Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Tuesday May 16, 2023
Maxime Bernier’s PPC and its potential impact on the Conservative Party
The People’s Party of Canada (PPC) and its leader Maxime Bernier are making headlines again, with Bernier announcing his candidacy in a coming byelection in rural Manitoba. He has called the vote a “two-horse race” between himself and a “fake conservative”, suggesting that he sees the Conservative party as his main competition.
The PPC’s showing in the last federal election suggests that Bernier’s prediction may not be too far off. In Portage-Lisgar, where the byelection will be held, the PPC candidate received 22% of the vote. While that may not seem like a significant portion, it is enough to potentially split the right-wing vote and give the Liberals or the NDP a better chance of winning the seat.
The PPC’s rise has been a concern for the Conservative party since Bernier split from the party in 2018. Since then, Bernier has been a vocal critic of the Conservatives, accusing them of being no different from the Liberals and NDP. He has also rallied against what he sees as Canada’s moral and cultural degeneracy, which he believes has been worsened by the pandemic.
Despite his criticisms, Bernier has not indicated any plans to merge with the Conservatives. Instead, he has compared the PPC to the former Reform Party, saying he has learned from their mistakes. However, the possibility of vote-splitting remains a real concern for the Conservatives in upcoming elections.
While it remains to be seen how the PPC will perform in the next federal election, it is clear that they are a force to be reckoned with. Whether they will be the deciding factor in future races or merely a footnote remains to be seen, but their influence on Canadian politics should not be underestimated. (AI)