A new political party: just what Canada doesn’t need
f all the things missing in Canadian politics, another party is not one of them.
And so Maxime Bernier’s new vanity party of the far right has no place to go but down and out.
With Bernier as leader that outcome is almost guaranteed. He doesn’t exactly bring a record of supreme accomplishments with him.
Neither is Bernier known for his weighty intellect, or his willingness to work 24/7 for a cause.
Here’s a quote from the Washington Post: The reaction to his decision from his fellow caucus members was unanimously negative. caucus ally says he has no plans to join the renegade Quebec MP’s new party.
Conservative MP Alex Nuttall played a key role in Bernier’s unsuccessful Conservative leadership campaign last year that saw him lose by the narrowest of margins to Andrew Scheer. And he’s continued to be a close ally of Bernier’s since then.
But Nuttall says he was elected as a Conservative and won’t even broach the idea of joining Bernier’s yet-to-be-formed party with his constituents, who narrowly elected him as MP for Barrie-SpringwaterOro-Medonte in 2015.
In addition, a majority of supporters who backed Bernier’s bid for the Conservative leadership have said they want nothing to do with his plan to start a new party.
That would seem to leave Bernier wandering in the political wilderness. Which is exactly where he belongs with this new dream.
Comparisons to other political movements in the country are inevitable. The one that comes to mind is the Reform Party of Preston Manning.
As much as it was formed in the wilderness of Alberta, it didn’t take long for it to become mainstream and eventually a major part of what is now the Conservative party.
Reform also was a right wing party that was formed in 1987.
Essentially it was a western Canada-based protest movement and eventually became a populist conservative party, with strong social conservative elements.
It was initially motivated by the perceived need for democratic reforms and by western Canadian discontent with the PCs under Brian Mulroney.
The party was directly succeeded by the Canadian Alliance in 2000, which merged with the current Conservative party in 2003.
Although such comparisons of political movements are interesting, there is little in Reform’s history that will be instructive to Bernier’s efforts.
Reform was able to tap into all that western discontent and feelings of alienation. Quebec, where Bernie has his base, thrives on feelings of alienation so much so that it even spawned a separatist party. In other words, there are lots of homes for the alienated. They aren’t just hanging around waiting for Bernier to get his party off the ground.
All in, there is little to worry about with Bernier and his fledgling political movement. And that’s a good thing since we have enough political machinations to worry about right now without it.