Wednesday, April 05, 2023

Riding With The Truckers

When the Truckers Convoy arrived in  Ottawa, the Conservative Party of Canada hopped on its bandwagon. Michael Harris writes:

The Conservative party lurched to the populist right in the very first days of dysfunction in Ottawa. It abruptly changed leaders, championed the truckers, and came after Justin Trudeau personally. They were betting that with the help of evangelicals, angry blue collar workers and the usual fatigue with any three-term government, the truckers would chauffeur them back into power.

Pierre Poilievre took his inspiration from  Donald Trump:

He’s employed many Trumpian tactics, including attacking the media and a nebulous class of “gatekeepers,” exploiting social media’s honeycomb of echo chambers, darkly characterizing the nation as “broken” and demonizing Trudeau the way the MAGA wing of the GOP villainized Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi and Joe Biden.

A year later, the hazards of MAGA emulation daily become more manifest, as a wildly unhinged Trump threatens “death and destruction” for being indicted and lionizes the seditionists who invaded the U.S. Capitol building. As the MAGA faithful feed on crazy conspiracies and big lies, Republican leaders afraid to draw their wrath genuflect to Trump’s cult of personality.

It’s an extremely dangerous game, but Canada’s Conservatives were tempted to believe they could manage the risks for a simple reason: desperation. The Liberals had won a minority government in September 2021, their third consecutive victory under Trudeau’s leadership. Although the Conservatives won the popular vote, they took just 119 seats, compared to 160 for the Liberals and 25 for the NDP. The Conservative party lost seats in key regions despite leading in the early polls, and they ended up with fewer seats than ousted leader Andrew Scheer had won.

The Convoy brought out the crazies:

On Feb. 3, 2022, far-right Calgary pastor Artur Pawlowski travelled to Coutts to address the blockade: “They have waged a war against our way of life, against freedoms that were given to us by our God.” While hinting ominously that bloodshed might be required, Pawlowski urged the protesters to not lose their momentum and not give up their power.

Arrested five days later at his home and charged with mischief for inciting people to commit criminal acts, the preacher awaits a May verdict in what he somewhat grandly referred to as “the trial of the century.” In the meantime Pawlowski has managed to be the story of the moment in Alberta for recording his startling conversation with Premier Danielle Smith in which she pledged sympathy and admiration and said she’d been regularly checking on his case with the province’s justice officials.

There was an unmistakable evangelical Christian undercurrent to the protests across Canada. Biblical references were visible everywhere, and there were curbside sermons from preachers in Ottawa. One sign read, “We must obey God rather than men.”

These were -- and are -- Pierre Poilievre's people. Canadians should treat what happened yesterday in Manhattan as an early warning.

Image: Cole Burston


Northern PoV said...

"evangelical Christian undercurrent "

Harris is too polite. He should use the term 'extreme Christianists'.

Owen Gray said...

Perhaps he should just put Christians in quotation marks, PoV.

Lulymay said...

I tend to think of them as Christo-fascists! A member of my extended family attends a Southern Baptist Church in Arizona where he spends his winters.

During the last major US election, the preacher spoke at length about voting and how the congregation should be careful of (stutter, stutter) (ahem, ahem) those he termed those "socialists" (referring to the Democrat party).

Anonymous said...

The Liberals also played politics too (let's not gild the lily here folks) with the convoy. They went out of their way to politicize and antagonize the convoy members. They also let it play out far longer than they should have (remember the old saying; "don't let a crisis go to waste?). The convoy members should have been sent packing two or three days after they arrived. The media also fell for "false flag operations" that were supposedly caused by the truckers. Remember the allegation the convoy people tried to set fire to an apartment building. The police should have arrested the protestors after they refused to leave, and towed the trucks away. Why was the protest allowed to drag on? Who benefited from that? So there's lots of blame to go around IMHO. AN

Owen Gray said...

Human history is stained by atrocities that were done in God's name, Lulymay.

Owen Gray said...

There's lots of blame to go around, AN. But the blame begins with the failure of the Ottawa polices department to deal with the convoy.

lungta said...

@ AN
"false flag operations" are when you attempt to overthrow a government, have an insurrection, perform a maneuver while carrying the flag of those you wish to overthrow to confuse them
Clownvoy ticked all the boxes for false flag.
Police incompetence is simply police incompetence.

Owen Gray said...

This was an insurrection, lungta.

Anonymous said...

The problem with the convoy/evilegical movement is that it's fading from memory, a few desperate folks seem to want to the follow the republican attacks on drag queens and trans children, but the vaccine stuff is fading pretty fast. That part concerns me regarding the con momentum and Poillevre's rise to the PM's residence. It frustrates me to no end that the convoy/anti vax ridiculousness wasn't shut down more vigorously, how about a few ads debunking the conspiracy nonsense around Ivermectin and vaccines? A huge missed opportunity and a major factor in giving up on fighting what's left of the pandemic. Worse yet, it leaves a big gaping hole for the evilgelical next move, which is to quietly disguise their agenda and go after a few vulnerable ridings. We most certainly don't need a MAGA movement in this country and hopefully as a nation were smart enough not to let it take hold. BC Waterboy

Owen Gray said...

What has happened in the United States is a big flashing red light, waterboy. If we ignore it, we're fools.