, 08.23.2018 09:55 AM

Boy, nobody saw this coming

Said no one.

What does it say about Consevatives? It says that they never ever change: Tea Party vs. Establishment Republicans, Reform vs. PCs, and so on and so on. Conservatives are always at war with themselves.

This also proves my Justin Trudeau theory, yet again: he may not be as smart as his Dad, he may not be as politically skilled as Chretien, he may not be as principled as Dion. But, Jesus, is he ever lucky.

When your main adversaries are The Mango Mussolini, Blandy Scheer, Mad Max and the Guy Who Leads the NDP, you can’t help but win.

67 Comments

  1. Eric Weiss says:

    So the party of racists, bigots and homophobes isn’t racist, bigoted and homophobic enough for him?

    • The Doctor says:

      Hey no sweeping generalization there.

      • Eric Weiss says:

        I was a Conservative before the reformers took over and turned them in to the GOP North. Not all Cons are racists, but all racists are Cons, and the current incarnation of that party has no problems playing footsie with them, and Sad Max’s latest dog whistle tweets on immigration and multi-culturalism to the Canadian alt-right tells me he’s going to be even worse.

        • The Doctor says:

          “All racists are cons?” That’s patently ridiculous. To take but one of many examples, you clearly know nothing of the blue-collar rural types who vote NDP in rural BC and Saskatchewan. Plenty of them are socially conservative and racist. Gerald Stanley? Ya think that none of those flatlanders making those racist posts on social media were NDP voters, in a province where the NDP is a huge force?

        • Pedant says:

          Why would a leftist be part of a Conservative Party? Doesn’t seem logical to me.

          Regarding immigration and multiculturalism : Max is simply asking what Canadians get out of it. He is right to ask since Canada has the highest immigration quota per capita in the Western world. I think taxpayers are owed an adult discussion on the issue.

          • J.H. says:

            I’m hearing there’s a poll coming showing Bernier leading both Trudeau and Scheer.
            Anybody?

      • Fred from BC says:

        He’s just following the hardcore ‘progressive’ playbook. You’re either a fellow progressive, or you are a racist, bigot and homophobe. It really is that simple, to the true ideologues.

        Now I know some people might view that as an overly-simplistic, childlike view of the world. Not me: I call it really damn convenient. Think of all the time you could save, Doc, debating political policy, discussing social viewpoints and arguing the merits of various solutions to the problems of society today. This way, you don’t have to actually *discuss* anything: every viewpoint contrary to your own is summarily dismissed, and your opponents simply labeled as ‘haters’!

        It’s genius, really.

        (if you have the stomach for it)

  2. Robert White says:

    Mad Maxime is justified in terms of attempting to unseat Blandy Scheer given the prospects of no Conservative upset victory over PM Trudeau next electoral round. Mad Maxime
    is posturing before CANADA’s population and he is stating that Scheer is a lackluster choice for governance. Is Mad Maxime right to split the Conservative Party in half histrionically as though he is having a temper tantrum like a petulant little kid strung out on sugar in contradistinction to the moribund leadership of Scheer?

    My King James Bible sez ‘a house divided will fall’.

    Let’s stand back and watch them implode en masse!

    Thanks, Mad Maxime!

    RW

  3. Derek Pearce says:

    I knew the guy had a healthy ego but wow! The National Post will sure be gnashing it’s teeth lol. Oh sorry, he’s not egotistical, he’s principled. Ahem.

    The Liberals must be rubbing their hands and jumping up and down with glee today. As a mostly-Liberal but always firmly left voter, this gives me some bit of calm re the election next year.

    Let the right-wing squabbling begin! Commencer!

    • Chris says:

      That’s what Wynne’s Liberals thought after the Brown Fiasco. Granted, Trudeau is currently tied for the lead in polls whereas Wynne was universally unloved. But things change in politics, and 14 months is an eternity until then next election. Ask the Alberta NDP. Ask Doug Ford.

