With Maxime Bernier as the prominent and sometimes controversial face of the People’s Party of Canada, it is easy to forget that he was almost the leader of the Conservative Party. With election-fever in full swing as we near the October 21 mark, some Canadians are reflecting on what could have been if things had ended up a little differently. We're left to wonder: how is Maxime Bernier related to the conservatives?
During Monday night’s official English-language leaders’ debate, one Liberal candidate took to Twitter to remind others that Bernier was actually only two percentage points away from being stood at the Conservative leader’s podium, said Global News. This was only one of the countless one-liners to come out of the debate.
In a tweet just before 8 p.m., verified Liberal candidate and Olympic champion kayaker, Adam van Koeverden, wrote, “This is a good time to remember that 49% of the Conservative Party of Canada wanted Maxime Bernier to be their leader.”
Within hours, the tweet racked up as many as 4,000 likes, with 1,500 Canadians stopping to retweet the post. While many Canadians seemed to disapprove of the post, others took the opportunity to think about what could have been. Luckily, Bernier is no stranger to Twitter attention.
In response to the tweet, one Canadian posted, “Frightening! The one they got is horrible enough, but Max is so so so much worse! I sure hope you win Adam! I wish I had a Liberal candidate to vote for, but I do not. I'm throwing my vote to the Greens, hoping Ms May will prop Justin up!"
Another Twitter user shared a slightly different opinion, adding, “Yes but that is the past. I voted for Max as leader of conservatives but am not voting for him in the Federal Election. @AndrewScheer gets my family’s vote now."
Back in 2017, then-Conservative candidate Maxime Bernier was expected to win the Conservative leadership race, polling higher than Andrew Scheer on several occasions, said Global News.
However, in a somewhat-surprising "major upset," in May 2017 Scheer beat him by a tiny two percentage points.
After that, Bernier left the Conservatives in 2018 to start his own party, the People’s Party of Canada, and here we are.
As 2019 will be the first year that Bernier's People's Party of Canada will run in a federal election, it is unclear how they will fair come October 21.
That said, if one thing is to be learned from the 2017 Conservative leadership race, it is that anything can happen.