Bernier now the front-runner in campaign
By Stewart Grant
Kevin O’Leary turned the Conservative Leadership race upside-down on Wednesday when he bowed out of the race, citing his inability to defeat Justin Trudeau after failing to make inroads with the large populace in Quebec.
Now that the highest-profile and highest-polling candidate in the race has withdrawn, the 259,010 eligible voters must decide between the remaining 13 candidates on the ballot.
Upon announcing his decision to leave the leadership race, O’Leary endorsed the campaign of rival Maxime Bernier, stating “I want the DNA of my policies and objective to survive into the general election. The candidate that best mirrors my policies is Maxime Bernier.”
Bernier had been running second-place in the polls, therefore O’Leary’s departure would place him in the front runner spot. Furthermore, O’Leary’s endorsement should result in many of his supporters to jump onboard as well as raise Bernier’s overall profile and name recognition, each boosting his chances in the crowded field.
One of the high-profile positions that Bernier has taken in his campaign is his message of free-market capitalism without exception. This spells great concern for Canada’s supply management system which the candidate has loudly rallied against in the past several months. Bernier’s campaign website states that supply management “protects a small cartel of dairy, poultry and egg farmers at the expense of everyone else….phasing out supply management, and ensuring that those in supply managed sectors can transition is the right thing to do. I would follow the Australian model, with a gradual phase-out and compensation for farmers.”
The vote to decide the next leader of the federal Conservative party is to take place on May 27th.