Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Mad Max Maverick Watch

With the exception of Bernier rising to the defence of Tony Clement on the Census, it has been a very mavericky year for the former Cabinet superstar. Although I disagree with the bulk of what he has said, it's nice to see someone in Ottawa interested in debating issues that are worth debating.

Issue: Bill 101
Bernier Position (Feb 2011): "We don’t need Bill 101 to protect the French language."
Conservative Position: "Taisez-vous!"

Issue: National Securities Regulator
Bernier Position (Jan 2011): "I personally believe that securities regulation is a provincial responsibility."
Conservative Position: Jim Flaherty has spent the better part of the past three years arguing for a national securities regulator.

Issue: Cuting transfer payments to the provinces
Bernier Position (Oct 2010): "Instead of sending money to the provinces, Ottawa would cut its taxes and let them use the fiscal room that has been vacated."
Conservative Position: When it comes to government, the bigger the better.

Issue: Federal government intervention into provincial areas of jurisdiction.
Bernier Position (Oct 2010): "The federal government today intervenes massively in provincial jurisdictions, and in particular in health and education, two areas where it has no constitutional legitimacy whatsoever. This is not what the Fathers of Confederation had intended."
Conservative Position: John A. was a Conservative. I think we know what he intended.

Issue: Sports arena funding
Bernier Position (Sept 2010): "We cannot continue in this way to pass on to our children the bills for all the projects that we cannot afford to pay ourselves. We cannot continue to distribute ever larger amounts of money to please everyone and buy social peace, while refusing to face the consequences. We cannot ask governments to manage our money in a responsible manner while at the same time demanding that they devote some more money to an irresponsible venture that will benefit us."
Conservative Position: Go Nords Go!

Issue: Climate change
Bernier Position (Feb 2010): "We can now see that it’s possible to be a ‘skeptic,’ or in any case to keep an open mind, on just about all the main aspects of warming theory. It would certainly be irresponsible to spend billions of dollars and impose exaggeratedly severe regulations to solve a problem whose gravity we’re still far from discerning."
Conservative Position: As Bernier suggests, doing nothing...but placing a nicer spin on it.

Issue: Government Spending
Bernier Position (Jan 2010): “And I’m not saying zero growth adjusted for inflation and population or GDP increase. Just zero growth."
Conservative Position: Spending up around 40% during Harper's time in power.



  • So Bernier is at odds with Conservative policy because he's a conservative?

    What was the 2006 election all about anyway? That we wanted the same government, but with different packaging?

    By Blogger Robert Vollman, at 10:44 a.m.  

  • I like Maxime Bernier, and the fling with the biker chick only helped (I can't explain why, it just did).

    I had never heard of his surprising position on 101 til 2 hours ago, discussed briefly on Les Lionnes.

    Je voterais pour lui, probablement, si j'avais l'occasion. Peut-être un jour.

    By Anonymous Jacques Beau Verte, at 12:07 p.m.  

  • Oh, I see he made the 101 comments just last week - no wonder.

    By Anonymous Jacques Beau Verte, at 12:43 p.m.  

  • For anyone who still doubted that Mad Max is going to take a run at the CPC leadership post-Harper ...believe it!

    By Blogger Tof KW, at 2:26 p.m.  

  • Bernier would be a very intriguing CPC leadership candidate. Presumably he's get support in Quebec because he'd be the only serious local candidate, but also from the Reform base because of his positions.

    Of course, he certainly doesn't look like someone who could win an election, so that would hurt his candidacy but you never know.

    Either way, he's one of the few politicians in Ottawa worth paying attention to.

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 2:51 p.m.  

  • His chances of winning the Tory leadership are nil - he's reputed to be as dumb as a post and he seems to be very gaffe prone.

    I'm all for having backbenchers speak their minds - but its interesting that Harper has expelled people from caucus for the slightest deviation from the party line (ie: Garth Turner), but keeps turning a bling eye to "Mad Max"

    By Blogger DL, at 3:52 p.m.  

