Category Archives: Conservatives

Interesting Day

#1 UK Election. Polling puts Boris 9.5 points up. But “polling” ain’t what it used to be and national polls in a 600+ seat race are more than a little useless. Boris is counting on voters a) wanting the end of the waffling on Brexit, b) not wanting Corbyn anywhere near Number 10. I think he is right on Brexit but I am less convinced that Corbyn is that toxic. Corbyn is certainly anathema to the old-time conservative voter, but to the kids, the ethnics and the tribal, Corbyn is not so scary. In fact, his old school Marxism and refusal to condemn terrorists, whether Irish or Islamic, puts him in stark contrast to the smoother, Blairite, Labourites. Corbyn is not a moderate and there is a sizable fraction of the voting population who will see that as a good thing. We’ll know soon.

#2 The Impeachment Follies. The Democrat’s lame attempt to impeach President Trump has dropped any pretence of bi-partisanship or basic procedural fairness. The articles themselves disclose no crimes, high or low, and are being torn apart in Committee. This weekend I suspect the GOP will be aggressive in attempts to get more moderate Democratic Representatives to either vote against or abstain when the Articles come before the full House. Given that the chances of the Senate convicting, never very good to begin with, collapse with these weak accusations, smart Democrats are surely looking for a way out. Censure is one alternative. Another is to actually defeat the Articles as they stand.

The biggest problem the Democrats have is that Trump is absolutely sure he did nothing wrong and nothing that the Democrats have managed to come up with shakes that position. Worse, the eternally combative Trump actually seems to be enjoying the process. He always knew he would be impeached if the Dems got control of the House and so he is well prepared to counter punch. The GOP may find Trump distasteful but they have rallied round and there is no appetite, on the Articles at least, to impeach a sitting President eleven months from an election.

It is great fun, however, watching the Republicans on the Committee bringing up Hunter Biden’s coke habits and uttering the taboo name of the “whistleblower” who wasn’t. Apparently, the betting is that Mitch McConnell wants any trial in the Senate to be short and sweet with very little investigation or exposure of the Democrats or the deep state they represent. However, the Congressional Republicans are having a grand time smearing the Bidens and underscoring the Democrat’s arrogant disregard for even the minimum procedural fairness. I can imagine Nancy Pelosi hoping that toad Nadler will get this over with quickly.

#3 Andrew Scheer. I didn’t vote for Scheer and I have no interest in the man. His resignation from the CPC leadership for whatever reason is a reasonable outcome of a disastrous campaign. His unfitness to lead was underscored by his willingness to hire Warren “Lying Jackal” Kinsella to go after Bernier with a bogus PPC=Racist campaign.

The CPC will now go through a year or two of trying to figure out how to “move to the center”. How to win the hearts and minds of assorted urban ethnic groups and how to appeal to women. They have plenty of mushy, urban, centerists – of both sexes and all genders – to choose from.

Unfortunately, the likely criteria for winning the CPC leadership will be a) can beat Trudeau, b) will not scare the ethnics, gays, ladies and the easily spooked Millenials. The idea that there might actually be conservative principles such as balanced budgets, limits on immigration, respect for provincial rights and support for a growing Canadian economy, will be largely absent from the CPC beauty contest coming to a city near you.

This is, frankly, a huge opportunity for the Peoples Party and Max Bernier. The brain trust at the CPC, fresh from its success in hiring Warren Kinsella, is going to go all in for the reddest, most inclusive, most climate friendly leader it can possibly find. The logic will be that you have to win in Toronto and places like Alberta and Saskatchewan are always going to be safe CPC territory.

Max needs to present a principled, conservative, platform and start rallying the real conservatives on the Prairies, in the interior of British Columbia and in the many parts of Ontario, Quebec and the Maritimes where Liberals and Liberals-lite are unwelcome options.

Could have had Max…and there is no reason why we can’t.

Update: So Boris won bigly. A working majority, many seats taken from Labour. Corbynism rejected and the pound went parabolic. Corbyn manage to lose bigger than Michael Foot – who was a lot smarter and far more fun, though deeply on the left. Momentum is saying it was a “Brexit” election and they are not wrong. But it was a rejection of Corbyn’s waffle on Brexit and his radical leftist positions and the base anti-Semitism the Labour party has fallen victim to. It was also an embrace of the intelligence and wit of Boris. Now he has his own mandate. He can get Brexit done and move on to the real issues facing the United Kingdom.

