Today's discussion:

Conservatives aren’t ‘losing any sleep’ over Canada’s new centrist party

A new political party arrived on the scene on Wednesday promising a move away from "extreme positions" but political strategists aren't preparing any battle plans to fend off this centrist incursion just yet.

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Rudyard Griffiths

What some people do for fun these days. Wow. Appreciate the public spiritedness but surely Jean Charest’s leadership run effectively tested this hypothesis and found it sorely lacking. Not simply was he unable to convince conservatives of his merits as party leader his fundraising was lacklustre and campaign suffered from poor numbers and turnout.

21st September 2023 at 7:03 am
Michael F

Charest had too much political baggage to mount an effective campaign. Patrick Brown was the real moderate threat and you can see what the party establishment did to him. I would be very curious to see a demographic and geographic breakdown of where Poilievre signed up all those new members.

21st September 2023 at 11:52 am
Rob Tyrrell

[Off Topic] General Comments on the Forum So Far
– The forum’s ‘here today, gone tomorrow’ is great. Much like a conversation, it takes place in the moment (a day), hopefully was engaging and worthwhile, and then disappears.
– Ideally the up/down vote mechanism were explicit about the intent of a selection. I happen to use it for applauding/booing posts for their quality (in good faith, coherent, not hyperbolic, minimal partisan labels, etc.) rather than for posts for which I agree/disagree with the “spirit” of the content. I would go with whatever the intent is.
– At the fourth layer of a reply thread, the up/down vote buttons disappear from view, at least in the browser that I am using.

21st September 2023 at 9:51 am
Luke Smith

Thanks for the feedback, Rob. Glad you are enjoying it so far! As for the final comment, yes, we are aware of the technical issue there and are working on a solution. Stay tuned!

21st September 2023 at 10:32 am
Rudyard Griffiths

Thx for the feedback. Keep it coming!

21st September 2023 at 8:35 pm
Mark Johnson

I’ll be the outlier here I guess. As a former Conservative candidate in Toronto, a lot of people–and I mean a lot–have told me that they feel they’re political orphans now. The Liberals are too far left and the Tories are now too far right for them. All this party has to do is hive off two or three percentage points from each of them, even as a protest, a none-of-the-above vote, or a parking spot for voters, and that has an effect on the election results. Neither Tories nor Libs should be dismissive of this. They won’t form a government but they could affect things.

21st September 2023 at 9:07 am
Michael F

I wholeheartedly agree. The recent byelection in Mississauga South was a perfect example of this. It appeared as though many centrist/centre-right people sat out because they felt they had no viable option.

21st September 2023 at 11:46 am
Rob Tyrrell

Starting a new political party in Canada is a long shot, even one that would aspire only to have enough support to shift the debate and ultimate policy. A centrist party is, almost by definition, going to be a mile-wide and an inch deep (just sounds and reads better than a kilometer wide and a centimeter deep).

In our first-past-the-post system, the effort would have better luck being a geographically concentrated party, such as… The GTA But Not Mississauga Party, Cities With NHL Franchises Party, On The St. Lawrence River Party, Within 25 km of the Saskatchewan-Alberta Border Party, Quebec First-Second-and-Third Party (oh, wait), etc.

As already mentioned, what is the true mission here?

21st September 2023 at 7:38 am
Michael F

Could be as simple as a protest vote against the direction of the conservative party. Could lead to a schism for the conservative movement in Canada. It’s always been easier for the liberals to be a big tent party.

21st September 2023 at 12:50 pm
Sean Speer

There are two types of political parties: ones that are designed to shift the goal posts of debate and ones whose mission is to form government.

One could argue that the Reform Party and the NDP may not have formed national governments but they’ve significantly influenced how Conservative and Liberal governments themselves have governed. Think for instance of the Reform Party’s role in the fiscal reforms in the 1990s.

