I'm am American and I don't know just everything about how Canadian politics work, but it's been my understanding that a party has to be represented by at least one member of the parliament in order to participate in these leader debates; the case being that the lone People's Party of Canada MP was defeated in the 2019 election? Or do I misunderstand how the system works?
Anyway, conservative vote? There is no conservative vote in Quebec per se. As in other marginalized nations like Scotland, Quebec's politics break down more along nationalist vs. federalist lines than along a conventional left-to-right spectrum. The Bloc is a Quebec nationalist party. The country's federalists are just called the Liberal Party; the same party governing Canada at present.
Hoooo boy do I remember that 2019 leaders' debate that PPC leader Canadian Donald Trump Maxime Bernier participated in! I couldn't forget Bernier's role because his monumental ego compelled him to interrupted everyone else so constantly that he got like the majority of the air time despite being only one of six leaders on the stage. Blanchet was my favorite participant in that debate as well and the differences between the two of them really highlighted how different in nature Quebec nationalism is from Canadian nationalism. Namely, Bernier's hostility toward Quebec sovereignty really brought that home for me more than anything else. Blanchet considers all nations to be equals and seeks out an equitable relationship with Canada, while Bernier rejected the idea that Quebec is a nation at all and wanted it politically and culturally subordinated to Canada in every way possible. "Original thinking!" Too bad for him that he lost his seat in that election and that the Canadian parliament has since come to officially recognize the nationhood of Quebec.
Quebec has a solid 10-15 ridings that usually go conservative each election in suburbia in and around Quebec City. Liberals win a tsunami of seats in the mega population centre of Montreal where they are unchallenged and so usually only a minority of seats get scooped up by the cons and BQ in the more rural areas and in Quebec City. There is some correlation between Quebec sovereignty and Canadian conservatism but you are right that Quebec has its own unique brand. Conservatives like Brian Mulroney won massive majorities in Quebec in the 80's by tapping into this sovereignty. Harper tried this as well back in 2006 when he declared Quebec a "nation within a nation" but it didn't pay off as much. Quebec can be tough to figure out though because 10 years ago almost the whole province pivoted on a dime and voted NDP on the basis of a very popular leader who had a very strong debate performance. Outside of this one election, the NDP have done dismally in that province.
Bernier is definitely hostile towards separatism and this does put him a bit at odds with potential supporters both in Quebec as well as within Alberta as both of these provinces have significant separatist movements. It probably actually hurts him quite a bit in Alberta as there is a very strong growing separatist sentiment there but no national parties to occupy that space. It might be the difference between him winning a seat vs not in the rural parts of that province. That said, I do appreciate a politician who is willing to stand on principles when caving could give an immediate payoff, even if I don't agree with the position.
I don't remember Bernier's ego or him getting the majority of debate time. Actually, I thought his poor English skills really hurt him in that debate and his performance was a bit forgettable. It would have been interesting to see how much he could have improved on that this time. The PPC really should be an Alberta/Sask centered party because outside of Bernier's home riding of Beauce, the PPC doesn't have a hope in Quebec. Some recent polls show the PPC scratching at 20% in Alberta which is unprecedented.
My issue with the PPC ban from the debate is the poll numbers. Bernier was invited in 2019 at a time when the PPC also had not won any seats either (he won his own seat sitting as a CPC member but left the party between elections and formed the PPC) and the PPC was polling at like 3%. Honestly, the PPC probably shouldn't have been invited in 2019 but it made sense for the liberal dominated media to do so because his presence could help split the vote with the CPC and let the libs inch out a very tight election. That said, in 2021 he is polling more than twice as high as he did before and there is considerable evidence of major momentum behind the PPC right now. The reason for both the PPC surge and his absence from the debates is the same: policies of the 4 major parties such as mandatory vaccine passports to go to work, etc is clearly coming from some very powerful controllers that are sitting in shadows and pulling the strings and this is turning a lot of people off. In 2021, people are seriously looking at rejecting globalist policies which wasn't an issue in 2019 or really any time before that in Canada in the last 50 years. Bernier is now a real voice of change who can finally do some damage to the New World Order agenda in Canada and that makes him too dangerous to attend the debates.Last edited by Illusion - on 12 September 2021