Bernier hasn't earned his place at the debates - 2019-08-15
He seems to have done a pretty good job, as usual. At least we know there will be some debates, and they will be run on a reasonable basis, as opposed to the mish-mash that resulted in 2015 after former prime minister Stephen Harper declined to participate in a series of head-to-heads put together by a consortium of TV networks.
The rules set out by the commission are simple and straightforward. In order to get a place on the stage, a party has to meet three criteria: it has to have at least one member who was elected under its banner, it has to have candidates running in 90 per cent of ridings, and it has to have attracted at least four per cent of the vote in the previous election, or have a "legitimate chance" of winning seats, according to credible polls.
Five parties made the cut for this year. As usual, there's been an outcry — there is always an outcry. This time it's because the People's Party of disgruntled former Conservative cabinet minister Maxime Bernier was left off the list. Bernier stalked out of the Tory caucus after he failed to be elected leader. Since then he's busied himself claiming he was robbed, while assembling a party of people willing to support his "vision," which consists largely of hostility to immigration and sad echoes of Trumpism, including pledges to build a fence along areas of the border and "make Canada great again."