Nearly a year and a half ago, the federal conservative party was entangled in its leadership race. In the final round of voting, Andrew Scheer was declared the victor with 50.95% of the vote, leaving his opponent, Maxime Bernier, at a slim loss with 49.05%.
Now, on August 23rd, Maxime announced that he is leaving the Conservative Party of Canada in order to form his own party. He names various reasons for the departure on his campaign website. He criticized his former party, stating that it has “all but abandoned its core conservative principles.” His reasons ranged from disagreements on supply management policy and NAFTA negotiations to the party’s refusal to discuss issues surrounding multiculturalism and identity politics out of fear for controversy.
Scheer’s response in regards to Bernier’s departure was that “he has traded an opportunity to influence policy in government for his own personal ambition.” He went on to state that Bernier was given every opportunity to propose his ideas within the party, but refused to do so, and that all he’s going to accomplish is help Justin Trudeau get re-elected in 2019. He went on to stress party unity during the party’s convention in Halifax in late August.
In a poll conducted by Abacus Data only three days after Bernier’s announcement, they found that, out of a sample of 1000 citizens, 13% would vote for Bernier’s party were the elections held tomorrow. Will this end up as only a symbolic split amongst conservatives or the initial splashes of a new political wave upon Canada?
Victor Angelo De Vasconcelos
Originally Published in Bandersnatch Vol. 48 Issue 1 on September 12, 2018