Maxime Bernier, according to a recent Nanos poll is up to 17%. That’s 17% of Canadians who would be open to supporting his new party in the next election. An Abacus Data poll shortly after he announced he was leaving the Conservative Party of Canada had him at 13%. All Mr. Bernier has really done so far is hold a news conference and then tweet to his followers about the issues he cares about. I don’t know what he has for fundraising but the internet makes it pretty easy to get started, and he’s already got the structure for something like that in place from his leadership campaign. I think people underestimate or write him off at their peril.
Contrast that with Andrew Scheer who’s been leader for a year and all he has going for him is decent poll numbers that (that Bernier is already showing are about a mile wide and an inch deep) might hold the Liberal Party to a minority Parliament, and a slick fundraising operation that’s raised a substantial amount of money. His supposedly positive conservative vision for the country is largely unknown to people while he decides where he stands on issues based on the polls he reads.
For a little bit of fun (if you’re a Bernier supporter or were during the leadership contest), the NDP got 19% of the vote in the last federal election. That got them roughly 40 seats.
For those who are unacquainted with our Single Member Plurality voting system – due to different factors like differing support levels in different provinces or regions and because of how the population is dispersed (mostly in large cities, less in rural areas) – your seat totals can vary pretty widely depending on how concentrated or dispersed your support is. So assuming Bernier’s support isn’t highly dispersed across the entire country, which would lower the potential number of seats he could win, he could take nearly half of the Conservative Party seat totals they currently have in Parliament.
The difference between this split and the split that occurred following the Mulroney majorities is the internet. Its far easier to develop a following amongst a large group of people and get them providing money and support than it was in the late 1980s or early 1990s when the Reform Party was launched.
Andrew Scheer and the Conservative Party better pivot fast and start defining themselves on some of these issues where Mr. Bernier is staking out ground, or else they’re quickly going to be out-flanked. The next election is only a year away, and Andrew Scheer is still pretty unknown.
All this said Max Bernier still has a lot of work to do recruiting candidates and building a base of supporters that can help turn out your vote in a national election where you have candidates in 338 constituencies.
Personally, I’m rooting for Maxime Bernier. I pray for his conversion to the Catholic Church, and due to his more libertine positions with regard to the sexual revolution I can’t vote for him. I dearly wish that I could. Our Lady, pray for Maxime. Pray for me. Pray for Canada.
I was reading a tweet that Charles Adler retweeted with a response from a woman who’s fed up with Andrew Scheer’s poll-possessed, weak-knee’d, stand-for-nothing leadership of the Conservative Party of Canada.
The tweet got me thinking. Andrew Scheer is an avatar for a political party who’s primary concern, beyond all else, is attaining power. Despite what the policy manual might say, (and mostly its a manual of useless “National Strategies” last I looked) they’ve jettisoned all their principles except one, that being taxes, and even on that issue its a smoke-screen because most of their tax cuts aren’t cuts at all. Its tax credits. Its the state promising to pay you if you do what they want. The Scheer-Cons won’t even challenge the status quo on something as communistic as the government controlling the price of dairy products in order to guarantee the profits of dairy farmers while Canadians are forced to a pay a premium which the poor can’t afford. The current government is in the process of completely fumbling the NAFTA re-negotiations because they’re too concerned with “social justice” than actually trying to negotiate a fair deal for Canada.
That’s leaving aside the fact that none of parties, let alone the Scheer-Cons, are going to address abortion, homosexual marriage, euthanasia, no-fault divorce, etc. In fact, Andrew Scheer was able to persuade a significant chunk of so-called “social conservatives” to vote for him in spite of his Harper pledge not to legislate on abortion. Mr. Scheer even said he doesn’t believe in imposing his ideology on anyone. It should be noted here that Andrew Scheer is a Roman Catholic. Another Catholic politician in Canada failing to live out his faith publicly. Maybe his Archbishop or his parish Priest would like to share a word next time Andrew Scheer is spotted at Mass on Sunday.
Given the performance of the current liberal government, any competent opposition party should have them on the ropes. Instead the current conservative movement is once again fracturing into two and on the verge of handing an incompetent twit a re-election victory that he doesn’t deserve. In a purely material sense, Maxime Bernier choosing to leave the Conservative Party to start his own, and hopefully take his 49% of the leadership vote with him will spur Andrew Scheer to actually take a stand and show some backbone. Unfortunately I can’t hold my breath on that one.
So, I don’t plan to vote in the next Federal election. I’m a monarchist and I don’t think we’d be any worse off if this were a Monarchy and I truly had no-vote, rather than the “choices” that will be on the ballot next October.
I sat this afternoon glued to the CPAC feed on my laptop of the Conservative Party of Canada leadership convention. Andrew Scheer is the new leader of the Conservative Party of Canada. Mr. Scheer came second on every ballot from the first right through the twelfth, and then on the final 13th ballot he won the contest by 51-49% margin over Maxime Bernier.
There were a few surprises along the way. Erin O’Toole turned out to be the king-maker, placing third, and it was his supporters who flowed to Andrew Scheer on the final ballot. Brad Trost came in fourth and Pierre Lemieux placed sixth or seventh!! I certainly didn’t expect that strong a showing, but it was so important for religious/social conservatives to have their candidates do well, and show the rest of the party that we can’t just be ignored when the next government is formed by the CPC.
I remember sitting writing Andrew an e-mail about his campaign promises. I was asking him how he’s going to balance the budget in two years. I hope that he has a good plan that he’s ready to release shortly, or else the Liberal Party of Canada is going to have much fun filling in the details for him.
In a sense it didn’t matter too much who won because both of the front runners were moral equals when it comes to the fundamental issues of life and marriage. Andrew Scheer would object and point out that he’s pro-life, but since he won’t act on the issue it really doesn’t matter that he believes as he does because the outcome will the same as if a pro-choice candidate had been victorious like Maxime Bernier. Further to that point this nation won’t be saved by politics or any particular politician. There’s only one who can save, Jesus Christ.
Anyway, lets focus on the positive. Brad Trost – a conservative who holds that life is sacred from conception to natural death – came fourth. FOURTH!! To the establishment of the Party that is satisfied with merely maintaining the status quo, and holding power: That won’t do. We won’t be satisfied.
Sorry, its not a post about our water quality which deserves a post for itself. This is about the Conservative Party of Canada leadership race. I want to share an interview that was done by Mark Steyn with Maxime Bernier.
Affectionately known as “Mad Max” by some of his supporters, he’s running a principled campaign based on mostly fiscal ideas that some people would label “Republican”, “laissez faire”, “trickle down economics”, or something like that. In his own words, his campaign is about freedom, personal responsibility, fairness, and respect.
If you want the government out of your life, and you want to pay less tax, and be more responsible for your welfare, then Max Bernier is your guy. He won’t rank at the top of my ballot for reasons to do with life and marriage (stop marching in Pride parades Max!!), but he’ll be close!!
As I said in the title, and as Mark Steyn said at the end of the interview, keep putting clear blue water between the Conservative Party and the Liberal Party of Canada. We’re never going to accomplish anything by trying to out-liberal the Liberal Party.