Andrew Scheer remains “resigned” (eventually). The red and pink Tories are lining up to take the position. The possible candidates are all of pinkish hue and interest me not a bit. I don’t think you beat the Liberals by being a slo-mo Liberal. Max has a huge opportunity.

But the winner of the interesting day was Jerry Nadler adjourning the Judiciary Committee without a vote on the Articles of Impeachment. The scuttlebutt is that he did this to ensure he gets on TV when the Committee passes those Articles.

Perhaps.

Or perhaps Nancy Pelosi has been counting votes and realizes that those Articles enjoy a bare majority of votes in the House. Or worse. They are remarkably dumb and Pelosi has noticed that Trump seems to be saying, “Oh please, Mr. Fox, don’t throw me into the brambles.”

Trump, along with Boris, likes jokes. He enjoys making fun and he has a fabulous sense of humour. It is one of the things which distinguishes the happy warriors on the right from the earnest, po-faced, scolds of the left.

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Kinsella and the CPC

Warren Kinsella, Lying Jackal, CPC, PPC, Max Bernier, Andrew Scheer
Jackal taking down a Scheer

Last week the CBC released a tape recording (well I have to bet phone actually) of Warren Kinsella coaching his troops at his company Daisy. He pointed out that he had painted various conservative politicians as racists in the past and that he would do the same thing with a real racist in the form of Maxime Bernier. He counselled hatred as a communications strategy. And so on. I am neither shocked or surprised at the tape’s contents. Kinsella has been practising this sort of “kick-ass politics” for decades. Anyone who follows Canadian politics knows exactly what sort of slime Kinsella and those associated with him are.

Which means Andrew Scheer, his campaign staff and the cheque writers at the CPC knew exactly what they were getting when they hired the Jackal to dirty up Max Bernier and the PPC. They wanted Kinsella’s brand of nasty, deceitful, underhanded political hackery and, apparently, they got it.

The sheer lack of ethics and paranoia hiring the Jackal demonstrates pretty much proves that Scheer is not fit to lead the CPC or to be Prime Minister. A fact which is dawning on the CPC itself as it struggles to figure out what to do with their present leader. Before Kinsellagate it was possible to say that Scheer was a decent, if uninspiring, leader. Now? It is indecent to hire a political mobster to beat up your opponents. Which leaves Scheer as merely uninspiring. I would be astonished if he survives a leadership review.

The revelation of Kinsella’s filth may sink Scheer but it burnishes Bernier’s reputation. Virtually all the accusations of “racism” levelled against the PPC and Max personally either were manufactured by Kinsella or occurred in a climate of hate created by the Jackal. I have never seen a credible accusation and now we have a pretty good idea why.

The PPC, even with Kinsella’s disinformation campaign, secured over 300,000 votes from a standing start a year before the election. If the CPC tears itself apart with a red/blue fight, a lot of thoughtful, conservative, people will give the PPC a second look. Conservative MPs looking for an alternative to the nastiness and vindictiveness of the Scheer people might well be tempted to join the PPC. Max had a lot of caucus support for his CPC leadership run. He was careful not to unfairly attack conservative positions, rather, during the campaign, he attacked CPC positions which were, in fact, Liberal-lite positions.

Political pundits, as they do after every election in which the Conservatives fail to win government, solemnly inform us that it was because the Conservatives failed to move towards the middle. The fact that only 30-35% of Canadians are even a bit right-leaning is trotted out to show how impossible it is for the Conservatives to win government unless they move left. I think this analysis is entirely incorrect. A solid, right of center party which had libertarian social views would hold that 30-35%. From there it is simply a matter of finding 3-5% in carefully targetted ridings. To do that a party would have to come up with policies which, while conservative, do not alienate middle-class voters, immigrant communities and women.

I don’t think there is a chance the CPC will manage that simply because they are too tied to establishment politics in Canada. Yeah multi-culti, boo climate change only echos the Liberal Party’s bland formula for success.

Proposing a real energy policy with the objective of reducing families’ energy costs would be a real differentiator. Taking a harder line on illegal immigration and fraudulent refugee claims could win a lot of votes. Especially if Scheer or his successor continue down the Liberal-lite path.

