Updated on: 2018-09-06
Changes have been made with respect to a recent statement released by the Libertarian Party of Canada (LPoC). In our prior version, The Post Millennial claimed that Maxime Bernier and the LPoC were in the “late stages” of a merger. These comments did not accurately describe the reality of the situation and have been removed to better represent the current stage of dialogue. We apologize for any complications for Mr. Bernier or the Libertarian Party of Canada which have resulted from the piece.
Maxime Bernier has taken the Canadian political world by storm since his departure from the Conservative party. Now, he might be ready to drop another bombshell.
Tim Moen, the leader of the Libertarian Party of Canada, has put the question of a potential party merger under the leadership of Maxime Bernier to party members.
When addressing party members at a Regional Meeting in Red Deer, Albert, Moen spoke of handing the reins over to Bernier if the members voted to do so. He quite clearly stated that he was “happy” to drop his personal political ambitions for a unified liberty vote.
“We are having conversations with Max, and the question is going to be posed to the membership,” said Tim Moen
A potential win-win situation
So, what does Maxime Bernier get out of this? If the merger were to take place, he will have an already established infrastructure to build upon.
The Libertarian Party of Canada ran 72 candidates across the country in 2015 and have fielded candidates in several by-elections since
Maxime Bernier has great momentum right now. He started polling at 13% right out of the gate, and has made it up to 17% in popular support nationwide as reported by Nanos most recently.
All of this is meaningless in a Canadian federal election if you don’t have a fully staffed and effective political party since there are 338 ridings to run in, each requiring a candidate.
Co-opting the Libertarians ensures that Bernier would reach the full quota of MPs and have the base of staff and volunteers built up over the years.
What do the Libertarians get? Publicity and a chance to affect Canadian politics.
Since their inception in 1973, the Libertarians have never held a seat in federal parliament, with Bernier’s new party that should change in 2019. For the first time, libertarian issues might be discussed in the House of Commons all thanks to Maxime Bernier.
Who are the big losers?
This is beginning to look like Andrew Scheer’s worst nightmare.
His ‘don’t rock the boat’ and the branding of room-temperature milk was designed to be seen as reasonable compared to Justin Trudeau’s 2019 re-election campaign ‘vote for me or else you’re racist’ angle.
However, seeing a strong challenge from some centre-right principlists might spell disaster for the Conservatives. It exposes one of the Conservative party’s biggest fears, saying reasonable conservative things out loud.
If this merger goes through, that means that Andrew Scheer can no longer just dismiss Maxime Bernier as a sore loser, he might become his strongest opponent.
With Mad Max reaching 17% in potential support without a party yet to be announced, one has to imagine that this merger would only push that number higher.
Politics is a crazy game and a few great moves by Bernier, or a big mistake from Scheer, and Bernier could find himself polling as the official opposition heading into 2019.
If that happens, the Conservatives will have a very tough question to answer: How long will the perception hold that voting for Bernier is just a protest vote? Because if that levee breaks, it is all over for Andrew Scheer’s conservatives.
What do you think? Let us know by commenting below.