In Ontario, Mike Harris is leading his "Common Sense" revolution. In Alberta, Ralph Klein has taken his right-wing Conservatives to new extremes. In Ottawa, Preston Manning and his Reformers are giving new meaning to the term Official Opposition. Despite their different political labels and regional perspectives, the leaders of the New Right have much in common, including a populist approach to politics and a passionate commitment to the same brand of neo-conservatism - an ideology previously unknown in Canada and one that runs contrary to our traditional values and beliefs.
Jeffrey argues these New Right gladiators are a new breed of politician. Less prepared for public office, they exhibit a dangerous combination of ignorance and zeal, refusing to let facts get in the way of their beliefs. Once in power, their populist mask disappears. Despite their attack on "special interests," they have close links with single-issue interest groups, including pro-life or anti-gun control organizations. And they all believe a governments primary purpose is to satisfy the narrow concerns of those who elected them.
What led to their electoral success? Jeffrey places this Canadian phenomenon in an international context, examining such influences as the global corporate agenda. She also explores the Canadian context of western alienation, populism and the emergence of a small but influential neo-conservative intellectual elite whose membership includes such right-wing icons as David Frum and Ted Byfield.
Hard-hitting, yet reasoned and detailed in its analysis, Hard Right Turn puts an all-too-human face on the politicians of the New Right.