      • Derek Pearce says:

        The Alberta NDP faces a newly *united* not split-apart right wing. The Wynne Liberals, apart from being passed their best before date, never faced a split vote among conservatives even after the Brown ouster. Go read the comments under articles at the National Post. There are a lot of Max True Believers who are easily defecting.

  4. Luke says:

    Oh I do wonder what is going through Stephen Harper’s mind right about now.

    • Robert White says:

      Stephen Harper’s mind is likely preoccupied right now over whether he should do more bong tokes, or have another triple vodka?

      Personally, I think his brain is better off with the bong tokes as long as he is in Alberta and can buy good BC bud.

      HarpyCONs should just chill out on some good bud & tunes IMHO.

      RW

    • Pedant says:

      You have to wonder whether Harper is currently trying to talk Bernier out of it. I can’t imagine he’d stay silent on this, at least not behind the scenes anyway.

      • Michael B says:

        Harper is the father of “Divide the Right”. In fact, he fell in line with Manning when the PCs were actually in power. For that matter, he wrote a policy paper calling for the opposition to any legislation which changed the ethnic makeup of Canada. Sounds to me like Harper invented Maxime Bernier in his lab.

        • Matt says:

          Harper was also smart enough to realize a divided right could never win power.

          • Fred from BC says:

            Exactly. That’s the gist of it in one sentence.

            He unified the right (no easy feat keeping the hardcore Reformers in check) and ran as Conservative a government as he could. I (and many others, I’m sure) often wished he could have done more, but he was a practical man and a realist.

            First thing you need to recognize about governing Canada? It’s not a naturally ‘conservative’ country; America is, Canada isn’t…that’s just a fact. That’s also why the so-called “Progressive Conservatives” won power as often as they did despite being nothing more than the Liberal-lite party (much to the chagrin of the real conservatives. That’s why the PCs finally failed: the country just didn’t need two Liberal parties.

            Now it’s happening again.

            The CPC under Stephen Harper made me proud to be Canadian again. The party wisely backed off social issues like abortion and gay marriage and just let the issues play out themselves (without abrogating their responsibility to the court system. We became a player on the world stage again and influenced other western nations in ways that we couldn’t before. We brought ‘common sense’ policies and thinking to issues like climate change and the middle east. We made a difference in the world.

            Despite all that, the Liberals even now try to label Stephen Harper as some kind of radical alt-right ideologue. Sad, really. He did a lot for us.

          • Michael B says:

            Then why did he divide it?

        • Gord Tulk says:

          The PCPC was a broken party with a useless constitution and policy process. The reform party broke from that and rebuild the Conservative movement on a sound constitution that respects the grassroots (something the LPC still hasn’t done). Once that was done the CPC, the sask party and the UCPA have taken their places.

          • Miles Lunn says:

            Most voters care little about internal party politics and the problem with making a party more grassroots as usually those who get involved in parties are not those near the political middle where elections are won and lost, but rather those furthest from the centre. They may be the most committed, but are also a turnoff to the vast majority of voters. Abacus had a recent poll on this and it showed 83% wanted the Conservatives to be less socially conservative while 77% wanted the NDP to be more fiscally conservative so although on twitter and amongst party activists most may be firmly left wing or firmly right wing depending on the party, amongst the general public, most are close to the centre and want parties that are pragmatic and willing to compromise not to stick to ideology come hell or high water.

  5. Jack says:

    Lolololololololololol.

    Hear that? It’s the 90s/early 2000s knocking on the CPC’s HQ doors.

    • Canada Joe says:

      So says the liberals and what came next for them?

      What’s Dion and Iggy up to these days? Or Paul Martin?

      • jack says:

        A gigantic majority for the much, much reviled Justin Trudeau and the subsequent cannibalizing of the Conservative party, again.

        What are Stockwell Day, Harper, Manning, MacKay, up to these days? Can’t imagine Harper is too happy watching his unity project fall apart.

    • The Doctor says:

      There’s also this pattern of right leaning and nationalist Quebecers having this not-very-committed relationship with the PC/Conservative Party. It happened big-time under Mulroney, what with Lucien Bouchard etc. etc.

