Aug 302018

Scheer and Bernier

Maxime Bernier, whose recent loss to Andrew Scheer for the leadership of the Conservative Party of Canada (CPC) precipitated an internal power struggle, dropped a political bomb just as the party was heading into its 2018 party convention in preparation for next year’s Canadian federal election.

That ‘bomb’ was not simply the fact of Bernier’s announced resignation from the CPC, which would have been serious enough. Nor was the ‘bomb’ his scathing judgement that the CPC was “intellectually and morally corrupt,” something rarely heard in Canadian circles – and coming from a past leadership contender for that same party – a devastating indictment.

However, the real political ‘bomb’ was Bernier’s announcement that he would start a new Canadian political party (as yet unnamed) – and lead it into next year’s federal election in the hopes of defeating both Canada’s ruling Liberal Party and opposition Conservative Party. The implications for Canadians are enormous and so is the potential opportunity – or obstacle -that a new Canadian political party represents to the electorate.

As a conservative who both appreciates the principled views of Maxime Bernier and the importance of political party unity, Andrew Lawton joins us for a discussion about the potential consequences of this incredible development. Having recently represented Ontario Premier Doug Ford’s Progressive Conservative Party in London West during Ontario’s last election, Andrew shares his views on the perpetual balancing act faced by political parties on the ‘right.’

From principle to process, the questions surrounding political party representation are eternal and fundamental: Should a party ‘lead’ the people or ‘follow’ the people? Should policies be based on Principle or on Pragmatism? Should a change in political direction be ‘binary’ and immediate, or ‘incremental’ and phased in?

Whatever one’s views on these matters, it will be fascinating to see if Maxime Bernier will become the political leader who can balance principle with pragmatism in a way that is Just Right.

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