Andrew Scheer’s Conservatives made a strategic decision to move to the political center, based on the reality that right-leaning parties in Canada have an accessible voter base of about 40%. The only way the political right has been able to win is because votes on the left have been split between the Liberals, the NDP, and the Greens.
This has put the Conservatives in a precarious position. Any vote split on the right has been a disaster, and now even winning with a united right is seen as difficult.
With the shift of the Liberals toward the radical left under Trudeau, Scheer saw an opportunity to expand his accessible voter base by shifting toward the center. Unfortunately for him and his Conservative supporters, it looks like that strategy has failed. Even with innumerable missteps by Trudeau, Scheer has not gained back the support that was lost to the Liberals in 2015.
The new People’s Party has done a better job of gaining support from the left, and support from Canadians who are becoming increasingly disillusioned with conventional political parties.
The appeal of the PPC to left-leaning voters comes from the party’s opposition to corporate welfare and supply management. These changes make life less expensive for ordinary Canadians while eliminating the perception of favoring big corporations.
The close relationship of the Conservatives and the Liberals with big business also leads to corruption in our government, which has turned off many Canadians from voting at all. The People’s Party is drawing in support from these non-voters, further widening the PPC’s accessible voter base.
A Twitter poll done by PPC candidate Ian Prittie (based on an earlier poll by Penny Steel which showed similar results) shows that only about half of current PPC supporters voted for the Conservatives in the last election.
A Twitter poll I ran (with an admittedly small sample size) showed that current Conservative supporters are much more likely to have voted Conservative in the last election.
If the PPC ends up having an accessible voter base of 50% or more, the party will have succeeded where the Conservatives failed. Maxime Bernier will have created a party that has broad appeal, and which can potentially win even with a vote split on the right.
Even with this natural advantage, the success of the People's Party will depend on raising public awareness of the party between now and the election, and convincing voters on both the left and right that they have a chance to win.
NGI: Were you active in politics and public service before getting involved with the PPC?
Darik: I first started participating in politics as a teenager. I had a boss at one of my first jobs who was active in municipal politics in my home town of Brantford, and he got me interested in it at an early age. His name is Tim Philp, he was involved in the library then, and today he is involved in things like the city museum. When I was a teenager I helped him start an organization called the Brant Freenet which was one of the very first dial-up internet service providers in Southern Ontario - we helped bring internet to Ontario.
Tim was a member of the Liberal Party. He ran for city council, he helped make a lot of things in that city happen. He helped the library, he helped the museum, he helped the internet infrastructure. Later on in his career he went on to run things like Rosewood house. Tim was very much a role model for me.
NGI: That shaped your view of public service?
Darik: That’s right, it’s about doing good things to make good things happen. And many good things depend on political participation or at least political awareness.
NGI: How did you first hear about the People’s Party and Maxime Bernier?
Darik: I always had a low-level interest in politics. I would always read the news-wire stories. I would always watch what local candidates were doing. I tried to keep involved. And when Maxime broke away from the Conservative Party of Canada, to me it was an interesting news item. And a few guys that I worked with mentioned it, and they were excited about it, and I went and I did some independent research. I read up about what Maxime was about, and I discovered that I align almost perfectly with the things that he cares about and with the policies that he wants for Canada.
NGI: I have been to a few PPC events and you are at most of them.
Darik: That’s right, I’m at almost every PPC event I can get to in Southern Ontario.
NGI: What has made you so committed to volunteering and supporting the party?
Darik: Let me frame this by saying, I spent almost 10 years living and working in the United States. I lived and worked in California and I lived and worked in Texas. So, I have a little bit of perspective about how other places run their business, and when I returned to Canada I had more culture shock coming back to Canada than I did going to the United States. In that, I was shocked at how expensive everything is, I was horrified at housing prices. When I came back to Canada my income went down significantly and my taxes went up astronomically. And I looked into why is this, because I was gone for almost 10 years, why is everything so expensive up here? And it became apparent that there’s a huge amount of waste. So the economics of it were very noticeable to me, and I also noticed a different culture.
Canadians don’t seem to value free speech as much as the Americans do. Living in Texas, free speech is a big deal, and it’s a big deal among regular people, people who are not politically inclined or don’t really care about politics. The same with firearms rights, in Texas in particular, they enjoy their firearms, they use their firearms, they have a natural affirmative right to self-defense. It’s pervasive in their culture, and you become accustomed to it when you live down there. And I noticed it lacking, that kind of civic participation is remarkably lacking, at least in Southern Ontario. And I don’t think that’s a good thing. It’s something I think we can improve.
