Category Archives: Peoples Party of Canada

The Conservative Dilemma

Frank Graves and Michael Valpy ask the question, “What if the Conservatives had a ‘centrist’ leader?” like Rona Ambrose or Peter MacKay. To their credit Graves and Valpy recognize that while a centrist Conservative party would appeal to the media and various elites in Canada it would effectively maroon the 30% of Canadians who might loosely be described as “populist”.

I think Graves and Valpy are right and I can’t wait for that exact outcome.

Scheer managed to hoodwink a lot of natural populists with a combination of Liberal-lite policies and some goofy socon gestures (I am not sure Pride Parade non-attendance really counts for much with the serious socons.)

Graves and Valpy maintain that this was enough to avoid “orphaning the party’s biggest lump, and he more or less cut off oxygen to Maxime Bernier’s People’s Party of Canada (PPC).” It might have been last election but if the CPC goes centrist with its next leader, the lump will be looking elsewhere.

I am fairly certain that the CPC will go for a centrist leader if only because there are really no populist candidates available to it. Pierre Poilievre might fill the bill but it is not obvious that the CPC will be willing to support an MP who is as “direct” as Poilievre.

Which will leave “the lump” looking for a home. Graves and Valpy give a rundown of the lump’s core issues,

“Like the United States, the United Kingdom and sizeable chunks of Western Europe, Canada has a significant portion of citizens—about 30 per cent—who are attracted to the current psychographic and demographic binge of ordered populism. They are profoundly economically pessimistic and mistrustful of science and the elites. They have no interest in climate change, they don’t really see an active role for public institutions and believe there are too many immigrants. Of those immigrants coming to Canada, they think that too many are not white.”

Other than the dig about thinking “too many are not white”, that is a pretty good summary. (On the “not white” thing, I suspect it is more nuanced than that: more along the lines of the current Quebec government’s desire to preserve its culture in the face of immigration.)

I would make only one other correction and that is that they are not economically pessimistic, rather they are deeply worried that the current government has no clue what it is doing economically. There is a difference.

I would also add that the 30% lump tend to take a “leave me the fuck alone” with respect to gay marriage, trans rights, abortion and a host of other social justice causes. They are not so much opposed as annoyed to have gay pride parades and Drag Queen story hour as touchstones of moral correctness. They are not so much social conservatives as people entirely fed up with the hectoring of assorted minorities.

The lump tends to look at “climate change” in much the same way. They may accept the consensus “science” but they are annoyed at the BS virtue signalling of not having plastic grocery bags and being dinged for a “carbon” tax which will make no difference at all to world CO2 levels.

All of which add up to the Conservatives’ dilemma. The brain trust of the CPC is pretty sure that the road to 24 Sussex runs through 25 marginal seats in and around Toronto. These are seats which may have significant immigrant populations and lots of nice middle class ladies who don’t like that mean Mr. Trump or that vile Doug Ford. The logic is that to win those seats the Conservatives need a leader who is the very opposite of the Bad Orange Man, in fact, a leader very much like that handsome Mr. Trudeau. Who cares about the planet, loves Pride Parades and embraces multi-culturalism and family class immigration as “the one, true path” to national salvation.

The fact that such a leader would be anathema to the Conservative heartlands in the West and even in smaller places in Canada does not matter to the CPC brain trust because, well, who are they going to vote for?

Graves and Valpy edge up on the answer to that question, ” The danger, of course, is that the positions of those in the ordered camp are so dramatically offside the centre on issues like immigration and climate change that they may either stay home or perhaps consider the PPC. The People’s Party is now at nearly five per cent of total voters, and they could be a magnet for this segment if the Conservatives went too centre.”

Yup. And it would not even be a hard decision if a screamingly Red Tory like MacKay became the leader.

Here’s the thing: in the last election “the lump” voted CPC because it was generally believed that Bernier and the PPC had no chance of winning seats and “the lump” was desperate to see Trudeau defeated. Next election, if the CPC picks a centrist, “the lump” will have no real reason to vote CPC. Especially if Max continues to barnstorm the country.

Trudeau won with 33% of the vote. The wholesale collapse of the CPC vote under a Trudeau-lite leader and a rapprochement with the Bloc could put Max into contention.

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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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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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New Year, New Attitude

Alberta’s truckers are planning to drive to Ottawa in February to express their displeasure with the feds refusal to get on with building pipelines and the lunacy of the Trudeau carbon tax. Leaving aside the rigours of driving the trans-Canada in February, this is a very un-Canadian sort of activity. Because it is activity. Canadians normally sit around the bar grumbling, they don’t “do” anything which is what our masters in Ottawa and the provincial capitals count on.

While the truckers are driving in protest, an Alberta rancher is taking a stand against that province’s carbon tax. Remembering that Alberta’s Premier originally introduced the carbon tax to, somehow, gain social licence for the much-needed pipelines and noting that those pipelines have not even been started, rancher Sheila Griffith is refusing to pay the carbon tax portion of her propane bill.

While the truckers will make better copy, Ms. Griffith represents a far greater threat to “business as usual”. If more than a few people join her the Alberta government will, quite quickly, notice a hole in its budget. Apparently, the propane company will just tack the unpaid portion onto her next bill – but it will not halt delivery.

These two items, as well as the appearance of “yellow vests” at other Alberta protests, suggests that in Alberta at least, people are getting fed up with simply being ignored. They are getting fed up with the Tweedledum/Tweedledee routine of Trudeau and Scheer.

Simple, direct, action will not change the Liberal’s fixation on the tax grab which is the carbon tax or the endless kowtowing to minority First Nations opposition to pipelines or Quebec’s reluctance to replace Saudi oil with Alberta oil. It might have a small effect on Scheer’s fixation on being so bland that he wins the next election by default (a bad strategy but apparently all he’s got.) What it does do is set up the conditions for a revolt at the ballot box come October.

Right now Maxime Bernier needs to be in Alberta. He needs to visit and encourage Ms. Griffith and go to a trucker’s rally or two.

Canadians are very reluctant to actually do “civil disobedience”. It is not who we are. The fact there are large protests tells me that, in Alberta at least, a tipping point has been reached. A smart, insurgent, politician and political party would be taking full advantage.

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