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Opinion From the comments: Does Bernier’s exit mark the return of the ‘moderate’ Conservative Party?

Maxime Bernier announces he will leave the Conservative party during a news conference in Ottawa, Thursday August 23, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press

Today’s comments were chosen to reflect intense reader interest in Maxime Bernier quitting the Conservative caucus create a new right-wing party.

From Political right faces rift after Bernier quits Conservative Party, by Laura Stone and Daniel LeBlanc

I look back fondly on days when the PC’s existed and MP’s like Michael Wilson could have a cordial conversation and even work collaboratively with his counterpart on the Liberals like Paul Martin. Then along came the CPC with their social conservative leanings and their hyper-partisan hatred of PC’s aka “pink Tories” and anything left of that. If Bernier splits you wonder whether he’ll take such a hard turn right that people will look back fondly on the “moderate” CPC days!

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I maintain that Canada is a Centrist country by nature and our politics and Govt policies should reflect that. Unfortunately, all sides are moving so close to the fringes on both sides that even though the average is still Centrist, the actual meaning has been lost since nobody occupies the space. - Not the Alliance

In response to Not the Alliance:

That is an interesting point that you raise. Indeed, this could help the Conservatives if Bernier’s party makes the CPC look more centrist - Layla4

Also in response to Not the Alliance:

I would agree that Canada is centrist, and that the actual meaning is lost. Both sides are playing divisive politics, forcing people if they wish to vote into two opposing camps. If Max does form a party which seems the direction he was headed all along, then he will put support from across all party lines. I have to confess that I liked it better when it was the Liberals and Conservatives duking it out. A wild prediction but hey why not. If there is a Libertarian party , there will be a minority government, odds say it should be the Liberals, but the Conservatives and the Libertarians could hold the balance of power if they combine. I see a lot of NDP young supporters in particular drifting over to a new party. - JeffSpooner

Who knows where it’ll go? Of course it could divide the vote on the right, but let’s not forget what Preston Manning accomplished with the Reform Party, taking it for a regionalist laughing stock to Official Opposition in less than a decade (before he shot himself in the foot, but that is another matter).

Scheer’s ad hominem response—that Maxime Bernier “has chosen to put himself first” is a cheap shot. Bernier is putting his principles first. Scheer also says Bernier never shared his ideas with other Conservatives, which is nonsense. He RAN on them!

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Less than two minutes into his rebuttal, Scheer launched into exactly the sort of meaningless boilerplate Bernier cautioned against.

He also failed to address some of the main points of Bernier’s address, most notably supply management and government subsidies to private industry, both of which are at odds with fiscally conservative principles. Not a peep! - A.BIEHL

Here’s the political party I’d like to vote for in the next election:

-Leader/Deputy Leader: Rona Ambrose, Rachel Notley in no particular order

-Finance: Jim Flaherty

-Foreign Affairs: Thomas Mulcair (maybe leader)

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-Other cabinet ministers: Jean Charest, Brad Wall, Frank McKenna, Paul Martin, ….. you can fill in the rest.

We’ll call it the Not Too Ideological Party of Those Who Have Quiet Competence and Known Leadership Qualities. I know, a bit of a mouthful, but do you think the voters would care?

I await this party with much anticipation. - DRYBURGH6

Comment of the week:

An asylum seekers, claiming to be from Eritrea, is confronted by an RCMP officer as he crosses the border into Canada from the United States Monday, August 21, 2017 near Champlain, N.Y. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson

Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press

From Globe editorial: From Trudeau and Scheer, a lesson in how not to treat a far-right protester

A recent poll suggests that something is definitely happening in Canada with respect to immigration, and it is entirely possible that the border crossings which is a totally different issue has contributed to the change.

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In 2000, 33 per cent of those surveyed said immigration levels should be reduced, and 48 per cent said they should remain the same. In 2018, 49 per cent said they should be reduced and 31 per cent said they should remain the same. Something is obviously happening in this country, and whether we like it or not, there are pro and anti immigrant camps in this country.

There are many things that need addressing in this country in the coming election, and although The Globe hopes that immigration won’t be an issue, it’s hard to see how it won’t.

It’s easy to tell a far protester that she doesn’t belong or that she is racist for her anti-immigrant stance. It’s quite another thing to run for re-election as the Prime Minister of the country and tell a significant portion of the population that they don’t belong or that there are racist because they don’t support your party’s immigration policies. It’s hard to see how there will be unity in the debate, or how opinions are going to soften. - JeffSpooner

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