The interim leader of the fledgling Maverick party says it will make some significant changes after a disappointing result in last month’s federal election.
Formerly known as Vexit Canada, the party advocates the independence of Western Canada or constitutional changes that would benefit the West. It ran 29 candidates in Alberta, Saskatchewan, British Columbia and Manitoba.
It garnered 1.4 percent of the vote in Saskatchewan and 1.3 percent of the vote in Alberta, but barely picked up the needle in B.C., where it garnered a 0.1 percent lead.
“Things could have been better. I’m not going to try to BS you,” interim leader Jay Hill said in a recent interview with The Canadian Press.
“There were a number of factors that produced the results we saw, really disappointing results. It is what it is.”
Hill was elected to the Reform Party of Canada at the Prince George-Peace River Riding in British Columbia in 1993 and had a long political career as Reform was transformed into the Canadian Alliance and eventually the Conservative Party of Canada. He served as the leader of the government house under former Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
Hill said some of the problems the Mavericks faced were some of the people they heard about the party when the election was called, the growing fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, and voter turn-offs. The split and the prime minister were worried about giving in to Justin. Trudeau another mandate.
“The vast majority of Prairie Westerners hold their nose and vote for Erin O’Toole, even though they now know she is a Liberal in a conservative blue suit,” Hill said.
Hill acknowledged that Vexit Canada’s initial focus on Western secession probably hurt the Mavericks as well, and that, in retrospect, they should have built a new party from scratch.
“It was entirely devoted to Alberta separatism, not even to Western separatism, but Alberta separatism and it left some degree of discomfort with most Westerners who at this point were willing to go so far. are not.”
At a news conference the day after the federal election, Alberta Premier Jason Kenney, who worked with Hill in the Harper government, pointed to the lack of support the Maverick Party had received.
“I would really look at the Western separatist party, the Maverick Party, getting only one percent of the vote in Alberta and they couldn’t even field a full slate of candidates,” Kenny said.
“This probably significantly reduces support for separatism in this province, but it is a sign. Most Albertans went out and voted in the federal election and … one percent voted for the separatist party.
Hill said the lesson has been learned. He hopes to have a new permanent party leader next year and the Mavericks will aim to field candidates in all Western countries at the time of the next election.
“We’re going to completely ignore the vote-splitting thing and do as the Reformation did: basically run everywhere where we can organize. Unlike the Reformation itself, it’s only in the West. Will happen.”
Lori Williams, a political scientist at Calgary’s Mount Royal University, said the result was not a huge surprise, as most people did not know who Maverick was, an interim leader of the party and that it was facing a high-profile, national campaign. Had been. People’s Party of Canada.
“Maxime Bernier was generating support from both types of people who would otherwise support Maverick as well as the anti-Vax crowd,” Williams said.
“Canadians were more aware of[the People’s Party]as an alternative than other parties that are out there.”
Williams suggested that with a new leader and some national attention, the Maverick Party could generate more support next time around.
He said this could harm federal conservatives.
“There are many people… for whom winning a government is not as important as standing on principle and they are not going to be with the Conservative Party.”