Most importantly, Scheer hiring Kinsella gives the PPC an ethical stick to whack the CPC with. It is always easy to attack the Liberals’ ethics, but now Scheer has proven that the CPC is really no better. The PPC should be talking about bringing ethics, trust and the rule of law back into politics. Max should just hammer Scheer and his gunsel Kinsella.

300,000 votes, candidates in every riding, was an amazing start. Now Scheer has handed Max a huge opportunity. I am hoping he takes full advantage and, in the process, kills off the Frankenstein creation which is the CPC.

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Nickel a KWH

Poor, stunned, Scheer really had no clue what to do during the election. Leave aside the abortion and the gay marriage hit jobs, the poor bugger had no counter for the climate hysteria whipped up by Trudeau, McKenna, Greta and Lizzie May. He lacked the courage to actually take on the bogus, not ready for policy, “science” which underlies the “climate emergency” and he really had no coherent, simply stated, policy of his own. Now a decade of non-stop climate hysteria with very little push back has left us in the invidious position that to win votes a party has to hew to climate orthodoxy.

Sigh.

However, there is nothing which demands that a political party accept orthodoxy when it comes to addressing the much hyped emergency. So here is a suggestion for the Conservatives, rather than debating the finer points of a pointless carbon tax or a cap and trade disaster or how many windmills will fit on the head of a pin, why not come out with a positive program which treats reducing carbon emissions as a happy by-product.

Canada has an abundance of hydro electric power. In BC, if you ignore the emissions costs of the components of most electric vehicles, you can actually drive essentially emissions-free all the way back to the generation of the electricity. We have that much hydro and are building more.

Quebec is a hydropower powerhouse as well. The problem is the grid and the distances involved in getting power to the people.

The solution to that problem is nuclear. A few, relatively small scale, nuclear plants of modern design and safety, could mean cheap, abundant, baseload power was available throughout Canada and in Canada’s North. Add a nuclear station at Fort McMurray and you radically reduce the emissions of that key energy asset.

But for the Conservatives to sell the program they need a slogan, I would try “Nickel a kilowatt hour” but, “Nickel a kilowatt” is snappier if less accurate, (though more accurate than labelling carbon dioxide “carbon”).

Electricity so cheap you would be foolish not to run your car on it and heat your house with it. Instead of raising energy prices with punitive taxes to reduce demand for “dirty” energy, why not drop the price of clean energy to essentially zero and see the demand soar as people voluntarily switch to so called cleaner alternatives.

Canada has lots of uranium. Saskatchewan’s Athabasca Basin is lousy with the stuff. We have significant expertise in building small, safe, nuclear reactors. Along with the reactors we’d also look at developing more hydro power and building, if not a national grid, then very strong regional grids to meet increased demand.

“Electric Canada” is a positive way to respond to the “climate emergency” and it even has the merit of being useful during the coming, sun driven, cold period which is far more likely than global warming.

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Very Wasted – Just as it was ever was

Now that was a wasted election.

The Cons beat the Libs by 1.5% in the popular vote and lost 156 to 122.

The very nice and articulate Mr. Singh lost seats for the NDP.

The Bloc rolled up enough seats in Quebec to be a real thing again and the Greens won one seat.

My party, PPC, lost its only seat, Max’s, and got 1.7% of the vote.

The Libs were cleaned out on the prairies and the Cons couldn’t get a kiss in Toronto (vote rich, don’t you know).

So Trudeau has a working minority with NDP support and, I suspect, will be able to run that minority for at least two, likely, three years. Scheer did well enough, despite his robotic performance, to likely keep his leadership on popular vote alone. Singh did terribly in terms of seats but I suspect, as he is far and away, the best leader he’ll survive any leadership review.

The Libs got smacked about and they lost Goodale. But it was hardly a crushing defeat. Justin lives to fight another day.

Leaving Canadian politics, just as it ever was.

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A Wasted Election

If the polls are at all accurate tomorrow’s vote will be a virtual tie between the Lib and CPC and the outcome will be down to voting efficiency. As it stands, Scheer’s CPC is likely to run up huge majorities across the prairies but may lose squeakers in “vote rich” Ontario. All of which translates to a minority CPC government – best case – or, more likely, a minority Lib government with NDP/Green support – worst case.

