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Maxime would minimize his & Scheer’s chances

Posted in Featured, View Point

Published on September 03, 2018 with No Comments

Last week Maxime Bernier serving as a Member of Parliament for the Quebec riding of Beauce and having a unique distinction of getting elected four times with a majority of vote decided that his innings with Conservative Party was over. Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer was under pressure from his other caucus colleagues who have been asking him to get a senior leader Maxime to toe the party lines. It has been not easy task for Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer to take any action against a follow colleague who has served as Minister of Industry, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Minister of State for Small Business and Tourism in the cabinet of Prime Minister of Stephen Harper. In addition Maxime Bernier ran the 2017 Conservative Party leadership election and came a close second with over 49% of the vote in the 13th round after leading the eventual winner Andrew Scheer in the first 12 rounds. Scheer by all means was trying to avoid any confrontation with Maxime Bernier. On August 23th citing disagreements with Scheer’s leadership,  Maxime Bernier announced he would be leaving the Conservatives to form his own party based on libertarian principles that will field a full slate of 338 candidates for the 2019 election. A blessing in disguise for the moment for Scheer and a bold, yet unplanned move by Maxime Bernier. Will this blessing last a long? May be not!

Prior to his departure, Maxime Bernier went on to twitter and virtually cited the reason for his being upset with the party. He criticized “extreme multiculturalism” because it will “divide us into little tribes.” He tweeted that identity politics is “ divisive and destructive” and that Canadians need a “unifying identity” based on “shared values”.  While his assertion that too much emphasis on diversity can create division may find mixed reactions, however his plan to launch a party is an act of political division –splitting the Conservative party.

Looking at his track record, Bernier does have some degree of popularity. However, his assertion that his new party will be able to make a dent in Canada politics is far from reality. Perhaps he could have take a lesson the books of history. In the federal elections of 1993, 1997 and 2000, there were two centre-right parties: the Progressive Conservatives and the Reform Party, which later became the Canadian Alliance. The splitting of the conservative vote only resulted in three majority governments of Liberal party with Jean Chretien playing a major role in all.

Since his leadership campaign that took him so close to the leading the Conservative party but still couldn’t crown him, Maxime Bernier has been keeping himself away from the party but all this time he has been criticizing his own party. Conservative leader Andrew Scheer put his attempts to get Maxime Bernier back into party fold as missed attempts.  “As shadow minister for innovation, he was given every opportunity to come to the table with his ideas and apply them to policy. He never did.” Bernier got an opportunity to influence the party’s policy making but he didn’t make a fair attempt.

If Bernier is successful in launching a new national party, he would be creating a situation that would neither make him nor Scheer the Prime Minister for obvious reasons.  Canada doesn’t have enough voters who are centre right-Conservatives have not been able to secure more than 40% of votes since the 2015 elections. Hence, even if the new party to be floated by Maxime Bernier gets five percent of the total votes, it would only make a Liberal a Prime Minister.

 

 

 

 

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