Would Poilievre be Canada’s Trump?

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.

Certainly charismatic.

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,

*Lower taxes!!

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”!

Harv Oberfeld

(Reminder: Get First Alerts of all new postings on this BC-based Blog by following @harveyoberfeld on Twitter. No spam …just notices of new topics up for discussion. )

Posted in British Columbia, Media, National | 27 Comments

Federal Liberals Show BC NDP There ARE Ways to Help WORKING People Buy a Home

Federal Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland has made my point! Her 2022 Federal Budget shows there ARE ways senior governments can help working Canadians … individuals, couples, young families … get into the housing market.

And the Federal Budget also proved my point two weeks ago: showing HOW the BC NDP has turned its back on struggling middle-class working taxpayers, who were once its base.

I had castigated the BC NDP for its pathetic high profile announcement that, in the face of the terrible economic stresses people have suffered for two years now under Covid , the government will rebate a “piddly” $110 per ICBC-covered motorist ($165 for commercial drivers) … at some time in May or June.

(By the way, the BC rebate plan was made to look all the more “piddly” after Ontario announced April 4 that the province will drop its gas tax by 5.7 cents a litre and its fuel tax by 5.3 cents a litre … for SIX MONTHS!)

I contended the BC announcement proved just how much Premier John Horgan’s government has lost touch with and how little the BC NDP now focuses on hard-working tax-paying British Columbians, hardly able to pay their rents, let alone dream of ever buying a home: the government catering instead to the “gimme, gimme, gimme” crowd.

You can review that blog here: http://harveyoberfeld.ca/blog/110-gas-rebate-horgan-ndps-insult-to-bcs-working-middle-class/.

Now, the federal Liberal Budget proves my point … and shows the BC NDP how senior governments, if they want to, CAN help working taxpayers too.

The first announcement: a $500 one-time grant to new home buyers made me think “Another piddly amount” from government that will do nothing to really assist anyone trying to buy a home.

But then there was more:

The federal government will allow Canadians under 40 to put up to $8,000 a year EACH into a new Tax Free Housing Savings Account ($16,000 for a couple) to a maximum over time of $40,000 each ($80,000 a couple.) Money that will be also tax-free when withdrawn to buy a home.

Cynics and critics will, of course, wonder where working individuals, couples and families will get the funds to put away?

Just watch: the total many people will manage to sock away TAX-FREE, with this incentive, by the end of the first year, second year and third year will astound you!

And help thousands get into homes!

The Liberals will also double the current $5,000 First Time Home Buyer’s Tax Credit to $10,000.

Anyone building a secondary suite in their home will be eligible for a $7,500 tax credit; and,

The federal government will spend $2 BILLION more this year alone in an effort to double annual housing starts across the country from 200,000 to 400,000.

Seems to be that’s a pretty good effort to at least do something to help working Canadians (individuals, couples, families).

Which brings me back to the BC NDP.

Where are their NEW incentives for WORKING individuals, couples and families to save and buy first home, in the face of increasing costs?

Why not a BC Tax Free Home Savings Plan???? Up to $5,000 per person per year? Up to a maximum of $25,000 over time?

Or why not a BC Mortgage Assistance Plan, allowing first-time home buyers to deduct all or part of mortgage interest costs on their owner-occupied home from their Income Taxes … as is already done in several other states/countries?

BC could/should do SOMETHING … other than collect a foreign buyers’ tax that is just spare change to many offshore buyers … and which the BC government then just pockets!

The BC NDP, as I wrote recently, is too focused and devoted to catering to the activists, agitators, protestors …the “gimme, gimme, gimme” crowd … and has forgotten about its historic base … the vast majority of the working people who really make this province run.

The federal Budget puts to shame even more the BC NDP government’s recent announcement that, after two years of the extra financial burden British Columbians have been through … all they could come up with was that “piddly” $110 rebate cheque!

Shame!

Harv Oberfeld

(Follow me @harveyoberfeld.ca on Twitter for FREE First Alerts to new Blog postings. No spam … just Alerts to new topics up for discussion.)

Posted in British Columbia, National | 18 Comments