People’s Party of Canada gaining momentum, but expert questions if that will reflect in votes

People's Party of Canada gaining momentum, but expert questions if that will reflect in votes

The People’s Party of Canada (PPC) is gaining support nationally and for local candidate Mark Hecht, the latest polling numbers don’t surprise him, but one expert questions if the increased support will last.

Hecht, who is the PPC’s candidate for Cowichan-Malahat-Langford, said one of the biggest issues this election is the vaccine passport which came into effect on Monday.

Given the party’s very clear and vocal stance on the matter, he believes that might be one of the attributing factors to its recent growth in support.

“We’re the only party that is standing up for freedom, saying no to vaccine passports, and that goes, as I say, across all party lines. So, we’ve got people coming from the Green Party, we’ve got people coming from the NDP, Conservatives, though I haven’t had a Liberal walk into my office yet, but so be it,” he said.

The PPC launched just three years ago and ranked sixth in the 2019 election.

Hecht said the PPC is the only one talking about the vaccine passport and expected the party to perform better than they did two years ago.

“All the other parties are avoiding it because they’re all in favour of it, so they don’t want to talk about it. We’re the only ones talking about it,” said Hecht, who authored a highly controversial op-ed in the Vancouver Sun in 2019 that was later pulled, arguing that ethnic diversity was harmful to Canadian society.

According to the CBC’s latest tracking poll numbers, the People’s Party of Canada is ranked fourth nationally at 6.5 per cent, sitting ahead of Bloc QuĂ©bĂ©cois and the Green Party.

Political scientist Michael Prince said the data doesn’t come as a surprise to him.

“So far, if it wasn’t for COVID, I don’t think they’d be enjoying the bounce in the polls that seem to be reflected nationally at the moment,” he said.

He explained that the party is tapping into a specific group of people.

“Voters who are hesitant or tired and are skeptical or cynical about all the science and his party is probably going to try and capitalize on that,” Prince said.

He added that he doesn’t expect the support to last long.

“I suspect the turnout might not be that different than what we’ve seen before. I see the People’s Party pulling in less than 2 per cent across the country. I may be wrong,” Prince said.

“If I’m wrong, then that means they’ve galvanized the very mobilized group of people who’s not only angry, but are angry enough to get out there and actually vote,” he continued.

With the federal election just days away, Prince said the battle on the Island will be between the Greens and the NDP.

He said when it comes to parties like the PPC, it will come down to momentum and if that will translate into votes.

Tahmina AzizTahmina Aziz

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