Election Picture of the Day: Campaigning in hostile territory is not a problem when you don’t expect to win any seats.
What is Maxime Bernier doing, days before the elections, organizing a demonstration for hundreds of people in downtown Toronto, no less than in front of the CBC building? Traditionally, in the last days of a campaign, you want to put your resources in positions where you have a chance of winning. And that’s the catch: With his People’s Party of Canada looking like a failed amateur experiment until it successfully joined the anti-lockdown crowd, Bernier doesn’t seem interested in winning seats. Hell, that might not even be his goal. PPC, on the other hand, is about creating chaos. His party wins the voters by promising to end the lockdowns, eliminate supply management and reform free speech laws. For better or for worse, they have given political voice to the large and disjointed mix of angry Canadians who reject mainstream politicians, resent the mandates of masks and distrust vaccines. Add a section of disgruntled conservatives, who roll their eyes at Erin O’Toole’s radical change on the economy and climate change; launch in one part the protest vote, mostly undermined by the disengaged Greens; and add a dash of Trump-style populism, getting votes from people who would never vote otherwise. The result of this recipe is a true nonconformist party (sorry, Maverick Party) that could well spoil this election in favor of the liberals. No, the PPC is unlikely to win a single seat. But Bernier parted ways with the Conservatives with a different goal: revenge. Years later, it is difficult to argue that it has failed.