As campaigns go this was extremely dull. The hobgoblin of climate “emergency” was embraced by all but the People’s Party. Trudeau apparently wore blackface on several occasions. Jagmeet Singh turned out to be a very likeable candidate. The Canadian media was happy to give Trudeau a pass on SNC-Lavilin, blackface, allegations of teenager groping and a host of other scandals. The Canadian media also obsessed about whether or not Scheer was an American. Trudeau spent most of his campaign running against Doug Ford and Stephan Harper. In late-breaking, inside baseball, news apparently Scheer hired Warren Kinsella aka “The Lying Jackal” to run a campaign to smear Max Bernier and the People’s Party as racists. (I don’t know why they would pay the Jackal to do this, he seems more than willing to smear for free.)

The only thing which will really interest me in tomorrow’s results is to see what popular vote Max and the People’s Party get. The polls seem to suggest 1-2%. To succeed, Max has to significantly exceed this predicted vote. If the PPc can take 5% of the national popular vote with a few hot spots of 10% or better, the party will be on its way.

Right now Canada has four national parties who essentially agree with one another that there is a climate emergency, immigration is an unalloyed good thing (and you’re a racist if you say otherwise), that deficits are not to be taken seriously and that taxing an ever-expanding class of persons known as the “wealthy” is a moral imperative. The only difference between the Greens, NDP, Cons and Libs is the speed they want to go down an already agreed upon highway.

It is a commonplace in Canadian politics that about 70% of the nation leans left. Which would leave 30% or so leaning right. I suspect there is a bit of fluidity to those numbers but the people who run the CPC seem to believe that they cannot stray far from the liberal/progressive/green orthodoxy or, well, soccer mums won’t vote for them.

Forty years ago – before he went mushy – Preston Manning challenged that orthodoxy. He challenged from the West and was branded a bigot and a racist and a separatist. He kept slogging forward. In 1988 the Reform Party got 2.09% of the popular vote, in 1993 it got 18.69% and in 1997 it got 19.35%. It became such a threat to the Conservatives in Name Only that the Progressive Conservative Party merged with it to form the Canadian Alliance which later morphed into the Conservative Party of Canada.

If Max can beat the 2% he’s predicted to get the building of the PPc can proceed apace. This is especially true if Scheer fails to win and faces a leadership review.

For a legitimate conservative/libertarian party to exist in Canada the tottering old structure of the CPC needs to collapse. Scheer’s Conservative Party serves no real purpose as it has walked away from conservative principles for fear of frightening Ontario voters. The sooner the CPC is destroyed the sooner a real conservative party can unite the right.

As President Tump would say, “We’ll see what happens.”

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The Strange Death of Tory England

Nigel Farage, Brexiti PartyWell, not actually “Tory” but I wanted the headline to line up with George Dangerfield’s 1935 classic The Strange Death of Liberal EnglandDangerfield took a close look at the political chaos which engulfed England just prior to the beginning of WWI when, he argues, the spirit of progressivism was largely eliminated from English politics. Essentially, the gentry progressivism which had dominanted both the Liberal and Conservative parties since Victoria’s day was crushed between the class politics of the Labour Party, the intractable problem of Ireland (specifically Ulster) and the demands of the Suffragettes. The subsequent mass murder of the British Officer class in the trenches of France meant that there was very little left of the spirit of liberal progressivism by the end of the war.

In a few hours we will find out just how well Nigel Farage and the Brexit Party have done in the European elections. Given that the party was only launched six weeks ago, anything over 20% of the vote will be astonishing but the bookmakers and pollsters are seeing numbers north of 30%. Farange is being seen as the most significant English politician of his generation.

The resignation of Theresa May because of her failure to get a “Brexit deal” no matter how lame through the House of Commons has opened up the Prime Ministership and the leadership of the Conservative Party. The party itself is significantly split between Remain leaning, establishment MPs and Leave supporting Conservative Party members. It seems clear that were it left up to the Conservatives in Westminster there would be no Brexit at all. The country may have other ideas.

Across the aisle, the Labour Party is lurching off in all directions. It is pretty much impossible to get a straight answer from Corbyn as to what the Party’s position is on Brexit. I am reminded of MacKenzie King’s marvellous circumlocution, “Conscription if necessary, but not necessarily conscription.” Corbyn’s problem is that the more lumpen of his supporters, particularly outside London, are full-throated in their support of Brexit while gentry Labourites cannot imagine who let these dreadful people into the party. Corbyn’s position is further complicated by the rise of a Jacobian ultra faction in the form of Momentum demanding a clear “Remain” stance or, at the very worse, a Second Referendum.

