What Inspired Maxime Bernier to Renounce the Conservative Party?


Sitting in the front row at the National Press Clubs annual meeting in Montreal, Maxime Bernier paid close attention to the man at the podium. Dr. Jordan B. Peterson captivated the audience by expounding on the fundamental and profound importance of freedom of speech.

Bernier was one of the first in the audience to rise for the standing ovation after Peterson’s keynote speech ‘On the Vital Necessity of Free Speech’. Could this powerful speech have inspired Bernier to speak his mind and renounce his membership in the Conservative party?

Likely still suffering from the narrow defeat in the Conservative leadership race, an inspiring message on power of the sovereign voice may have struck a deep cord with Bernier.

Your freedom of speech, that’s not about you being able to speak truth to power, that’s about you being able to chart your destiny in the world. 

Jordan B. Peterson

After the event, some people on Twitter were encouraging Bernier to run as an independent and chart a new course.

Challenges ahead

Bernier called the Conservative party ‘intellectually and morally corrupt’ at his press conference. This public riff presents a new challenge for the Conservative party and my end up splitting the vote. 

If your going to have a conversation about something that matters… everyone is going to be offended by that. 

Jordan B. Peterson

Both Bernier and the Liberals could exploit the moderate politics played by the Conservatives.

Bernier’s message resonates with a part of Canadians. Whether his campaign has enough sophistication to sweep the nation in victory is a long shot. It’s splitting the vote that have conservatives concerned. the conservative vote giving Justin Trudeau another four years as PM? By calling out the Conservative party Bernier’s may push them to take a more vocal stance on issues important to conservatives.

Members of the Conservative party reacted to Bernier’s announcement by calling him a sore loser. And that all he did was give the Liberals an advantage next year. The chance of Bernier winning the election in 2019 is a long shot. But when asked by the CBC on his chance of winning he said anything is possible – citing Emmanuel Macron’s independent victory in France in 2017.

Strategic positioning 

The situation with Canada and the U.S. in the NAFTA negotiations looks like Donald Trump is helping Canadian conservatives. By putting Trudeau’s team in a weak and vulnerable position over NAFTA, Trump is weakening faith in the Liberal government.

The Conservatives should support and align with Trump’s achievements. Trump’s tough stance on the Liberals like during the NAFTA talks put Trudeau and Freeland through an embarrassing media show. The Conservatives will get a boost from this that makes up for any losses caused from the Bernier split and win in 2019.