We can make free speech rights in Canada stronger, and I think that’s a valuable thing. I think free speech in particular is necessary to have the kind of comfortable, compassionate, well integrated, culturally sound place to live in Canada. I think it’s hugely important.
And what follows from that is things like M-103, they do bother me. I look at M-103 and I see, it’s almost like a discount on freedom. It’s chipping away at something that I think is necessary to have civilization.
NGI: For people who don’t know, can you say a bit about M-103?
Darik: M-103 is the government motion that, I’m oversimplifying this to the point of incorrectness, but it’s almost like a secular blasphemy law where you’re not allowed to criticize certain persons, certain groups, or certain religions. And while right now it’s only a motion, and it technically does not apply to us - the general population - government agencies are beginning to implement it. Obviously the government passed it, but also I’m starting to see it overflow into things like the police services, where the police have looked at M-103 and they’re subscribing to it, they are trying to fit it into their day-to-day operations and their general policy.
NGI: You are obviously very dedicated to public service in all aspects. Did you see a stronger civic spirit and sense of public service while living in the United States?
Darik: Yes, absolutely. The Americans that I lived and worked with were unquestionably more outwardly patriotic. I would say that a similar number of Canadians also feel that patriotic spirit. They like living in Canada, they know that Canada is a great country with huge current and future potential. It’s just that one of the cultural differences up here is that people tend to be a little bit more subdued, a little bit more quiet about it. And Canadians seem to be much more responsive to bullying or criticism. There’s fewer people in Canada willing to stand up to people who say bad things about them.
NGI: What do you think can be done to encourage more free speech and more public service in Canada?
Darik: I think we need to get a critical mass of people who are willing to be publicly forward about how they value these things in our culture, in our country, in our civilization. And the PPC is helping to make that happen by holding public events, by holding rallies, by communicating their values. They're showing Canadians that there is a critical mass of people that value the same things that they do, and it’s an encouragement, it does get people out. When we run public events, and when we get really good turnouts, it forms a positive feedback loop.
Early on in the campaign, many of our public events had low turnouts. We frequently got zero or only one mainstream media outlet to cover us at a time. And now, 3 to 4 months out from the general election in October 2019, for example last Friday at the Military Institute, we had a packed house and we had a representative from every major Canadian news outlet in attendance plus two or three from out of market, and that’s huge, and that’s a critical mass, and it’s positive inertia. And the handful of early PPC supporters, that worked hard, that put in the time, that made early events happen, it’s snowballed into something big and positive.
NGI: Since your early experience working with Tim in Brantford you have been engaged in public service, and your experience in the United States contributed to that. And now you are leading by example, you would like to see this change happen in Canada.
Darik: That’s right, and I’m showing up, I’m putting in the time. It’s something that I care about and something I value, it’s something that I want to see. I have children and I do genuinely want to make Canada, now and in the future, a great place for my kids to grow up in. And so, I’ve made a conscious decision to show up and work and make it happen.
NGI: Have you considered becoming a PPC candidate?
Darik: They’ve informally asked. It’s not something I want for myself. But it might be something that I do in order to help the party. So right now, I’d try to say yes. Whenever the PPC asks for help, regardless of where it is, I am bumping other obligations, I am finding the time to help out wherever they need it, wherever they need it most. And I’m doing this in part because this is very definitely a once in a lifetime opportunity.
I don’t think that in my lifetime I will see another party created that aligns so perfectly with what I value. And October is only 3 months away, so why not show up every day and put in 100% and make that happen. Across an entire lifetime this election cycle is just going to be a tiny blip.
NGI: How would you motivate other people to volunteer?
Darik: I would lead by example, a large number of people respond extremely well to leadership by example. Some people respond really well to pep talks, where you just tell them how good it feels to do good work. For me it genuinely feels good to do good things, and get good outcomes, and meet good people, and make new friends and, like I said, to belabour the point, to make good things happen, it feels fantastic.
NGI: Have you had any negative experiences volunteering?
Darik: I have been targeted a few times by social justice warriors, and they are petty, they are mean, they are angry people. And it felt bad to be singled out by people who politically disagree with you. I was singled out in a way that I would never do to another person, it would very much violate my golden rule, the way that I was treated by certain people.