The great Brexit wars in England are as much cultural as they are political. Elites, the media, the academy and some sections of the business community are fervent Remainers as much for social signalling reasons as for any political analysis of the Remain position. Supporting Remain is simply what “smart” people do and who does not want to be smart?

Brexit supporters are more about downmarket ideas like “votes matter” and “politicians should do what they promised to do”. They are immune to the elite argument that the Referendum voters had no idea that Brexit meant leaving Europe or that Brexit supporter’s votes should be discounted because they are all old, white, racists and other clever arguments which make sense in BBC studios if nowhere else.

“Liberal England” died because its political class, smug in its sense of moral and intellectual superiority, could not imagine that the Labour movement, much less the gels prattling on about “votes for women” were even slightly serious threats the liberal, progressive, established order. Within a decade that order was swept away by war and radical political reform.

“Tory England” by which I mean the upper levels of the Conservative Party, the media, the academy and much of the non-Momentum Labour Party is walking towards the same fate. The luvies were quite right to understand the Brexit Referendum vote as a vote against uncontrolled immigration, political correctness and political hypocrisy. But their reaction which was to dismiss Brexit voters as unworthy of the new, enlightened, modern England was a huge, strategic error. That error was compounded by the House of Commons being unwilling to actually reach agreement on a deal to leave the EU.

All of which has given Mr. Farage and the Brexit Party an unprecedented chance to remake the politics of England. First, by providing a measure of the anti-EU, anti-Westminster sentiment in England. A rock hard 20% would be destabilizing, but if the Brexit Party manages 30% or better, Farange becomes the effective kingmaker of the Conservative Party.

The Brexit Party currently does not have any seats in the House of Commons (though that may change). What it does have is a well oiled, motivated, mass organization. How that organization is deployed in the next General Election – which could be coming up very quickly as Labour has promised to welcome the incoming Conservative leader with a no-confidence vote – is very likely to determine which party attains government and which leader becomes Prime Minister.

There are, perhaps, fifty seats in England that the Brexit Party could win outright in a General Election. But there are several hundred more where Conservative or Labour Remain supporting MPs would be vunerable to defeat if the Brexit Party ran a candidate. And there are many seats where Brexit supporting MPs of both parties would be very grateful if the Brexit Party refrained from running.

The current Parliament has refused to implement the clear results of the Brexit Referendum despite have been elected in a General Election to do juist that. For Brexit supporters the tactical defeat of Remainers – either in straight up contests or by running or declining to run spoiler candidates – is Job #1. Farage understands this. The question is which of the Conservative leadership candidates is bright enough to realize that Farage and the Brexit Party are the key to the survival of the Tories in England?

Let’s first see how big a noise the Brexit Party and Farage make in a few hours.

UPDATE: Winner? Obviously Nigel Farage and the Brexit party with 31.7% of the vote and on track to take a minimum of 21 of the MEP positions. Second place to the Lib Dems who provided a refuge for all those decent people who were simply appalled at that dreadful Farage chap and worried about their ability to reach their summer homes in Tuscany. (Greens picked up 3 seats for much the same reason.)

Biggest loser? Right now the Conservatives are running at 9.2% of the vote for 2 MEP positions. Total disaster. But Labour did not do all that much better getting a mere 13.9% of the vote and going down to 7 MEP positions. Where Labour was really beaten up was in London where the metro elite defected in droves to the Lib Dems.

There will be more results coming in but at this point, it is safe to say that neither Labour nor the Tories have much to look forward to in British politics if they stay with the politics of flannel mouth on Brexit. There is much commentary about how the “Remain” vote Lib Dem+Labour+Green was larger than the Brexit vote but in the coming general election run on first past the post, those percentages will be uninteresting.

As I said, the question is whether or not the new Tory leader can cut a deal with Farage to ensure that Leave Conservatives have a clear run at their seats. Which means that leader has to be commited to real Brexit.

If the Conservatives elect another squish leader, the Brexit Party has nothing to lose running strong candidates in close-fought constituencies and hoping i) that rank and file Tory supporters will vote Brexit, ii) that the Lib-Dems, Labour and the Greens will hoplessly split the Remain vote.

