Sunday, September 11, 2022

The Rules Of The Game

Last night, Pierre Poilievre -- the man who allied himself with the Truckers Convoy -- was elected leader of the Conservative Party by a landslide. Poilievre's ascension means that the threat of political violence in this country has become very real. Robin Sears writes:

Every democracy that has fought back successfully against political violence has discovered the same three core principles: education, accountability and severe penalties. Few students today learn in school about the thread that connects social media threats and political murder. Having finally adopted diversity education with some seriousness, schools need now to begin conversations on acceptable and unacceptable political debate, the risk to democracy that political violence always poses, and how to recognize dangerous language and behaviour.

Politicians need to stop pointing fingers at each other and agree on the common standards, regulations and laws required to prevent citizens and officials from having to fear for their lives. A clear declaration from Pierre Poilievre about his views on deadly threats and violence would be refreshing.

The penalties for verbal threats need to be made more severe. Social media platforms must be required to open and clean up their algorithms that help spread hateful speech around the world. Employers, schools, public agencies and others need to declare “tough consequences” policies for threatening speech.

The future looks dark:

We should expect more mass attacks on our major cities by armed protesters. Given the rising number of death threats received by high-profile politicians, it seems almost inevitable that one of them will be acted on. Verbal confrontations like the one Freeland was subjected to can easily slide into physical attacks.

So, yes, we need to beef up our protection systems, from physical and electronic fencing to greater surveillance and prosecutions of known violence mongers. But as we saw only weeks ago when Salman Rushdie was almost murdered on stage, even if he still had heavily armed guardians they could not prevent violent attacks by those willing to die in their assault.

We need to develop a broad consensus on the boundaries of acceptable discourse and behaviour in this country — and then enforce those rules at the first signs of trouble.

So let's start thinking about the rules of the game. It's a sure bet that Mr. Poilievre won't like them.

Image: The Hill Times


Anonymous said...

I must admit, I have barely listened to a word Poilevre has said, but one look at his smug mug, his backing of the ridiculous freedumb convoy and the platitudes, the "gatekeepers" and his stupidity about the bank of Canada and bitcoin, leave me thinking he has a tough road ahead of him convincing Canadians to vote for their conservative MP. Election strategy wise, the LPC is probably thinking sooner than later as two plus years is an eternity and better to sink him early than risk any momentum. Not sure Justin is the man to do it, but he still remains undefeated by the CPC and sending another leader packing quickly, would look stellar for his record. Poilevre as PM, is a definite hard no for many Canadians. BC Waterboy.

Owen Gray said...

I agree with you, waterboy. Poilievre may set the party faithful atwitter. But I suspect the country as a whole will say "No, thank you."

Lorne said...

Reading some of the remarks Poilievre made upon his ent4hronement, Owen, I was struck by how much he sounded like an NDPer. Hopefully, Canadians will see through his pretense and understand his true nature before too much time has passed.

Owen Gray said...

Like Doug Ford, Lorne, Poilievre claims to be a man of the people. We've seen this act before.

Toby said...

Lorne "was struck by how much he sounded like an NDPer." I had the same thought. The NDP has had its share of firebrands. There is something appealing about political anger.

I was caught by the resignation of Lorraine Rekmans as president of the Green Party of Canada. She says of the GPC that "there is no vision for a better future, but only an effort to look back and settle old scores, while the planet burns." One could say the same about the Trudeau Liberals, all talk and throwing money around but the planet still burns. The next election is going to be Trudeau's to lose.

John B. said...

I'm sorry, Lorne. A lot of people don't see through it. Much of it might be a fabrication, but he has a massive network of support on social media and he's capitalized on the F-Trudeau crowd and the new WEF comedy hour. I think some young people are swallowing his contradictions. They don't know him.

Owen Gray said...

There will be a price for Poilievre's ascension, John. And the gullible will pay it.

Anonymous said...

And if the number of gullible that vote, the rest of us will pay for it too. DJF

Owen Gray said...

Unfortunately, DJF, that's quite true.

the salamander said...

Below in quotes is a Tweet I posted this AM

“Like it or not.. this is Pierre Poilievre
Candidate for re-election in Carleton Riding, Ottawa

It’s actually up to that Riding Electorate only.. to elect him
What he’s ‘accomplished’ on their behalf is complete mystery
& his wife is employed by their rental tenant, a Calgary MP”

In another tweet I mention that the Carleton Riding Electorate
& indeed the various Political Campaigns thereof
will dictate the Political Future of Pierre Poilievre
and likely The CPC - The Conservative Party Of Canada

Far from The Madding Crowd of Polls polls & More Polls
That is ‘Game, Set, Match Point’.. for the whole enchilada !

I also mention elsewhere that Canada is three full years
from its next scheduled Federal Election
‘on or before Oct 20, 2025’
I really want to see & hear Poilivre et al Inc
Suck & Blow for 3 straight years
while living in splendour at Stornaway on the taxpayers dime
& his wife works remotely for their Calgary tenant, MP Michael Cooper

Yes.. it will be as if they’re fairy tale royalty for the Poilievre Family
Chauffeur, chefs, nanny, Security Briefings, Aircraft, laundry
groundskeepers.. 🦎

Owen Gray said...

Unquestionably, sal, the Poilievres have moved upmarket.