  • …he's reputed to be as dumb as a post and he seems to be very gaffe prone.

    Yeah. The Conservatives have never selected a gaffe-prone idiot for leader before (*cough* Stockwell Day *cough*).

    Harper has expelled people from caucus for the slightest deviation… but keeps turning a bling eye to "Mad Max".

    Beyond the possibility that Max may have a portfolio of .jpgs showing Harper having carnal knowledge of a goat, there’s also the fact that Max is the only element of Harper’s government even remotely relevant to Quebecers. He's too important to trash.

    By Blogger Sir Francis, at 11:00 p.m.  

  • To add to SF's commentary, Bernier is also the only safe Conservative MP dans la belle. They love him in the Beauce.

    And in a possible election where every riding counts for the CPC, Harper would be ill advised to pull 'a Guergis' on Mad Max. There is no way they could re-take this seat with Bernier running as an independent. Bernier could run for the Greens ,if he so wished, and would win them their first riding.

    Also to clarify, I never stated he would win the leadership of the CPC. Only that he'll make a run at the job once there's a vacancy.

    By Blogger Tof KW, at 9:51 a.m.  

  • He doesn't seem "dumb as a post" to me... I may not always agree with him or his ideas, however he seems intelligent and expressive and informed to me.

    Versus Ignatieff, Dion, Martin, and Chretien, I'd probably choose him. I'd choose him over Harper or Flaherty or Day.

    By Blogger Jacques Beau Vert, at 10:42 a.m.  

  • I think you have to be pretty dumb to have a mistress who previously slept with a serious of underworld figures and whose only attraction seems to be her bust measurement. There's Tory "family values" for you!

    By Blogger DL, at 10:46 a.m.  

  • Okay, you didn't find her hot enough for him to date - that has no real relevance to his intelligence, though.

    Trudeau and Clinton and Kennedy all loved the wrong ladies, without any "Tory "family values"" mentioned - so your problem isn't really his love life. Seemingly, it's an inability to look beyond his party affiliation.

    By Blogger Jacques Beau Vert, at 11:37 a.m.  

  • I like him. He'd be a legit CPC leadership candidate but I doubt he'd get enough support to win and I cannot imagine he'd do that great in an election as leader, he's ideas are just a bit much.

    The CPC need a moderate candiate to win an election, I think Christian Paradis would have been an interesting Quebec candidate but he probably screwed that up after his recent problems.

    By Blogger Jordan, at 3:03 p.m.  

  • Liberals and New Democrats tend not to pontificate about "family values" or to portray themselves as paragons of moral virtue - so nobody cares who they sleep with. Priggish Tories who go on about morality and family values make themselves easy targets when they turn out to be hypocrites who have mistresses in every port.

    By Blogger DL, at 3:34 p.m.  

  • I think Mad Max as he's dubbed would have earnestness going for him. I've seen a few comments to the tune of, I might not agree with him, but I'll listen cuz he's shooting straight. That goes a long way in politics imo. If Rob Ford can win a major election, so can Bernier.

    By Blogger m5slib, at 10:51 p.m.  

  • Bernier will fail because he is not speaking the language of Canadian politics. Leadership races are won in a large part by tapping into existing networks of MPs, volunteers and fundraisers.

    The right wing of the Tory party (the old Reform party) is ALSO the western wing of the party. So while Bernier may think he is speaking their language by endorsing conservative positions, what he really needs to do is embrace Western alienation somehow.

    By Blogger french wedding cat, at 2:59 a.m.  

  • Issue: Julie Couillard
    Bernier Position: Doggie Style
    Conservative Position: Missionary

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:06 a.m.  

  • hosertohoosier said... So while Bernier may think he is speaking their language by endorsing conservative positions, what he really needs to do is embrace Western alienation somehow.

    Sorry, are you saying that future CPC leadership candidates from outside of the prairies ...need not apply? Being from Quebec, how is he to "embrace Western alienation" in any way that can be taken as sincere?

