As I drove home from Kerry Diotte’s election party in 2015, I remember listening to 630 CHED’s post-election coverage. I remember one caller who really drove a point home. He said that the Conservative Party would need to win over the hearts and minds of millennials if they hoped to win elections going forward. He suggested that there was only one way for the party to do so. He said that the Conservative Party would need to embrace libertarian values to attract millennial voters. The question was: How would they do this? The obvious heir apparent to Stephen Harper, Jason Kenney, was a staunch conservative, but certainly not a libertarian. Other top potential candidates, such as Rona Ambrose and Peter MacKay had their moments, but were also not overtly libertarian.
When Maxime Bernier announced his candidacy for leadership of the Conservative Party of Canada, I knew we’d finally found our man. Max had spent his entire career promoting a very libertarian brand of conservatism. His vision of freedom, responsibility, fairness and respect was a vision that had incredible potential to attract young voters. His policies, including ending supply management, banning corporate welfare, eliminating the capital gains tax, cutting federal taxation brackets down to just two, dismantling the CRTC, privatizing the airports, and so many other great policies, were reminiscent of those that the Conservative Party was founded on, but had gotten away from. These were true free market policies, and these were policies that would greatly improve the lives and liberty of Canadians.
As with any candidate promoting such great changes, Bernier faced many special interest groups in his quest for leadership, primarily the ultra-wealthy members of the egg and dairy cartels. These cartels had to find their own candidate, and they settled for Andrew Scheer, an ultra-protectionist social conservative from Regina. They poured resources into his campaign, and another leadership candidate, Brad Trost, was happy to help recruit others who followed his and Scheer’s shared love of 1950’s social beliefs. The establishment of the CPC hopped on the Scheer train, and they rode it all the way to victory, all at a margin of less than 2%.
I was severely dismayed after witnessing the results of the leadership vote. Conservative Party members had been given the opportunity to completely transform Canadian politics. They had a chance to select a true free market conservative, and a man who truly believed in shrinking the size of government. Instead, they opted for an ultra-protectionist socon from Saskatchewan who, quite frankly, believes the exact same things as Justin Trudeau does when it comes to the size of govrnment. Scheer is another status quo politician who would continue to grow the size of government (especially with his archaic plan to police universities for “free speech” and punish the students at any university that some yet-to-be-revealed set of rules determines to not “promote free speech” by stripping those universities of all federal funding).
Despite my strong doubts about him, I promised friends within the CPC that I would give Scheer a chance. Already, just a couple weeks after the leadership vote, I have found that I was very wrong to have ever considered giving Andrew Scheer this chance.
As if my doubts about Scheer’s ridiculous policies (and preference for his ultra-wealthy cartel friends over average Canadians) weren’t bad enough, the dominoes just kept on falling. First, doubts were raised over the results of the leadership vote. Over 7,000 votes appeared out of thin air. Stunningly, this was very, very similar to the number of votes by which Scheer managed to win the leadership race. Despite plenty of evidence that something fishy was going on here, party elites and the establishment simply replied “Meh”. Scheer never spoke out to demand accountability or request a recount of the digital imprint of the ballots (the originals were destroyed immediately after the count, another questionable move in itself). This was a complete failure of “leadership”, and that wasn’t where it ended.
What finally pushed me to this point was a vote in the House of Commons the other day. Scheer’s whipped caucus voted nearly unanimously (the only exception being Ontario MP Cheryl Gallant) in favor of a Liberal motion in support of the ridiculous Paris Climate Accord. This “Accord” is a scheme that will rob Canadians of our tax dollars, damage our economy, and cost Canada as a whole billions upon billions of dollars, all in some attempt to lower the global temperature by 0.3C (I’m still unsure of how throwing tax dollars at the natural climate cycle is going to change the weather, but that’s none of my business). In voting “yea” on this motion, the Conservative Party abandoned residents of Alberta and Saskatchewan while throwing its own members and principles into the wind.
Given all of the above, there is absolutely no way that I can give my time, money or vote to Andrew Scheer’s status quo, sell-out Conservative Party. I won’t sell out my values for a man and a party that are happy to sell their own values to the highest bidder. Given all of the above, I have decided to find a new party to support.
The Libertarian Party of Canada is a small party with quickly growing support. Many disillusioned Bernier supporters have already decided to join the party, and after much consideration, I have decided to do the same. I will work to help grow this party and get a Libertarian candidate elected in 2019. Sure, the LPoC won’t win the 2019 election, or even one of the next three elections after that, but the LPoC is a party with principles. It’s a party that wants to smash the status quo. It’s a party that actually embraces many of my views, and even when it doesn’t, it defends my right to have opposing views.
When the Conservative Party refused to stand for the values of over 49% of final leadership election ballots, the Libertarian Party stepped up and assured that 49% that there is a home for us, and it certainly isn’t within the party led by the ultra-protectionist socon. I encourage all disillusioned CPC supporters to join me in the Libertarian Party and fight for our values. We believe in a truly free market. We believe in freedom, responsibility, fairness and respect. The Libertarian Party believes in these things too, and that is why they have adopted Maxime Bernier’s leadership platform as their platform heading into the 2019 election. The Conservative Party has made it loud and clear that they don’t believe in these things, so there’s only one choice from here: Let’s join the LPoC’s cause and work to elect MP’s who also believe in these things.