Poilievre’s “New” Look Could Lose More Votes than Win

Would the REAL Pierre Poilievre please stand up!

Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre is a nerd; he has always come across in his speeches and pronouncements as a nerd; and, he won the Tory leadership coming across as a ner

It doesn’t seem to have been an obstacle.

An Ipsos national poll released earlier this month showed “if a federal election were held tomorrow, the Conservatives would receive 37% (up 4 points since February) of the decided vote, which gives them a slender lead over the Liberals at 32% (down 1 point).”

A NANOS poll July 14 showed the Conservatives at 35.3%, the Liberals with 29.3%; and, a Mainstreet Research survey July 8 gave the Tories 37% support, the Liberals 30%.

“In fact, in the last month, there have been six polls by different polling firms showing a five-point lead or more for the Conservatives,” according to the Toronto Sun.

And a new poll released by CTV just Saturday revealed “more Canadians consider Justin Trudeau the worst prime minister of the last 55 years than any other PM, while his father ranks as the most popular.”

“The survey, conducted by Research Co., found that 30 per cent said the current prime minister is the worst among recent PMs, while his predecessor Stephen Harper comes in second at 18 per cent,” CTV reported. You can read their full story here: https://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/3-in-10-say-justin-trudeau-is-the-worst-recent-pm-1-in-5-call-pierre-trudeau-the-best-survey-1.6489981.

You would think Poilievre’s best strategy would be to let Trudeau continue to do himself in … and cultivate his own image as a safe, steady … and, yes, nerdy alternative.

And yet, Poilievre, who for 20 years has favored a conservative business image, deliberately last week started sporting a “new” look: gone were the eyeglasses; gone was his dark blue suit, white business shirt and tie; and increasingly “in” now are casual T-shirts, jeans and a sport jacket … apparently, all aimed at achieving a kinder, softer, warmer look.

I believe it looks phony! And Canadians don’t vote for politicians they feel are phony

The Conservative Leader attributed the change to his wife’s preferences, but I … and many other commentators … believe it has more to do with Poilievre’s charisma … or the lack of it, demonstrated in Poilievre’s failure to personally catch on with Canadians.

Several analysts tied Poilievre’s stuffy “image” to the Tories’ failure to increase their popularity in the four by-elections held last month in Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec.

Some see the new look an attempt to increase Poilievre’s personal popularity.

I disagree: Poilievre’s bigger problems are not so much his nerdy look, but more WHAT he hS said and done!

Poilievre’s did little to enhance his image with most Canadians when he supported the Freedom Truckers’ anti-Covid vaccination border Ottawa-paralysing and border disruptions; he also pitched the use of Bitcoin as a hedge against inflation in Canada; he said he would fire the CEO of the Bank of Canada; he has opposed providing safe injection sites for drug users; he referred to a $539,000 three-bedroom, two-bathroom, 1.5-story home on a half-acre near Niagara Falls as “a tiny little shack”; and, Poilievre more often that not seems to set himself up as flag-bearer for more extreme right wing populism than was embraced by either of his two Tory leader predecessors.

“The sticking point is Pierre Poilievre’s slavish adherence to the kind of Trumpian nastiness that is rotting the heart of the Republican party in the Indicted States of America. Poilievre specializes in put-downs, not lift-ups. It is usually the latter that inspire Canadians,” Michael Harris, author of Party of One, a critique of the Harper government, wrote in The Tyee June 29. (Makes a good read : https://thetyee.ca/Analysis/2023/06/29/Canadians-Want-Change-Poilievre/).

Too out of touch with moderate Canadians?

Not even T-shirts and jeans will cause most Canadians to warm up to that image … if Poilievre keeps delivering sarcasm, sourness and screwy sentiments!

But as I blogged about last month, 81% of Canadian voters want change. (http://harveyoberfeld.ca/blog/writing-on-the-wall-81-of-federal-voters-now-want-change/.

Poilievre and Conservative strategists would be wise to realize more voters would be won over by content INSIDE their playbook rather than a new, casual image of Poilievre on a glossy cover.

Harv Oberfeld

(Follow @harveyoberfeld.ca on Twitter for FREE First Alerts to new topics up for discussion on this Blog. )

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