A serious Tory leader will have already been on the phone to Farage who is, right now, and for the next few months, the most powerful person in British politics.

 

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Getting it wrong

A few days ago I put up a map of Canada which showed how much electrical energy each province got from renewables. BC, Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec all get the bulk of their electricity from hydro and nuclear.

Here’s another figure for your consideration:

To understand this graph you need to go to The Chill of Solar Minimum.

““We see a cooling trend,” says Martin Mlynczak of NASA’s Langley Research Center. “High above Earth’s surface, near the edge of space, our atmosphere is losing heat energy. If current trends continue, it could soon set a Space Age record for cold.”

This is not “just weather” as the CO2 cultists like to describe any form of colder than expected conditions. This is one of the drivers of the earth’s climate and a basic component to climate.

Now, there are scientists who don’t see this as a mere temperature drop.

Habibullo Abdussamatov warns that a new Little Ice Age has begun.

A highly qualified and highly regarded scientist, Dr Abdussamatov is Head of Space Research Laboratory at the Pulkovo Observatory of the Russian Academy of Sciences, St. Petersburg, Russia.

Sunspots come and go, but the Carbon Dioxide alarmism persists in the face of new and better modelling, here’s another chart:

CO2 sensitivity is an attempt to estimate the effect on teperature of a doubling of the CO2 in the atomsphere. We’re at about 400ppm now, what would happen if that went to 800ppm?

To get buy in for serious carbon taxes you pretty much have to say that 800 is going to lead to 2+ degrees Celius of warming and then try to make the claim that this level of warming will kill lots of us. As the science becomes more exact it is becoming clear that a doubling of CO2 is going to have a hard time creating 2 degrees of warming. Worth reading this post.

I have argued for years that the science is not yet ready for policy purposes. But the Trudeau government and the Scheer Conservatives presume that Canadians are too dumb to notice that the science underlying a carbon tax or whatever dimwitted scheme Scheer is touting – apparently based on the failed Australian model – are going to cost a lot and change, literally, nothing.

It is going to take a while for Maxime Bernier’s People’s Party of Canada to catch on. But Bernier is a climate sceptic and an economic realist. As people begin to realize that the “carbon” tax or cap and trade and, frankly, all the other non-solutions to a non-problem, are simply bogus ways of taking money out of their pocket, Max is going to become a lot more appealing.

 

 

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Inside FBI HQ

Brett Kavanaugh, TrumpThe Director: OK, McMullian. I know you are fairly new but, son, we’ve got a hot one for you.

McMullian: Yes Sir!

The Director: 35 or 36 years ago a seventeen-year-old boy is alleged to have grabbed a 15-year-old girl and thrown her on a bed. He is alleged to have tried to make out with her and he is alleged to have sexually assaulted her.

McMullian: Do we have the police report, Sir?

The Director: No.

McMullian: Witnesses?

The Director: Four, or maybe five. Not sure on that Agent.

McMullian: They were in the room?

The Director: Well she says one of them was and he “jumped on them” which let her escape.

McMullian: And where did this happen?

The Director: We don’t know.

McMullian: No problem…When?

The Director: We don’t know.

McMullian: Were the witnesses under oath?

The Director: Yup.

McMullian: So they remembered what happened?

The Director: Not exactly. They don’t remember any party at all.

McMullian: OK, so I’m to investigate a sexual assault which might have happened thirty-five or six years ago at an unknown location on an unknown date.

The Director: That’s right. And I need your report on my desk in 72 hours.

McMullian: Yes Sir.

The Director: And while you are at it McMullian, there is also an open case on a report of an incidence of unicorn farting in Maryland at roughly the same time. See what you can pick up.

McMullian: I’m on it, Sir.

The Director: POTUS want’s updates on the investigation. This could make your career.

McMullian: Does POTUS know there are no such things as unicorns?

The Director: I doubt it. But get’er done. Your country is depending on you.

McMullian: Yes Sir.

 

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Max

Maxime BernierMaxime Bernier is a smart, charismatic, libertarian leaning guy with significant voter appeal. So it made sense that the Conservative Party, not wanting to worry the Liberals, chose the other guy to be their leader. Andrew Scheer is an earnest, anti-charistmatic, middle of the road guy with pretty much no voter appeal. It was going to be tough not to beat the feckless Trudeau in the next election but the Conservative Party seems to have found a way.