      I think also that a lot of us, myself definitely included, don’t really understand Bernier all that well and what makes him tick. Some of his economic views are perfectly justifiable, for example. I’m with him on supply management for example. But I just don’t understand why so many people go ballistic on this diversity issue. But I guess I just don’t share their existential cultural insecurity.

      • jack says:

        You’re absolutely right about the PC/CPC history with Quebecois nationalism.

        However, what makes Max tick is simple: his ego.

        I sincerely doubt that diversity is something he gives a shit about discussing in good faith. He undoubtedly has xenophobic beliefs, but he’s motivated by his own self-importance more than anything.

        The problem is, Bernier is right: there are enough conservatives who agree with his views and that is why his splintering from the CPC is consequential. Bernier is cynically exploiting a problem that conservatives have been ignoring for decades and that is the party’s proclivity towards giving xenophobia enough oxygen to feel at home in the party. Which was a huge factor in their 2015 loss.

        While it entertaining to watch the CPC stumble over itself, this could have been avoided if the party had actually been sincere about changing its approach on inclusion after 2015.

  6. Linda McAuley says:

    Good grief!!! This is history repeating itself!
    How about the last election in Alberta that had disgruntled Conservatives split off to the Wild Rose Party.
    Divided vote ensued. AND AN NDP MAJORITY!
    Can you imagine it happening federally!!!!
    I can.

    • Gord says:

      Not quite. Wildrose formed the official opposition to the PCs after the 2012 election. Prentice actually tried to ‘unite the right’ and succeeded in convincing most of the Wildrose caucus (including the leader) to cross the floor to the PCs. It wasn’t so much that the right-wing vote was split in 2015 – rather, the Tory vote dropped by 15% and the Wildrose vote dropped by 10% while the NDP vote shot up by 30%. No way to explain this other than to say a whole heck of a lot of people who previously voted Wildrose/PC voted NDP in 2015.

      • Gord Tulk says:

        85% of Albertans – including a majority of those who voted NDP – did not want an NDP majority. That they did was a complete black swan event.

        The next election will see a massive majority for a new Conservative party that will the distinction of having THE most conservative policy platform AND leader to be elected in CANADIAN HISTORY.

        • Miles Lunn says:

          Not so sure. The UCP will likely win, but not as big a blowout as some think. Lets remember Harper got 59.5% in Alberta in 2015 and it is very unlikely the UCP will get that, even the combined 52% will be a challenge. In 2012 they had a choice between the more ideologically pure Wildrose Party and more centrist Progressive Conservatives and they choose the latter. In 2015, when Albertans decided it was time for change they swung leftward not rightwards. In fact amongst the PC voters, many had the Alberta Party or Liberals as their second choice not the Wildrose and likewise many Wildrose supporters had NDP as second choice. Alberta may be Canada’s most conservative province, but it is not your Texas of the north, its still fairly moderate and would be a blue state if in the US. If the UCP goes too far to the right, they just might help re-elect the NDP or at least will be a one term wonder. Polls show Albertans want a slightly right of centre party, but most want social issues put to bed, support keeping the progressive tax structure rather than returning to a flat tax, and oppose massive spending cuts to health care and education. Most do however want lower taxes for the lower and middle class as well as the government to have a plan to balance the budget in a reasonably short time.

  7. Pedant says:

    An NDP MP has just stated in the House that it was wrong of the Immigration Minister to say that public opinion must be considered when calculating immigration quotas. Not that the Liberals do that anyway, what with fully HALF of Canadians wanting the breaks put on an immigration intake that is the highest in the Western world per capita. Not counting the border crossers who arrived at Trudeau’s personal invitation. Regardless, we’re apparently at the point where just asking “what’s in it for Canadians?” has become verboten.

    Why am I mentioning this in a thread about Bernier possibly forming his own party? Simply that the political class, in ignoring and deriding the legitimate concerns of ordinary Canadian taxpayers, are forcing the unheard/unwashed into new political vehicles. If Bernier creates a libertarian/mainstream party that speaks to them, better that than have them turn to fringe extremist organizations, wouldn’t you say? Yes it might well give the PM another term but our political discourse would benefit.