And, I’m over the hump, it doesn't bother me anymore. And for example, I know of EDA members, Electoral District Association volunteers, who from time to time get hate mail or nasty phone calls or are publicly accosted, and it feels bad the first time it happens to you, but after you get over it, it just strengthens your resolve. It doesn’t bother me in the slightest now when I’m canvassing door-to-door and somebody slams the door in my face or is rude to me, because for every one of those people there are 100 or 200 or 300 people who are receptive and will have a meaningful conversation with you.
One of the nice things about the PPC is that it doesn’t have any baggage, it’s a new party, it was formed for arguably really good reasons, it’s got a strong leader, the platform is consistent and well defined and easy to understand and easy to communicate. And I’m finding that, at least compared to prior elections that I have worked on, this is almost easy, because people are so receptive to the message.
When you tell them basic things like the PPC cares about fundamental rights like free speech and freedom of association - they get that. Or when the PPC doesn’t want to send your hard-earned tax money overseas to either foreign national governments or foreign corporations or any corporation at all - people get that. They understand it and it resonates.
NGI: Which PPC event was your most memorable experience?
Darik: The one that sticks out for me was when I met Max for the first time in Etobicoke. That was memorable. It was a really high-energy gathering. It was remarkable in how positive and how packed and how energetic it was compared to anything I had done in the past few years.
And Max is a great guy. He doesn’t have handlers, he engaged the audience, he stayed until everybody got a photo or a selfie, and he’s plain with his answers.
NGI: Which political campaigns did you support before the PPC?
Darik: Some municipal level stuff that wasn’t party affiliated. But almost always provincial Tory or federal Tory.
NGI: How do you feel about the Tory party now, particularly at the federal level?
Darik: I think the phrase LibCon, which is sort of being used as an insult or invective, I think the criticism LibCon is accurate. You can take Andrew Scheer’s own quotes, Andrew Scheer said that the Tories have become a mainstream centrist party. I completely agree. The federal Tories are, in fact, a middle of the road, conflict-averse, mainstream, middle of the road party. And that’s exactly where the federal Liberals were 10 and 20 years ago, and it’s not something that I want, it’s not something I subscribe to.
If you have been to a People’s Party event in the Toronto area, you have probably met Darik Horn. Darik is what I call a super-volunteer, making himself available whenever and wherever to advance the PPC campaign.
Growing up in Brantford, Darik participated in community projects from an early age. This shaped his view of politics and public service as being “about doing good things to make good things happen.”
I first met Darik during the February by-election campaign of Robert Geurts in the York-Simcoe riding, and I have seen him at virtually every event I have been to since. Darik goes to every event that he can get to, finding the time even at the expense of other obligations.
Darik says, “I don’t think that in my lifetime I will see another party created that aligns so perfectly with what I value. And October is only 3 months away, so why not show up every day and put in 100% and make that happen.”
When asked about his motivation Darik says, “For me it genuinely feels good to do good things, and get good outcomes, and meet good people, and make new friends and, like I said, to belabour the point, to make good things happen, it feels fantastic.”
Darik has also seen the negative side of taking a stand publicly for what he believes in, he has been targeted several times by social justice warriors. But he says it does not bother him anymore, because for every negative experience there are hundreds of people receptive to the PPC message.
Darik has been volunteering since the early days of the party when events got low turnouts and no media coverage. Now, he sees a critical mass building, and sees early efforts paying off, with a growing party and growing support: “the handful of early PPC supporters, that worked hard, that put in the time, that made early events happen, it’s snowballed into something big and positive.”
Donations are important to any political campaign, but only public service can transform Canadian politics. Active participation by ordinary Canadians, as candidates and volunteers, is the only way to bring a people’s government to power and to keep that government accountable to the people of Canada - not to special interest groups and international elites.
Darik, and others like him, are putting in the time to build a better Canada. If you have not already volunteered with the PPC, your time is needed, and the time is now, to get out and make Canada the best country it can be, for yourself, for your family, and for future generations of Canadians.
Read the full inspiring interview with Darik Horn HERE.
The People’s Party of Canada is riding the wave of populism that has been sweeping the world. Recent polls show that Canadians are ready for change. The People’s Party is the only federal party ready to meet the demand for honest government working in the interest of all Canadians.
If an election had been held a year ago, the outcome would have been very different since there was no party ready to take advantage of this populist wave at the federal level.
The Liberals shifted left, but not far enough to be considered populist. And the NDP, under the uninspiring leadership of Jagmeet Singh, has failed to take advantage of the populist surge.
Andrew Scheer has foolishly chosen to lead his Conservatives to the shrinking political center, in a world that is becoming increasingly polarized by people-power on both the left and the right.