What I don’t understand with the new party envisioned here is what its mission is supposed to be. It clearly won’t form government. In fact, I suspect it won’t run a national slate of candidates. But if its purpose is centrism — that is to say, if it sees itself as merely a compromise between the Left and the Right — then it’s unlikely to influence the policy debate either.

So the burning question is: why?

21st September 2023 at 7:15 am

I don’t think the ‘fiscally conservative/socially liberal’ voter is a figment of the imagination. Robertson obviously has a strategic reason to claim that in the context of this new party. It depends on how one defines liberal with regards to social issues of course. But I suspect he is confusing ‘socially liberal’ with ‘socially progressive’.

The Canadian Future Party does seem to be a product of disaffected PCs. But in theory there could be growth potential among Liberals who are tired of being confused for NDPers at dinner parties. I don’t know if any such Liberals still exist or if they have been purged. But practically speaking I don’t see the space for another major party; they are most likely to go the way of the PPC and the Green Party.

21st September 2023 at 1:52 pm
Stuart Thomson

Today, we’re discussing Canada’s newest political party, the Canadian Future Party. I spoke to half a dozen conservative strategists yesterday and it was unanimous: they don’t think this party will be a threat to them.

Interestingly, one strategist thinks there could be an opening in the Canadian political landscape for a new party, but just not the kind of party that launched yesterday.

“I don’t believe that this new party is serving any market. There is a centrist constituency but it is not composed of the ‘fiscally conservative/socially liberal’ voter who is largely a figment of the imagination,” said Dan Robertson, the chief strategist for the 2021 Conservative general election campaign.

21st September 2023 at 6:27 am
Bill Hertha

I stood in front of the mirror and my wife saw my reflection, so I think that proves I’m not a figment an imagination.

21st September 2023 at 8:32 am
Michael F

“There is a centrist constituency but it is not composed of the ‘fiscally conservative/socially liberal’ voter who is largely a figment of the imagination,” said Dan Robertson, the chief strategist for the 2021 Conservative general election campaign.”

This is either a flat out lie to dismiss this new party or these people are woefully out of touch with a lot of voters. These small c conservatives were part of the bread and butter of the party prior to the merger. The recent byelection in Mississauga South showed us there is this exact voter out there and they stayed home.

21st September 2023 at 11:56 am

there is a need for a party that focuses on our security and country as a whole from a political central prospective. conservatives have gone into an American republican mode.

21st September 2023 at 12:55 pm
Gary Oxenforth

I thought that Dominic was leader of NDP in NB at one time.

21st September 2023 at 9:20 am
A. Chezzi

The more strongly Cons deny, the more one knows that they are concerned. To say that there is no constituency for CIC exemplifies the delusion under which the Cons are living.

21st September 2023 at 8:20 am
Dennis Laughton

Another conservative based party will just dilute the “conservative” vote much to the pleasure of the liberals.

21st September 2023 at 2:15 pm
Michael F

“Conservative strategists struggled to pinpoint an issue the Canadian Future Party could exploit to differentiate itself from the major parties, the way the PPC has highlighted immigration and COVID-19 restrictions and the Green Party has focused on the environment.”

If they honestly believe this there are reading the wrong tea leaves.

There are a lot of small c conservatives that want nothing to do with:

– Debating abortion laws again
– Wading into the same sex marriage debate again
– Climate change denial
– Anti-vaccine and anti-mandate conspiracy theories
– WEF, Great Reset, WHO etc. conspiracy theories
– Culture wars over gay and trans rights
– Gun control or lack of

What did the conservative party just debate at length at their recent convention? Many of these very same issues. Much like Mad Max syphoning off a few percent of the fringe of the party, this new party could present a viable protest vote for the moderate wing of the party that doesn’t want to hold their nose and vote for the current state of affairs.

21st September 2023 at 12:26 pm

There is an issue no party is talking about is health care and that cools the centre piece of their platform at least for me

21st September 2023 at 7:45 am