A new po­lit­i­cal party: just what Canada doesn’t need

Wiarton Echo - - FORUM -

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.


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