture hero for Canadian Old Age Pensioners, disaffected Chartered Accountants and other right-of-centre WASP remnants, mainly in Western Canada mostly by speaking slowly enough for them to understand. Manning’s speech impediment makes him sound like he’s talking through a mouthful of horse manure, which is something Alberta politics provides plenty of opportunity to practice. He did provide nearly all the moments of near-reality in the 1997 federal election but even with the contact lenses and the denim shirts, he’s wasn’t a convincing cowboy. Since then, he’s become so Ottawa-friendly that real Westerners are beginning to wonder whether he still knows what to do when stopping in the woods on a snowy evening.

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