    • Pedant,

      I’ve been out since 2009 but it really does make me wonder how much stage presence Max still has in Quebec? Will this go over as a lead balloon, or will the majority of Quebec CPC members go with Bernier? Hope someone here can give me a credible answer. Thanks.

    • Gord says:

      Nah, better to call people who have legitimate concerns about illegal immigration (ahem, excuse me, “irregular border crossings”) racists and “deplorables”. That strategy worked like a charm south of the border.

  8. Warren,

    Well, yes and No. No serious observer can credibly suggest that the long-festering Chrétien vs. Martin feud has been put to bed — principally, because no one WANTS to put it to bed…

    It doesn’t take a genius to recognize Justin’s deliberate choice to hang with the Martinites. So, our party is no smarter than the Conservatives.

    • Donald Derby says:

      Good comments and I really liked the Abbott and Costello remark about the NDP leader. (Who’s on first?)

    • Derek Pearce says:

      That’s inside baseball/north of the Queensway stuff that the wider electorate doesn’t care about, the internal feuding had little to do with why Harper eventually won in 2006. Here we’re talking about a split into actual separate parties competing for votes. It may not end up 90s redux but it sure looks like it will. Fine by me.

  9. Matt says:

    Two words:

    Selfish prick.

    All he’s done is bitch and moan since he lost the leadership.

    Michelle Rempel made a statement a few days ago. Bernier needed to decide who he wanted to win in 2019. Them or Trudeau.

    Seems he’s chosen Trudeau.

    • Fred from BC says:

      “Two words:

      Selfish prick.”

      I tend to agree. I’m with The Doc on ‘supply management’ and am saddened that Canada will now have *no one* speaking out against this, but Max just isn’t a team player. I liked his Libertarian bent, but he did come with a bit of baggage.

    • Pedant says:

      Oh sure. It’s all Bernier’s fault. Nothing to do with Scheer incorporating the sum total of zero policies from the Bernier camp into the party’s policy book, thereby alienating the 49% of party members who wanted a more libertarian, less “Liberal-lite”, option in the leadership race.

      Scheer won the leadership by barely 51% thanks to some privileged Quebec farmers taking out CPC memberships at the last minute. With this extremely weak mandate he then sidelined the views of half the party. The end result is what we see today.

      I’m not happy to see the conservative forces fractured (AGAIN), but I can understand the frustration.

      • Matt says:

        I know quite a few people in the CPC, a couple of whom are not particularly fond of Scheer. They insist Bernier was invited, repeatedly, to submit policy idea’s based on his views since Scheer won leadership. Not just saying “end supply management”, but put fort detailed plans to do it and limit possible political blowback. Bernier, repeatedly, ignored them submitting nothing.

      • Fred from BC says:

        Hey, I said at the time that Bernier was my pick of the available candidates (the best ones, sadly, weren’t interested in the job).

        I was as shocked as anyone at the outcome, but that doesn’t mean I would react by attempting to split the party in half; we’ve seen that play out here in BC, and it is the very reason we don’t have a BC Conservative Party in anything more than name only.

        Maybe Max won’t get much support and this won’t hurt the party too much, but I wouldn’t bet on it. If Andrew Scheer really was pushed over the top by the money and influence of Quebec dairy farmers on the condition that he not oppose ‘supply management’, he has lost any support he might have gotten from me.

    • terence quinn says:

      Matt, did he really lose the leadership or was there some ballot stuffing t ensure Scheer won?

  10. Sean says:

    what a f#$king joke… JT now guaranteed majorities for the next 10 years. Why even hold the elections?

    • David_M says:

      I don’t know about that Sean. The electorate’s appetite for change has caused the pendulum swing too far twice now recently. There was no reason to hand Trudeau a big majority any more than there was reason to hand Ford a big majority.
      Frankly, I would have preferred minority mandate outcomes for both.
      It’s a quirk of our electoral system.
      Now we have federal Liberals and Ontario Provincial Conservatives acting like they were given carte blanche when they actually weren’t.
      The voters will respond eventually. We won’t have Trudeau and Ford in power forever, not even for ten years.
      We just have to hope all parties learn how to select better leaders.

