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The Sharpening Stone
In defense of the People's Party of Canada
In 2019 my friend Kelly told me that she was running for election and that I should come join her. She knew that I had become disenfranchised with the Conservative Party direction. She told me that I would get a chance to meet the leader of the new Party called The People’s Party of Canada. I took her up on the offer and joined a small group of people as Maxime Bernier introduced himself. He was intriguing and seemed to be talking a good game. He was speaking common sense and he seemed to be willing to say the things that the Conservative Party at the time didn’t want to talk about. He was personable and did what a lot of politicians had stopped doing, he was listening to people. Although Kelly didn’t win the seat and would eventually leave the party, she started me on a path of more engagement within Government spheres. I was inspired by her and still greatly respect her conviction.
As things progressed in Canada with COVID I was increasingly disappointed with the Conservative Party’s response, or their lack of response to the encroaching authoritarian measures taken against people and every day businesses. I found myself drifting more and more towards the PPC policies. I ended up buying a membership as a founding member and supporting local PPC candidates, speakers and EDA members. Maxime was going around to anti-lockdown rallies and supporting people who were being treated unfairly. He was very active on Social media and engaging with everyday people and Conservatives on social issues that mattered to them. He was doing the Podcast/Vlogger circuit with big and small content creators. He even did an interview with me on my Podcast to discuss Bill C-10. Other Conservative politicians I reached out to left me on read or never responded.
Please note if you choose to listen to the episode, I was using a different name for my show before I re-branded.
In the snap election in 2021 I went to the election night party in Saskatoon and predictably Maxime did not win his seat. While I was there I was surprised that several EDA members and candidates for Office from outside my area were people that I had volunteered with previously in Community Organizations. This really re-enforced to me that the PPC was grassroots and community connected. Even though he lost and the room felt deflated from it, there was still the sense of hope and optimism that the party was going to continue to flourish. The media coverage was on the lack of masking and social distancing at the event, it was pathetically predictable.
What wasn’t predictable was that the Saskatoon Police Service would start a “most wanted” style page from undercover Officers at the election night event. They encouraged the doxxing of people to give them COVID tickets. It was later found out that they were considering shutting down the event all together.
Later on the Red Toryism project attempted by O’Toole’s leadership failed the Conservative Party and drove even more Conservatives towards the People’s Party Of Canada. During the freedom Convoy while some dissent was settling in with Conservative ranks, Maxime Bernier and other PPC members were in the streets supporting the greatest working class protest even seen in Canada. What Erin O’Toole was selling, people weren’t buying. As support for Erin plummeted the Conservative Party found itself in another Leadership Race. This time they choose Pierre Poilievre to lead them. During this time gender ideology was starting to heat up as a topic in Canada as more women’s spaces were being invaded by gender dysphoric and autogynephilic men. While the CPC was sorting itself out Maxime was joining Conservatives who were protesting drag queen story time hour and other attempts to introduce sexualized concepts to a younger and younger audience. When hashtag gate struck and the left went nuts over MGTOW and accused Pierre of courting incels, I watched as he stumbled over his words meekly apologizing for the incident in Parliament to the thunderous laughter and table banging of his strugglers. I thought that he was going to be another flop. Shortly after that Pierre brought on a new team and hired Ben Woodfinden to help get him on track.
If we want conservative principles to win the battle of ideas, we have to defend them openly, with passion and conviction.- Maxime Bernier
As the Conservative Party gained traction again it seemed like the People’s Party was losing it. The highs that they had seen during the Pandemic and Freedom Convoy were slowly tapering off. I believe largely due to some disorganization in the Party sphere. The Conservative Party Convention was proof that many of the idea’s touted by Maxime were being brought into the fold of the mainstream Conservative viewpoints. Without a doubt debate on gender ideology, immigration, firearm rights, patriotism and more were big talking points in the PPC circles that paved the path to be brought into the fold at the CPC convention. Unfortunately for the PPC the steam that the Party had picked up during the past three years has largely died down. I think that Maxime should be congratulated for building a party in such a short period of time and helping steer the course on Social Conservative policy, but what now?
The Sharpening Stone
I don’t think the People’s Party should fold any time soon. In fact I think Conservatives need the People’s Party. The Liberals have the National Democratic Party as their sharpening stone as well as their political litmus test. The NDP keeps the Liberals in check and helps the Liberals stay politically fit. It adds an extra sense of urgency to the party knowing that if they fail to perform, as they are doing now, they will bleed off supporters to their political opponent on their own side. As the Liberals plummet in the polls there is a sense that the NDP could become the official opposition in the next election. This will force the Liberals to course correct by comparing what they are doing to what is driving their supporters to the NDP. The Conservative Party by 2015 had gotten too comfortable, with no other serious contender for what makes up Conservative values in Canada they had become too high, too unaware of the wants and needs of their own party members. This was only highlighted by Sheer and O’Toole, as well as the Conservative Party as a whole during the pandemic. The People’s Party was the litmus test and highlighted that the CPC had failed to meet the needs of what Conservatives wanted socially.
The People’s Party should remain a viable party and support the Conservative Party when they take actions that align with their values and oppose them when they do not. The Conservative Party will be forced to ensure they are truly listening to their voter base and if they are not, they could face a similar situation to the Liberals now as the PPC base would grow again from dis-enfranchised Conservatives. By 2015 the CPC sword had become dull and the PPC was the sharpening stone that course corrected the CPC. If they are not careful the sword could completely pass into the PPC’s hands. The PPC itself needs to do some self examination now and determine its own identity and future as it will not be able to rely completely on populism and grassroots Social Conservatism anymore. I think in a healthy democracy there needs to be more then two parties vying for political power, we need more voices at the table and the PPC should remain at the table to ensure accountability and offer an alternate option should the CPC not uphold their end of the bargain to their voter base and if they organize well enough, could be a viable election threat again.
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