Momentum: The PPC Could Cause An Earthquake
September 8th, 2021 | JH
I was on Facebook recently and non-political people are starting to post election material. This is common in the run up to an election. Normally my Facebook feed is pretty political, but at the “two-week to election day” mark, even the people posting cat photos and cookie recipes and inspirational “believe in yourself” crap will begin to tip-toe into the political cesspool.
One thing caught my attention recently. I have a relative that uses Facebook to sell essential oils and do psychic readings. She asked her people who they like in the election and the top comments were for the People’s Party of Canada. This is not on-brand for her page. At all.
Somehow, I didn’t get the sense that these people read Hayek and were big into libertarianism, and yet they were all about the freedom message. What “freedom” message resonated with them? The freedom to not take the Covid vaccine.
For people who are against taking this vaccine, it is a very, very big deal for them. Anecdotally, a friend of a friend has decided, after years of living in Canada, to quit her job at a major bank and sell her house and move her entire family back to Europe due to vaccine requirements floated during this election. This is baffling to 80% of Canadians who are vaccinated and are in favour of forcing their opinions on 100% of citizens, but for the 20% of Canadians who are anti-vaxxers, this is a matter of human rights and principled resistance.
Maxime Bernier is the only federal leader who is openly and actively against a vaccine passport and everything that goes with it. He has chosen not to get vaccinated and has been arrested for holding rallies during Covid restrictions. To the anti-vax crowd, Maxime Bernier looks heroic and legendary. He is speaking directly to their single interest. He has a clear field in this political space to suck up every vote that is up for grabs.
Remember… 20% of Canadians aren’t getting the vaccine. That amounts to millions of people. If millions of people are politically activated by the vaccine issue, then the People’s Party of Canada may have a big surprise waiting for Canadians come election night.
In 2019, the People’s Party garnered just under 300,000 votes, mostly from disgruntled conservatives unhappy with the lack of right-wing vigor displayed by Andrew Scheer’s Conservative Party. Those people are still around and will likely be repeating their vote. With Erin O’Toole moving the Conservative Party to the left in order to attract Liberal voters, the People’s Party is likely to get even more disgruntled Conservatives this time around.
Erin O’Toole has recently stumbled with his gun policy flip-flop. Gun rights advocates are another huge contingent of the Conservative Party of Canada. Losing them in hopes of appealing to downtown Toronto progressives could lead to another wave of single-issue vote defectors.
Disgruntled Conservatives, gun rights advocates, and now (and especially) anti-vaxxers, could be the makings of a major coalition of hard-right voters that could perform well above the 5% polling the party consistently shows.
The major obstacle will be mobilizing these people into the PPC tent. Many of these folks are likely non-voters and educating them and encouraging them to participate is crucial. Maxime Bernier and his supporters are showing a lot of hustle. It’s impressive that they can do so much with so little, but that’s the nature of grassroots politics and it’s a game that Max has been playing for years now.
The People’s Party of Canada has already surpassed the media darling Green Party in the polls, putting it in close competition with the Bloc Quebecois. If they maintain the hustle and pressure for the rest of the campaign, it wouldn’t surprise me to see them hit 7% or 8% by the time the election rolls around.
If turnout is low and the passionate PPC supporters come out in droves, we could be seeing the makings of some amazing outcomes. The PPC garnering a half a dozen seats and 10% of the vote would send progressives in this country into a frenzy. If those half a dozen seats keep Erin O’Toole away from a majority,all the better. Imagine the power that this little party would wield in a situation like that!
As an Albertan, I will be voting for my own single-issue interest and that’s Western representation from the Maverick Party. I voted for the PPC last election and may do so again, especially if their performance this time around is spectacular. The important thing for us dissident conservatives to do is to refuse to vote for the CPC.
"Maxime Bernier is the only federal leader who is openly and actively against a vaccine passport and everything that goes with it."
Up until Erin O’Toole began to improve his standing by a few points, many of us were hoping for the entire party to get crushed and burned to the ground. With prospects of Justin Trudeau finally getting punted from the PMO, a lot of right-wing voters are losing their nerve. The familiar old arguments about vote splitting and “now is not the time” are rearing their ugly heads. Replacing Trudeau with Trudeau minus 10% isn’t the solution we need.
The Conservative Party needs to get a strong message. If they are rewarded for moving to the far left, then they will continue to do so until eventually we’re voting for Jagmeet Singh under a blue banner. The wild swing to the left so far has already made many of us disgusted. O’Toole’s carbon tax is a joke. His jettisoning of fiscal conservatism was pragmatic in my opinion, but it should raise red flags for traditional supporters. His flip-flop on gun rights was disgraceful. His Trudeau-aping vaccine policy is awful. Championing abortion is deplorable. His barking seal MPs are bench-sitting fart catchers. (They lost me when Michelle Rempel did her “white privilege” woke tweet.) The Conservative Party needs real conservatives to withhold support this time. If we don’t, we’ll be stuck with two Liberal parties forever.
If Max can unite dissident conservatives, gun rights advocates and anti-vaxxers under the PPC banner (and they get off their asses to vote), we could be looking at an earthquake on September 20th. Perhaps this will be the beginning of a new political force in Canada, or perhaps it will incite the Conservative Party of Canada to get back to real conservatism. Whatever the case, big things are brewing, and I trust conservative voters to do the right thing.
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