So they’re saying this is not a good time, Max, and you’re not the right guy. But as Ronald Reagan asked, “If not us, who? And if not now, when?”
Maybe timing isn’t everybody’s concern. Some might object to Bernier leaving the Tories on principle because they don’t like principles. When he said the party was too obsessed with political expediency a surprising number of people wailed “Now how do we beat Trudeau?” It’s like the person accused of being obsessed with money who says yes but look how many dollars are involved.
There’s also the emergency argument. One Twitter response to my support of Bernier was “Canada cannot afford another Trudeau term.” Now look. I’m no Trudeau fan. But he’s not the fifth horseman of the apocalypse, just a genial doofus with harmful big government plans. And by no means the only such. They don’t all wear red ties.
Then there’s the loyalty at all costs argument. But it’s a bit rich to hear from former Reformers Stephen Harper and Jason Kenney. Isn’t Harper the guy who quit the Tories, spoke at the founding Reform convention, wrote much of its platform then defeated his former boss MP Jim Hawkes? Wikipedia thinks so.
Harper also ran massive deficits to stimulate the economy, littered the tax code with vote-buying loopholes, pledged to defend supply management in trade negotiations and lost after one majority term of timid incrementalism leaving no worthwhile legacy. And the dumber and scarier you consider Trudeau the more embarrassing and blameworthy it is to have lost to him.
I say we can do better and should dare to dream big. But any time we “radicals” speak up we’re told whoa, this is no time to rock the boat. See we have to stick together to implement our agenda. Or win the election. Or regroup after a defeat. Or get re-elected. Or because we have a new leader. Or because we don’t. Or because they do. Or because there’s a crisis. Or because nothing is happening. But if it’s never a good time to good time to raise fundamental questions, the specific excuses stop mattering.