After the long leadership race, you might think that things are finally peaceful at the Conservative Corral. Alan Freeman isn't so sure:
In an extraordinary interview with the Globe and Mail this week (I admit it doesn’t compare with Anthony Scaramucci’s toxic rant in the New Yorker, but this is Canada, after all), Maxime Bernier all but declared war on Scheer, the man who beat him in the Tory leadership race in May.
We all know that many of Bernier’s backers feel they were robbed because of alleged voting irregularities. Scheer won with 50.95 per cent of the vote, while Bernier took 49.05 per cent. Then the party destroyed all the ballots.
This wouldn't be the first time that the man who placed second worked hard to undermine the new leader. Max has been thinking about recent Conservative history. "“We don’t know what will be the future. But, you know, Brian Mulroney was the leader of the party when he tried a second time,” Bernier told the Globe, referring to the rivalry between Mulroney and Joe Clark. “Maybe (one) day, I will have another opportunity and we’ll see what will happen,” Bernier continued. “But for now, I want to be sure to work with the team …”
Clearly, for Max, it's not over. Freeman writes:
By presenting himself as a latter-day Mulroney, Bernier seems to be hinting that behind his talk about working with Scheer’s “team,” he’ll be doing everything possible to undermine the new leader’s credibility — and jumping at the next chance to unseat him that presents itself.
In the same interview, Bernier also made public a stark demand of Scheer. He wants to be the Tories’ finance critic, calling it an “interesting role and an important role.” And Bernier isn’t stepping back from his free-market views on eliminating what he calls the supply management “cartel” (Scheer supports supply management), slashing tax rates, wiping out corporate subsidies and dismantling the CBC — but he claims he’ll put them on ice while acting as a loyal member of the Scheer team.
Bernier -- the unabashed libertarian -- would lead the party even further to the Right. Times and the party have changed. This is not Bob Stanfield's political party.
Image: National Post