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Libertarian Maxime Bernier Narrowly Loses Canadian Conservative Party Leadership Election

Maxime Bernier, Quebec MP and former Foreign Minister, narrowly lost his bid for the leadership of the Conservative Party of Canada on Saturday to Saskatchewan MP and former House of Commons Speaker Andrew Scheer by just 49% to Scheer’s 51%. Scheer is a close ally of former Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who was criticized by libertarians during his tenure for his support for Keynesian-style stimulus spending. The relatively bland and generic Scheer is generally associated with the party establishment, while Bernier was seen as an outsider candidate. Bernier was believed to be the frontrunner in this race after the impromptu withdrawal of fellow outsider and Shark Tank star Kevin O’Leary, who went on to endorse Bernier. However, the ranked ballot system used in the leadership election, which involves eliminating lower polling candidates and transferring their votes to the voter’s subsequent preferences, made the ultimate result difficult to predict. This system appears to have benefited Scheer, who had less personal support, but had the benefit of being less polarizing than other candidates. Bernier performed unusually poorly… Keep Reading

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