    Frankly, I think Bernier speaks the language of more Libertarian side of the old Reform party almost to a 'T', and he always has. If not him (and he admittedly does have strikes against as CPC leader) then the CPC really needs to look beyond Alberta the next time if they wish to expand beyond their existing base.

    Remember the past three main leaders of the conservative movement have all been from wild rose country (Manning, Day, Harper). I think for the fourth they should try something new.

    By Blogger Tof KW, at 10:44 a.m.  

  • I think for the fourth they should try something new.

    Yeah. Like a Canadian, perhaps. Something way out of the box…

    By Blogger Sir Francis, at 3:20 p.m.  

  • To focus on the particular line of Bernier's, "This is not what the Fathers of Confederation had intended".

    This sounds remarkably like the dishonest veneration of founder's intentions we find south of the border, where Washington and Jefferson regularly got trotted out as unimpeachable fonts of truth in support of so-called "constructionist" interpretations of the Constitution.

    What opinion Sir John A. Macdonald may have had on federal responsibility for health care is of interest to me only as a historical curiosity, nothing more.

    Obviously our interpretation the words of the British North America Act still has meaning, but the system they created is and should be subject to change whenever we decide to do it.

    By Blogger saphorr, at 3:21 p.m.  

  • This sounds remarkably like the dishonest veneration of founder's intentions we find south of the border.

    More to the point, Bernier is dead wrong. Macdonald and Cartier were both explicit centralists, who had actually wanted a straight legislative union (like Britain’s) rather than a federal one. What they got was a compromise that placated the Grit/Reform minority among the Fathers.

    By the way, I liked your use of the quaint term “border”—as if we still had one.

    By Blogger Sir Francis, at 4:05 p.m.  

  • "Sorry, are you saying that future CPC leadership candidates from outside of the prairies ...need not apply?"

    No. I am saying that an Alberta-Quebec axis is unlikely to prevail. There are plenty of regional alliances that can prevail, some of which need not be led by a Westerner.

    "Frankly, I think Bernier speaks the language of more Libertarian side of the old Reform party almost to a 'T"

    There is no meaningful Libertarian side of the Reform party. Reformers will pick a westerner over a libertarian almost all the time.

    Case-in-point: Tom Long ran a well-funded campaign to lead the Canadian Alliance in 2000. Despite running on a libertarian platform he did poorly overall (against two social conservatives), and most of his support came from Ontario - not the supposedly libertarian west.

    Alternately, data from the 2008 national election survey disconfirms the notion that there are a lot of libertarians in the CPC.

    % of Tories identifying the most important national goal as...
    Fighting crime: 27.3%
    Giving people more say: 6.9%
    Maintaining eco growth: 49.2%
    Protecting freedom of speech: 16.7%

    "Which is more important in a democracy?"
    Letting the majority decide: 78.5%
    Protecting rights of minorities: 21.5%

    I'd say the libertarian wing of the Tory is small to non-existent.

    By Blogger french wedding cat, at 1:56 a.m.  

  • re: the founders

    Rob Silver had a great post on this when Bernier first made the comments.

    If you consider the powers of dissalowance, powers over natural resources, etc, the federal government actually had a great deal of power over the provinces in the original BNA Act.

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 9:53 a.m.  

  • The Tories use a weighted leadership system by riding, assuming they can find 100 live (or dead...or feline) bodies in each riding.

    So, even if the base wants an Albertan, Quebec and Ontario ridings are still going to decide this thing.

    And hell, I tend to think Jim Prentice could do well in Ontario and Bernier could do well in Alberta.

    I tend to think Bernier could probably get 20-25% support in a leadership race, but couldn't grow enough to win. Still, that would leave him as a powerful force in the party that couldn't be ignored.

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 9:57 a.m.  

  • I'm not really yet aware of Bernier preaching a lot of family values morality he's hypocritically fallen short of.

    By Blogger Jacques Beau Vert, at 2:30 p.m.  

  • This can't really work, I believe like this.

    By Anonymous www.badajoz-3d.com, at 3:23 a.m.  

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