For a long-time, the CPC has formulated strategy on the basis of right-leaning voters having no alternative. That may no longer be possible.
When it comes to People’s Party support in the polls, different surveys are all over the place.
Some have them as low as 4%.
Others have them up over 10%.
But even the lower end of the range would represent a huge increase for the party, considering they won 1.62% in 2019.
At even 4% or 5% of the vote, the PPC would almost certainly elect their leader Maxime Bernier to Parliament, which (as I’ve said before), would be a good thing for Canada since he represents the views of many Canadians who have been unfairly suppressed and ignored by the establishment.
It is conceivable that the PPC will outperform both the Greens and the Bloc in the popular vote.
This would be a stunning change for Canadian politics, and could have a profound impact on this country for a very long time.
First, let me address the issue of ‘vote-splitting.’
The better the PPC does in the polls, the more some CPC partisans claim “a vote for the PPC is a vote for Justin Trudeau,” and talk about vote-splitting.
Yet, as I noted in a recent article, in a democratic country no party is entitled to votes. Votes have to be earned:
“If a party loses votes to another party, then that’s because voters are freely choosing to place their votes elsewhere.
When the Liberals lose voters to the NDP, it’s usually because the Liberals are perceived as ‘not progressive enough,’ or too corrupt/dishonest.
When the Conservatives lose voters to the PPC (as polls show is increasingly taking place), it’s because the CPC isn’t considered conservative enough.
But even that narrative gets it wrong, since it implies that those voters originally ‘belonged’ to the Liberals or CPC.”
The feeling many Canadians have that both the Liberals and the CPC feel entitled to votes is a big part of why both Maxime Bernier and Jagmeet Singh may end up doing better in 2021 than they did in 2019.
CPC will be forced to listen to right-wing Canadians
But it’s not just the blowback against entitlement that is fueling the CPC.
It’s the perception that the CPC has moved much closer to the Liberals.
As just one example, Erin O’Toole went on a townhall with Rosemary Barton, with the inevitable result that CBC bias came to the fore:
“Throughout the 46-minute exchange, Barton repeatedly interjected with comments and questions echoing Trudeau’s campaign messaging, raising questions about the objectivity of the network.”
Throughout the 46-minute exchange, Barton repeatedly interjected with comments and questions echoing Trudeau’s campaign messaging, raising questions about the objectivity of the network. #cdnpoli https://t.co/9Ibt5ZSwmL
— True North (@TrueNorthCentre) September 14, 2021
This should be no surprise.
Barton and the CBC are still in litigation against the Conservative Party.
O’Toole says he will cut CBC funding (or at least said he would until shifting on that issue as well).
Why would the CPC expect good coverage from CBC after all evidence to the contrary?
It’s like Lucy and the football in Charlie Brown. The CPC constantly thinks “this time the establishment will give us a fair shake,” yet are tricked over and over again.
Meanwhile, O’Toole has passed up an opportunity to reach a massive audience consisting of many potential conservative supporters:
“Talked with Rex Murphy today about Justin Trudeau and the election that should have never been. Post tomorrow on my YouTube channel. Later this week: Maxime Bernier. I invited Erin O’Toole. He declined….”
Talked with Rex Murphy today about Justin Trudeau and the election that should have never been. Post tomorrow on my YouTube channel. Later this week: Maxime Bernier. I invited Erin O'Toole. He declined….
— Dr Jordan B Peterson (@jordanbpeterson) September 14, 2021
If Erin O’Toole will speak with Rosemary Barton, but won’t speak with Dr. Jordan Peterson, why should the CPC be surprised when they lose voters to those who will reach out to such a large potential audience?
And this brings us to the real change that the PPC surge will bring to Canadian politics:
The CPC will be forced to either listen to right-wing voters, or pay an increasingly brutal electoral price.
On many issues, whether it be foreign aid, immigration levels, government spending, lockdowns, restrictions on freedom, etc…, Canada is divided.
However, because the CPC is constantly chasing ‘centrist’ votes, millions of right-wing Canadians are left without representation.
The CPC has done this because they don’t really fear losing votes to the right, and the risk/reward of moving from ‘True Blue’ to ‘moderate centrist’ seemed to favour that choice.
But with a surging PPC, and if the PPC does indeed gain a ton of votes on election day, the CPC will see that moving to the centre comes with serious consequences.
It’s as I’ve been warning for months:
The risk of O’Toole’s strategy is that you lose right-wing voters, but fail to gain voters in the centre, thus ending up worse off.
It remains to be seen if that will be the case, as the CPC is polling anywhere from 30% to 34% in most polls.
A finish around 30% would be worse than under Andrew Scheer, and even the current high end of polls for CPC support has them doing about as well as in 2019.
Thus, the CPC faces the future prospect of having to move to the right in order to try and gain votes, and that is due to rising PPC support.
The change that will bring to Canadian politics could be immense.
Not only will the CPC be forced to actually represent the views of right-wing Canadians, but if they fail to do so they will lose more and more support to the PPC.
This will also create a counterbalance to the seemingly endless left-wing drift of Canadian politics, a drift that has so far been accelerated by the CPC strategy of giving on on the carbon tax, seemingly giving in on guns, giving in on massive spending, giving in on political correctness, and adopting an extremely soft ‘don’t scare anyone’ approach that tacitly endorses the Liberal worldview.
In the future, the CPC may simply be unable to try such a strategy again, and that could drag the political spectrum more the right.
This has happened before, as many forget how the policies of the Chretien Liberals in terms of cutting spending and balancing the budget were often inspired (and originally proposed), by the Reform Party.
Canada became a fiscally conservative nation for quite some time, something that only changed dramatically under the Trudeau Liberals.
We could see something similar when it comes to government spending and individual rights and freedoms, with the persistent and principled advocacy of the PPC shifting the country more towards their position.
That’s why the PPC surge could change the country, and why this may be the last election in which the CPC is able to even try the ‘abandon the right’ tactic.
Photo – YouTube