  11. pierre lawayne says:

    Overheard in a coffee shop:)

    The world’s biggest liar walks into a bar and orders a diet coke. The bartender says “Get it yourself, I don’t feel so great today.”

  12. Greyapple says:

    On the other hand, this could be a net win for Sheer. It removes a millstone from around his neck, and deprives the Liberals of rhetorical bludgeon against the Tories. (“See, that xenophobic, anti-immigrant, economic crank has left the party, and never spoke for us.”)

    A Tory victory in 2019 was a long shot anyway. It remains to be seen whether Max’s new party get much in the way of support. If it takes off, getting 5-10%, then yes Sheer and Co. are in trouble, but if it only proves a fringe, then they should be fine. If the polling is close in 2019, Sheer could make the argument that a vote for the Max Party is a vote for Justin.

    So perhaps this is short term pain, long term gain; or perhaps I’m being far to generous. Given Trudeau’s boundless luck, probably the latter.

  13. Matt says:

    Heard from a couple this afternoon.

    1) Bernier has had this plan since he lost the leadership and has be quietly been trying to get select current CPC MP’s to join him. I’m told he hasn’t been having much success.

    2) Bernier had a very testy phone conversation with Scheer last week and agreed to stop tweeting until after the convention. Bernier was back on twitter an hour after that conversation.

    3) Several CPC MP’s, presumably those he tried to recruit talked with him over the last few days and he gave them his word he wouldn’t do this before the convention.

  14. Jack McLeod says:

    An address to a post I submitted long ago and reversed. Is Andrew |Sheer a Harper conservative or a Joe Clark conservative?

  15. Matt says:

    Stephen Harper
    @stephenharper
    50m
    It is clear that Max never accepted the result of the leadership vote and seeks only to divide Conservatives. His decision today allows the Conservative Party of Canada to move forward united behind our Leader @AndrewScheer.
    View details

  16. Don Johnson says:

    we will see… I am not sure Max commands a significant level of support for this move, his run in the last leadership race notwithstanding

  17. Kelly says:

    Bernier used to head an economic think tank. He’s seen the numbers and he knows Canada depends on immigration and diversity to compete in a hyper-complex global economy (and it is global and will stay so because that’s the direction the money flows). He’s demonstrating that he’s little more than a cynic in a shiny suit. He sensed how weak the Conservative party is and tried to make some moves. Eels like him don’t belong anywhere near power. Why would anyone fall for his bullshit?

  18. Liam Young says:

    Thank Jeebus this has happened and let’s hope the CONservatives don’t have the fortitude to take him down.
    It’ll translate to the good old days of the CRAP (Conservative, Reform, Alliance Parties) mish mash with no one getting elected by the Liberals and the odd NDPer.

    • Fred from BC says:

      There was never any such thing as a Conservative Reform Alliance Party. That was a ‘fake news’ story that the CBC got suckered by and was forced to apologize for (look it up: Google is your friend). Only real losers still repeat this tired old lie…

      • Mohammed says:

        This is not true. The delegates to the united alternative convention in late February 2000 voted on a party name. The winning party name (after a convuluted and error prone voting process) was “Canadian conservative reform alliance”.

        The next day, after being mocked in the press and by PM Jean Chretien, the name was changed to Canadian reform conservative alliance.

        The party was not formally registered until later in March, under the revised name. But delegates clearly voted for the excrement moniker, probably unknowingly, and used that name for a day.

        • Fred from BC says:

          I’m going to suggest a Reading Comprehension course for you, Mohammed. It’s RIGHT THERE IN FRONT OF YOU:

          Liam Young’s initial lie:

          “It’ll translate to the good old days of the CRAP (Conservative, Reform, Alliance Parties)”

          Your ineptly attempted defense of it:

          “The winning party name (after a convoluted and error prone voting process) was “Canadian conservative reform alliance”.”

          Do you see the word “Party” a anywhere in that title?

