Conservative MP Maxime Bernier was here in Calgary, part of his tour across the country to see how much support he could garner if he were to run in the Conservative Party of Canada leadership race.
The party recently announced that the leadership vote would take place on May 27th, 2017. I caught up with Bernier and Tim Moen, leader of the Libertarian Party. Moen says that Bernier holds many libertarian values and believes that he’s a good candidate to represent libertarians in Parliament.
I asked both Moen and Bernier what needed to happen in order for the CPC to win the next election and why the MP would be a good choice for leader. Moen believes that the conservatives have lost too much ground to the left and that conservatives need to get back to basic principles. Being a country that has only 2 majority conservative governments in place, Bernier believes that a mix of conservative and libertarian values are needed in order for the CPC to evolve.
There is a lot of cross over between libertarian and conservative values. While many of the attendees identify as libertarians, they are CPC members because they are as libertarian leaning as you can get outside of the actual Libertarian Party of Canada. And they are the best chance at governing.
I asked Alex, a federal Conservative Party of Canada supporter who also identifies as a classical liberal, or libertarian what it was about libertarianism that he found attractive. He says that he really likes Tim Moen and “small c” conservative principles and the concept of smaller government. When asked if he would support Maxime Bernier in a leadership bid, he was all in.
But the majority of people were there to meet Maxime Bernier and listen to what he had to say. I also asked Keelan whether he would support the MP as a candidate and he said that he was leaning toward it, but he needed to hear more about policy.
There’s an interesting dynamic happening between conservatism and libertarianism in Canada. One only has to look toward the Wildrose Party here in Alberta, that has gained in popularity over the last years and could be considered to be the most libertarian leaning party in Canada. With the Wildrose Party having a classical liberal following and a leader that self identifies as a libertarian, this makes Alberta a good choice for Maxime Bernier to start a leadership campaign.
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