Max is having none of it. Today Bernier announced that he was leaving the Conservative party and beginning his own “movement”.

He has been hitting themes like abolition of the dairy supply management system, a serious re-evaluation of multiculturalism and a reduction in imigration levels. He pretty clearly thinks “climate change policy” is a hoax and he is a pretty solid fiscal conservative.

He makes the valid point that the Conservatives are not going to beat the Liberals by running as “Trudeau-Lite”.

The push back is already starting with the MSM rushing to figure out if Bernier is a Nazi or merely a fascist and the Conservatives making the usual “split the right and the Liberals have won” noises. The Lying Jackal is chortling:

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.

In fact, if Bernier is clever about it, the Liberals might be heading for a bigger defeat than Scheer alone could deliver.

A couple of points: Max is just coming off a very successful run for the Conservative leadership. He came very close and one of the reasons he did was that he had good organizations in literally hundreds of ridings across the country. He still has those phone numbers and emails. So he is starting with the skeleton of an organization.

Second, he has a seat in Parliament – something which he keeps even if he resigns the Conservative whip.

Third, unlike previous 3rd Party candidates, Bernier is popular in Quebec and, hey, he is fluently bilingual.

Most importantly, Bernier does not have to play the traditional Canadian political game. The world has changed. First off, he does not have to run a candidate in every single riding in Canada. While he said he would today, he needs to rethink that position. Thirty or forty will be more than enough to ensure his new party has a national presence. But, and this is important, he can make a virtue of this necessity by making sure not to run against the many actual conservatives who currently sit, silently, in Parliament. Even better, he can endorse them.

Using a targetted riding strategy would put paid to the idea that a vote for Max is a vote for the Liberals.

With a targetted riding strategy Max can also avoid the always looming disaster of a crazy person – actual Nazi, major anti-Semite, massive homophobe – gaining a nomination in a hopeless riding and then being pinned to the party by a hostile media. Finding 30 or 40 really excellent candidates and then backing them hard pre-Writ might create the conditions for multiple wins.

Which ridings to target will be a tough choice but other than making sure to have a couple in Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal – for media exposure – they should be ridings without a currently sitting Conservative and where the demographics do not massively favour the Liberals (thus suburban and rural). And they need to be air accessible because Bernier is going to spend his campaign on an airplane.

Most importantly, Bernier needs to create a positive message. One of the problems the Conservatives have is that they are barely against most of the Trudeau Liberal positions and don’t seem to have any of their own. Bernier needs to define a Canadian message. Free Trade, economic expansion, jobs are one side of it, Canadian unity instead of division could be the other. Bernier’s objection to increased immigration and the fragmentation of multiculturalism will resonate if he can package them in a “making Canada stronger” theme.

Right from the go Bernier should avoid any suggestion that his party will form a government. Instead he should be talking about keeping the politicians in Ottawa honest and in touch with Canadians. Balance of power is the goal.

 

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Loving Australian Politics

Wet PM Malcolm Turnbull looks to be out in a, and this gets fun, “partyroom” “spill” set for Friday. Details here.

Turnbull stabbed conservative Tony Abbot in a partyroom spill a couple of years ago and has governed from the soft left, in a conservative coalition, ever since. He made the idiot error of diving into climate change politics with a goofy energy plan which would ensure Australia had very little, very expensive, energy but was adhering to the Paris Accord.  (He’s been backing away ever since but what was he thinking?) Dumb does not begin to describe it.

The actual conservatives are having none of it and several ministers resigned today. The next leader would appear to be Peter Dutton who is a fairly rock ribbed conservative about whom I know very little. (There is some question as to his eligibility to sit in the House in Canberra. Some variety of conflict of interest over ownership of a couple of childcare centers.) However, the current Treasurer, Scott Morrison, promises to run against Dutton.

I wish Canadian politics were half as exciting. Because then Max Bernier would have a shot at replacing Andrew Scheer on no other grounds than he would have a decent shot at beating Trudeau. But, I fear, the Great White North is not quite ready for Aussie Rules Politics. Everyone gets two downs and then they punt.

Sad.

Update: Julia Bishop jumps in. So wet she drips…let’s hope sense prevails.

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