Whenever I hear Pierre Poilievre’s name mentioned on radio or television, I pay attention … to hear what Canada’s aspiring new federal Conservative Leader has been saying.
He has certainly caught my attention … and I find his remarks entertaining, interesting, thought-provoking, riveting, touching a nerve or two, often zero in on a few of my own pet peeves … and sometimes, I even find him quite amusing.
But wait a minute … I had the same reactions back in 2014 or so, when Donald Trump first started to emerge as a real contender for the US Republican Party nomination for President.
He certainly was interesting, thought-provoking, riveting, touched a nerve or two, zeroed in on a few of my own pet peeves … and often, I even found him quite amusing.
Then he won.
Within a year, I had new reactions to Trump’s words, policies and actions: idiot, moron, fool, narcissist, liar, disgraceful, ignoramus, Putin puppet, immoral, racist, arrogant and incompetent.
But he sure knew how to push many of America’s buttons!
Emotional buttons, nationalistic buttons, racist buttons, homophobic buttons, anti-refugee and anti-immigrant buttons, anti-Muslim buttons, even anti US Constitution and anti US Bill of Rights buttons.
Ironically, Sunday was the 40th anniversary of Canada’s own Charter of Rights and Freedoms … maybe a good time for Canadians to start paying attention to Poilievre’s growing appeal.
He, too, is a great button pusher:
*Housing costs are too high;
*Laws protect the wealthy;
*Government is too big;
*Canada should embrace Bitcoin;
*Axe the Carbon Tax;
*Defund the CBC;
*Eliminate infringements on individual rights;
*But, require Muslim women to remove the niqab while taking the oath of citizenship; and, of course,
I’ll vote for that!!
But FIRST, Poilievre has to tell me exactly HOW he’s going to improve these things, WHAT specific changes he would make; WHO will decide how to balance BC’s interests, needs, goals with Ontario’s, Quebec’s and the Maritimes; and, WHEN would Canadians actually get to enjoy all these new benefits, freedoms, lower taxes????
Don’t just push the buttons promising them! I’ve seen that before!
It’s textbook populism: hitting nerves; making promises (without details); and, some would say even exploiting prejudices.
Yet clearly, many Conservative supporters are enjoying Poilievre’s hype. He’s attracting large crowds, getting lots of cheers during his charismatic speeches … and he is also attracting lots of support from sitting Tory MPs.
News reports say almost half of the sitting Conservative caucus in Ottawa are already supporting Poilievre’s bid for the party leadership … like Trump’s Republican Congress supporters … drinking the kool-aid, without first demanding the exact ingredients … or the possible side effects.
No doubt, many Canadians DO feel frustrated, DO believe governments (at ANY level) pay insufficient attention to the working/middle class backbone of our communities, our provinces, our nation.
And are ready for change.
Those sentiments could carry Poilievre to Tory leadership.
As the Washington Post’s contributing Canadian columnist, David Moscrop, wrote Thursday:
“He peddles an angry and appealing message: that Canadians are getting screwed, and he’s here to save them. The recklessness isn’t so much in the tone of his messaging — folks ought to be angry at an economic and political system that structurally marginalizes, underpays and excludes them — but rather Poilievre’s plan, or lack thereof, to address the underlying causes of discontent while demonizing the state capacity that will be necessary for reform.”
You can read his entire column here: https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2022/04/14/pierre-poilievre-canada-conservative-leader-campaign/.
Doesn’t that remind you of the early days of Trump?
But I’m not sure Canadians are ready to don blue caps (red is the Liberal colour north of the border) sporting the slogan “Make Canada Great Again”!
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