A Radical Right-Wing Failure in Canada: The People's Party in the 2019 Federal Election




Buck, Charles

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University of Guelph


This thesis is an investigation into why Maxime Bernier’s People’s Party of Canada (PPC), a radical right-wing party (RRP), failed to succeed in the 2019 Canadian federal election. Canada has not witnessed the electoral breakthrough of such a party. I argue the failure of the PPC was the result of a mixture of supply- and demand-side variables including the electoral system, grand governing coalitions, national traditions, the stabilization of immigrant inflows, and the softening of anti-immigrant sentiment. Other, more favourable conditions for the PPC, including strong party organization and leadership, extensive media coverage, and increasing support for populist and moderate authoritarian sentiment, may have been necessary, but were not sufficient alone to allow for an RRP breakthrough. RRPs are unlikely to succeed in Canada as long as particular institutional constraints continue to exist, the immigration rate remains predictable, and Canadians continue to hold favourable views towards immigrants.



Radical Right-Wing, Far-Right, Extreme Right-Wing, Canadian Politics, People's Party of Canada, Populism, Anti-immigration