Pierre Poilievre's latest video is all about wood, Or so he says. Marcus Gee writes:
If you haven’t seen his video yet, do tune in. We find Mr. Poilievre at home in Ottawa, admiring a post he recovered from an old barn to use in a DIY project. Early lumberjacks hewed it from logs, he says, leaving the scars of their axes as evidence of their labour. Then he turns to the planks on the wall. He bought them from a farmer, and spent hours cleaning and restoring them.
Why? Because they tell a story about the people who fashioned them and the elements that weathered them. All he did, he says, getting to his point, was to reclaim what was already there in the wood. “And that’s what my campaign is about” – reclaiming Canadians’ lost freedom.
“So-called liberals,” he tells viewers, have been trying to build a kind of utopia in this country, knocking down statues, sweeping away history and banning words as they go. This is nothing but a pretext to give themselves “vast new powers,” something he says they have been trying to do all through the past seven years of Liberal government. “Reclaim your life,” he concludes, as swelling strings play. “Reclaim your freedom.”
We've heard this kind of talk before -- most notably from our southern neighbours, but also from around the world:
No one who has the least paid attention to what is going on in the world’s democracies over the past few years can fail to hear the echoes here. Brexiteers like the unlamented Boris Johnson told British voters that leaving the European Union would help them “take back control” of their lives. The still-dangerous Donald Trump railed against media, corporate and government “elites.” Mr. Poilievre does, too.
And we've heard it here from the Ford brothers:
Toronto’s Rob Ford rose to power on a promise to wrest the city away from its self-serving elite and “stop the gravy train.” Last winter’s freedom-convoy mess in Ottawa unveiled a seam of anger at overreaching governments and established institutions. Many Canadians are weary of being told to reflect on the wrongs of Canadian history, however real and grave.
Mr. Poilievre and some of his rivals for the Conservative leadership are feeding these resentments. He has blamed the Bank of Canada for inflation and promised to fire its governor. He says that “government is ruining the Canadian dollar.” He is a fan of cryptocurrencies, the digital funny money that recently fell to Earth. Before the crypto crash, he told a podcast host that he and his wife sometimes watch a cryptocurrency channel on YouTube “late into the night.”
He has said that he will ban ministers in his government from going to the World Economic Forum, a favourite punching bag for conspiracy theorists. He recently walked alongside an army veteran who marched to Ottawa to protest vaccine mandates. “People should have the freedom to make their own decisions with their own bodies,” Mr. Poilievre said.
Mya Angelou warned us that we're fools if we don't believe him the first time.
Image: You Tube