|Posted on April 10, 2016 at 9:00 PM|
NDP delegates voted today to fire party leader, Tom Mulcair. As shocking as this vote was, the greater shock may be the decision of delegates to adopt the LEAP Manifesto - which is a sharp turn to the left from the 2015 NDP election platform.
The next year will be dominated by various NDP leadership candidates portraying themselves to be the best person to sell the LEAP Manifesto ideals. That almost guarantees the next leader of the NDP will come from either Toronto or Vancouver. I simply don't see the LEAP Manifesto attracting much new member support in other parts of the country.
The NDP did not consider what ousting Thomas Mulcair, the former Quebec Minister of the Environment, will mean for its future electoral hopes. With Mulcair out, the 14 seats that the NDP hold in Quebec are almost certainly in play.
Conservatives need to take a long hard look at how they - and not the Liberals - can capture the majority of these mostly rural Quebec seats. Voters in these ridings found Jack Layton and Thomas Mulcair as people they could relate to. I believe that the Conservatives need an equally relatable leader in order to win these extremely important seats.
Stephen Harper won three consecutive federal elections thanks to, in large part, the election outcomes in the Province of Quebec.
It's an admittedly curious statement to make considering that the Conservatives never won the most seats in Quebec in any of these elections. Yet in 2006 and 2008 it was due to the strength of the Bloc Quebecois - and in 2011 the NDP, that for those parties winning the most seats in Quebec paved the way for the Conservatives' victory. Had Quebec voted Liberal in any of these elections, the results would have been quite different for Canada.
Fast forward to the 2015 election, and this time, the Liberals win the majority of Quebec seats. Unfortunately, the Quebec seats that Trudeau took from a weakened NDP directly resulted in the Liberal majority in Parliament.
In 2019, Conservatives cannot hope to rely on a resurgent NDP or Bloc to siphon off Quebec support from Trudeau. If Conservatives want to return to Government in the next election, the key battleground will not be the 416/905 areas that the Toronto centric media like to pronounce.
Conservatives can only win by taking the plurality of seats in Quebec.
The stakes couldn't be higher for Canada in 2019. After leaving the country in very good financial footing despite enduring one of the worst global recessions in modern history, Conservatives are shocked to see Trudeau and Morneau fritter away our strength by selling off our gold reserves and spending recklessly towards record deficits.
One only need to look to Justin Trudeau's mentor, Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, to see what's in store for Canada if Trudeau is re-elected in 2019 with another majority. Ontarians have seen their manufacturing jobs leave the province as a result of Wynne's ideology, and the province's infrastructure is collapsing under the weight of a record $300 Billion debt. Ontario is now the world's most indebted sub-sovereign borrower.
Is that the future we want for Canada?
There has never been a more important time for the Conservative Party of Canada to choose a leader who can win in 2019.
So far, we've only had two candidates who have filed to run.
In light of Mulcair's staggering loss, I believe that Maxime Bernier is the most qualified of the potential candidates for this position.
He's held several impressive senior level cabinet positions including Industry, Foreign Affairs, and Small Business. Unlike Trudeau, Bernier also has considerable experience in the private sector too.
His conservative bona fides are strong. Bernier knows it's impossible to grow prosperity by growing our public debt. He understands the private sector cannot prosper by the reckless spending from public sector.
By reducing red tape and unshackling the potential of our small businesses and entrepreneurs, Bernier knows that opportunities, jobs, and innovation will bring on a new era of success and prosperity of Canada. He knows it because it's his record.
Maxime Bernier can win seats for Conservatives right across Canada.
Most importantly, being enormously popular in his home province, Maxime Bernier is the only Conservative Party of Canada leadership candidate that can win the plurality of seats in Quebec.
By doing so, he stops Justin Trudeau in his tracks.