Maxime Bernier is a Quebecker in a Conservative government that is noted for having formed its majority sans Quebec. Of the 166 Conservatives elected on May 2nd, Bernier is one of only five from Quebec; the province is, by all accounts irrelevant to the Conservative's nationally, yet Bernier is one of the most well known Conservative MPs.
Its not because of his nature as a Quebecker, but in spite of it, that he has become the voice for a substantial chunk of the Conservative Party. Small government conservatives within the CPC are disheartened by six years of spending without significant cuts. As Andrew Coyne pointed out in his recent article, the Conservatives are now spending more per capita than the Liberals did.
I think that is part of Bernier's appeal. He's not afraid to talk about cuts, he's more than willing to slash spending. When Bernier speaks about smaller government, you can tell it's not just an election platform, he believes it. He rejects Keynes' economic theories, and recognizes why they are flawed. He understands that the purpose of government is not to provide for the people, but only to protect them, and let them provide for themselves.
I expect Stephen Harper will remain as leader until after the 2015 election at the very least, so its somewhat early to be discussing his successor. Regardless, when that day comes, I, and millions of other Canadians, feel Maxime Bernier is the man for the job.