Maxime Bernier Won the Debates by not being Invited – Annamie Paul was fine Too…

Written By Wyatt Claypool, Posted on September 10, 2021

After watching the only English debate it was clear that the only party leader who can truly be declared the winner is the People’s Party of Canada leader Maxime Bernier, despite not even participating. 

The debate was so placid and boring, with all the leaders having to respond to questions posed from a leftist perspective, that Bernier not being there saved himself from getting lost on stage with only up to 45 seconds to respond to the occasional question he would have gotten. 

The boost Bernier and the PPC has gotten from the #LetMaxDebate movement and the protests of the Debates Commission’s rules is far better than getting in a little tiff with Erin O’Toole and Justin Trudeau before a legacy media moderator slid in to save the establishment party leaders.

With the PPC getting good polling results ranging anywhere between 4 percent to 11 percent, depending on the polling company and their methodology, Bernier’s absence at the debate may have actually helped ingratiate him with Canadian voters who may have wanted to see more fireworks during the debate.

It was quite difficult to watch five party leaders “debate” different issues where they practically only ever disagreed with each other over minor details of each of their platforms or just the size of certain programs that they were each basically proposing.


No party leader was in favour of cuts to the government budget. No party leader was for scrapping the Liberals’ ban of 1,500 legally-held rifles since Erin O’Toole flip-flopped last week. And Not one party leader out of the five was running against the Carbon Tax, despite it being a major hot-button issue in 2019, and significantly contributing to the Conservatives gaining 26 new seats across the country. 

Due to the ideological similarities, the debate just boiled down to a contest of personalities. Not only will that help the PPC due to the noticeable absence of Bernier who can be quite the firebrand, but it meant that the actual winner of the debate who was on stage was Green Party leader Annamie Paul.

Paul got a few good lines off on Justin Trudeau, calling him a fake feminist and naming women he has kicked out of caucus, an attack that seemed to really fluster Trudeau early on, but Paul herself was probably perceived as the most relatable of the leaders on stage, despite having more radical environmentalist positions.

This helps the PPC as it will definitely win voters away from the Liberal Party and the NDP over to the Greens causing more vote-splitting on the left, reducing the risk of the PPC splitting enough votes away from the Conservatives that the Liberals win a majority. The PPC should not bend to vote-split fear-mongering from Conservative Party activists but it also helps if the PPC is not perceived as having helped the Liberals, so the Green stealing Liberal votes reduces the potential negative impacts of PPC gains. 


So, as silly as it sounds that Bernier probably benefited the most out of all the party leaders by being blocked by the Debates Commission, as he got to soak up far more attention due to the controversy of not being at the debate, more than he would have gotten if he was in the cramped 2-hour debate led by leftist media moderators. 

For the PPC to work it has to be seen as anti-establishment and gaining momentum and not getting on the debate stage while polling is improving significantly is a major show of force to Canadians who increasingly want a viable alternative party to vote for.

Wyatt Claypool

Wyatt is a student at Mount Royal University, where he is the president of its Campus Conservative club. In his writing, he focuses on covering provincial and federal politics, firearms regulation, and the energy sector. Wyatt has also previously written for The Post Millennial.

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