          No, you do not. The word PARTY was never part of it. Ever. That was THE LIE. The CBC got sucked in and initially reported it as fact that, then were forced to “correct” the story after the fact and clarify that the word “Party” was never included.

          (…and quite obviously, since “Alliance” and “Party” are synonyms in this case. Anyone with even a rudimentary education would know that.)

          • Art says:

            Calm yourself Fred. Just because someone makes fun of your political preferences don’t take it so personally.

  19. whyshouldIsellyourwheat says:

    The mainstream media gave a megaphone to Kellie Leitch and Maxime Bernier when they were members of the Conservative Party, because it helped Trudeau. Now that Bernier is outside the Conservative Party, it helps Trudeau less for the mainstream media to give Bernier a megaphone,

    Scheer is going to be running on repealing the carbon tax, while the xenophobes will be with Bernier.

    Trudeau can’t use that bogeyman against Scheer like he was planning to. Because focusing on Bernier’s issues rather than the pocketbook issues that Scheer is going to run on will not help Trudeau.

    Bernier didn’t run his leadership campaign on xenophobia. Leitch did and got 7%. So Bernier’s jump on the xenophobia horse seems rather misguided.

  20. William R Morrison says:

    So only one person here thinks this is good for the Conservatives because it takes away one of Trudeau’s weapons that he was planning to beat them over the head with till the next election? The anti-immigration guy is gone. Isn’t that good for the Conservatives?

    • Miles Lunn says:

      If the Conservatives play their cards right it could work in their favour, but the biggest danger is wanting to keep the right united the party will move rightwards thus losing the centrist voters they need to the Liberals. Whatever right wing loons leave, there are far more votes in the centre to pick up so if the party tacks closer to the centre it will work in their favour, but if they move further to the right it will not.

  21. Miles Lunn says:

    I think it is too early to really say how this will go, but my gut instinct is Bernier’s party will get less than 1% of the popular vote and Trudeau will get another term and no not due to vote splitting, but rather a weak NDP combined with Conservatives failure to pick up enough Blue Liberals and Red Tory swing voters. For all those who point to the split in Alberta and federally in the 90s, lets remember splits that went nowhere, like Jack MacLaren’s defection to the Trillium Party and how the PCPO still won the election anyways and his former riding too. Or how about the BC Conservatives, yet that didn’t stop Christy Clark from winning in 2013 and when they only recruited 10 candidates in 2017, the BC Liberal vote still went down anyways.

    This suggests to me the fringe right are loud and noisy, but their actual support is fairly limited. The main thing standing in the way of Conservatives forming government is too many Canadians still think they are too right wing (very few think they are not right wing enough) and so if they want to win, they are going to have to upset their base to pick up the middle of the road voters they need.

    • Matt says:

      Bernier’s party doesn’t need to get a lot of votes.

      Hell he doesn’t even need to run anything close to a full slate of candidates.

      He could put his candidates in ridings where the CPC won in 2015 by 1000 or 1500 votes. His party could suck up those votes and boom, Lib candidate wins.

      • Miles Lunn says:

        True, but if he gets lets say 2%, blaming him for a loss is silly as swings between elections are often much larger than that so the party would be better to figure out how they couldn’t pick up another 2% from the Liberal-Tory swingers voters than him. In 2013 in BC, the BC Conservatives got just under 5%, but didn’t stop the BC Liberals from being re-elected so while a small showing could hurt them if close its not insurmountable. If in double digits that is a different story.

  22. James Smith says:

    I think the closer analogy is Paul Hellyer’s Canadian Action Party. Mr Hellyer is an interesting fellow, with a lot more credibility amongst Canadians but his new party never took off and really made no impact in any election.

  23. Sean says:

    Absolutely incredible. Max is a loose cannon much like Adam Vaughn . The difference is Vaughn doesn’t have the ability to speak or text. In grammatically correct English nor the intelligence to put together a plan such as starting his own party. This truly is the era of the loose cannon, the ceremonial prime minister, and transformative waves of irregulars. Once again, maybe we are too dumb to survive.

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