The Greens, under Elizabeth May, have shown strong growth resulting from dissatisfaction with the traditional parties and increasing climate alarmism in the media. However, as a single-issue party, they are not a mainstream alternative.
In August of last year, Maxime Bernier made the difficult and courageous decision to quit the Conservatives, stepping out on his own and creating a new party to give Canadians a real populist alternative in the next election. Less than a year later, Bernier has been joined by almost 300 candidates and his party has started to climb in the polls.
The historical trend toward populism makes it nearly impossible for the Liberals to win a second term, even if Trudeau had not made innumerable mistakes as Prime Minister. The newly moderate and centrist Conservatives are providing no real alternative. This leaves the PPC as the only real option ready to ride the populist wave to victory in October.
The secret to prosperity is public service.
Studying underdeveloped countries makes one thing clear: the cause of most of the problems in these countries is corruption. When people act in their own self-interest, almost nothing works in a country. Bureaucratic barriers that add time and cost are put in place creating incentives to pay bribes. Money that would provide services and infrastructure is stolen. Investment and business creation are lower, there are fewer jobs, crime is higher, and people are poor and unhealthy.
When government acts in the public interest everything works better. There is efficient and accountable taxation and spending, investment and business creation are high, there is low unemployment, low crime, and people are healthy and prosperous.
The only thing that can prevent government corruption is involvement in politics by the people. Political parties are charities, and, like charities, they only work if they get donations and volunteers.
There are very few charities in underdeveloped countries due to lack of volunteers and donations. In most small towns in Canada there are service organizations such as Rotary Clubs, Lions Clubs, and Legions. These organizations work to solve problems and make their communities better. Underdeveloped countries are lacking in this civic-minded spirit. Prosperity and well-being result from simple cause and effect: if you don’t have people working to solve problems you will keep having problems.
A story of two countries will show why public service is essential to eliminating corruption and building a strong and corruption-free country. In country A, people volunteer in political campaigns, in country B, people only look out for their own interest. The problem of government corruption sets in when too few people are willing to volunteer and is worst when everyone wants to free-ride and no one wants to volunteer to serve their country.
Imagine you live in country B and you are the only volunteer who shows up to help in the campaign of a people’s candidate. It is immediately obvious that you cannot win with only one volunteer. Without volunteers, the only way to win is to have money to hire campaign workers and to pay for promotion. So, you try to raise the money from members of the public, but you come across the same problem: everyone wants better government, but no one wants to donate.
The only option left is to seek funding from people who have an interest in your candidate getting elected, but it will only be in their interest if they get a benefit that they would not otherwise get from a government treating everyone fairly and equally. The only way to provide such benefits is go against the rule of law and against the principle of equal treatment under the law, and this is where the corruption begins.
You and your candidate only want what’s best for your country and now realize that you want nothing to do with this kind of politics, so you give up and go home leaving the field to some of the worst kinds of people who will do whatever it takes to gain power.
This is how government becomes corrupt: lack of volunteers from the public to get a government elected that will work in the public interest. Then, government falls into the hands of special-interest groups, corporations and criminals who want special benefits for themselves.
Now imagine you live in county A and there are lots of volunteers for the people’s candidate and lots of individual donations. There is no need to seek the support of self-interested individuals and groups. You can win with the support of the people alone. The only responsibility of your candidate is to the people, and since the people want everyone to be treated fairly and equally that is exactly what your candidate will have to do.
Continuing active involvement and interest by the people after the election will keep your elected representative accountable and uncover any corruption, incompetence and inefficiency. Again, benefits will result from simple cause and effect: people are paying attention to the problems and working to make things better, so things will get better.
Canada has been a country A. Well documented declines in civic engagement have caused our country to slide down into the A minus and B plus range. We are experiencing greater corruption as our tradition of public service has been eroded. For decades our society has promoted selfishness instead of service. This must change if we want to avoid sliding backward still further and becoming more and more like an underdeveloped country.
We must strive to make Canada an A+ country. Now, people are awakening, and we are beginning to recover our spirit of public service. To succeed, we need to participate in government, and we need to serve our country.
The establishment of the People’s Party of Canada offers Canadians a unique opportunity. The People’s Party was founded on the principle of serving the interests of the Canadian people. This can only be achieved if the people of Canada make it a true people’s party – and keep it a true people’s party – through active participation and support by the people.
Public service is based on the principle of loving your neighbor as you love yourself. This is the foundation of personal salvation, and it’s the foundation of the salvation of nations. We must love all and serve all. With love, and with service, we can rise out of darkness. It is not too late.