Friday, April 28, 2023

Election Preview

If you want to know what the next federal election will look like, take a look at Question Period in the House of Commons. Susan Delacourt writes:

The Conservative leader acknowledged his lack of vocal prowess in the Commons this week after attempting to sing a few bars of “New York, New York.”

“I cannot sing very well, but at least I pay for my hotel rooms,” Poilievre said, asking whether Justin Trudeau would be footing the bill for his own foray to New York City this week.

Trudeau did not have a musical rejoinder, which was also fine. First of all, as the Commons Speaker reminded the House, singing is not permitted in question period. As well, Trudeau has received mixed reviews in the past for his own singing — notably his version of Bohemian Rhapsody, belted out at a hotel piano while he was in London last year for the Queen’s funeral.

Trudeau and Poilievre will likely not be facing off against each other in any future musical duels. As things now stand, however, they will be going up against each other in a future election.

In the past few months, they’ve been turning Wednesdays in the Commons into a little preview of that battle, with the prime minister fielding all the questions (as has been his practice once a week since he came to office) and Poilievre doing his own solo act, asking most of the questions in the time allotted to Conservatives.

It's obvious that Trudeau and Poilievre despise each other:

Poilievre is gleefully, unabashedly personal in his attacks on Trudeau, going farther than any opposition leader I can remember in trashing the leader of government. Daily, he presents Trudeau as a corrupt elitist — even memorably accusing the PM earlier this year of disloyalty to Canada and allowing the Chinese to rig elections in the Liberals’ favour. Once upon a time, this line of attack was more the stuff of anonymous commenters on the internet — now it’s part of the daily script for Conservatives in question period.

Trudeau seizes every opportunity to frame Poilievre as the candidate of rage and anger, in what seems to be a bid to position the next election as a choice between hope and despair.

No one really knows when the next election will arrive, but the Wednesday faceoffs in the Commons are giving us a good sense of how nasty the battle will be if it is a match between Trudeau and Poilievre. It will be intensely personal. That’s the bad news. The good news is that it won’t be a musical.

Disharmony will be the order of the day.

Image: The Toronto Star


lungta said...

I remember watching parliament when the conservatives were in opposition under harper and as I remember it had the quality of grade school yard jeers with the participation of every con and the volume of a soccer crowd. Post harper election it was eerily quiet like the very stones it was built with dreaded what was coming next.

Owen Gray said...

Empty barrels always make the most noise, lungta.