Monday, September 11, 2023

Not New And Improved

Their convention is over and the Conservatives are riding high in the polls. Given the policies they adopted on transgender kids and race-based hiring, Canadians should be wary of the party. But, Michael Harris writes, they should be even more wary of the party's leader: 

Poilievre presents as the champion of regular Canadians. In fact, he is a privileged creature of the Centre Block, someone who entered Parliament in his early 20s and never left. His entire resumé is politics.

For almost all of his nearly 20 years in Ottawa, Poilievre didn’t feel the need to sing Canadians a lullaby about what a sensitive, new-age guy he really is. He was too busy being Canada’s answer to Republican Rep. Jim Jordan, a partisan attack dog ready to do his leader’s bidding, biting, or bullshitting.

On the policy side, the unreconstructed Poilievre fronted the dubious Fair Elections Act. As an answer to the robocalls scandal and illegal voter suppression, it was absurd. It made voting harder and cheating easier. Instead of strengthening Elections Canada, Poilievre’s legislation hobbled it. Much of it was dumped when Trudeau came to power.

During the three-week illegal occupation of Ottawa in 2022 by truckers who were against mandatory vaccinations against COVID and wanted the government to resign, Poilievre sided with the truckers. Two of the he occupation’s leaders are currently on trial for criminal mischief.

Not only is Poilievre himself not new, (he has been in politics longer than Trudeau) but, according to The National Post, the team that is coalescing around him is deeply connected to the government of former prime minister Stephen Harper.  

Jenni Byrne was a key Harper staffer; Shuvaloy Majumdar worked for Harper and Associates, as well as Harper-era cabinet minister John Baird; Arpan Khanna worked for Jason Kenney; Melissa Lantsman worked for several Harper cabinet ministers and Doug Ford’s 2018 election campaign; Adam Chambers was executive assistant to Harper finance minister Jim Flaherty; Sean Speer was a senior adviser to Harper; Carl Vallée was Harper’s chief spokesman when Poilievre was the PM’s parliamentary secretary; Paul Taillon worked for former Harper cabinet minister and ex-Alberta premier Kenney; and Brooke Pigott was Harper’s director of public opinion research.  

The Poilievre Party or Harper 2.0?

This is not the new and improved Conservative Party. It's the party that still hasn't found its way out of the ooze.

Image: Winnipeg Free Press


rumleyfips said...

Factions were apparent at the Tory meeting. Pollievre and his enablers wanted one message , which was ignored by the right wing while the social warriors insisted on regressive policies.

Reformatories have a long history of factionalism and dirty infighting. It would not surprise me if the long knives are already being sharpened .

Owen Gray said...

That has been the party's recent history, rumley. If he wins, they'll stick with Poilievre. If he loses, he'll be gone in a New York minute.

Danneau said...

It's unlikely that this version of Cons will find its way out of the ooze, given that adore that ooze and will continue gleefully in their wallowing, likely dragging all of us into it at the first available opportunity.

Anonymous said...

Owen, Justin has a lot of issues that need redemption, if the Liberals want to retain power. Along with the absurd Conservative rhetoric, those issues have exacerbated the dislike many members of the electorate have for him. Topics like the SNC Lavalin affair and reneging on proportional representation are foremost in my mind, although Trudeau's stances were undoubtedly driven by the Liberal Party brain-trust. More suitable actions should have been taken, but the Liberal hierarchy perceived a loss of power and influence. The problem now is Justin now has too much baggage and electorate want change. It may be wise for Justin to take his fathers walk in the snow.

What also is abundantly clear to me though is Poilievre is a disaster in the making and selecting the Conservatives to acquire control Parliament is equally dangerous. The problem is the public want change, they don't see or understand the downside, and they seem quite willing to vote against their best interests. RG

Owen Gray said...

We can only hope that the vast majority of us will choose to avoid the swamp, Danneau.

Owen Gray said...

I agree, RG. The public wants change. But Poilievre is not the kind of change we need.

Anonymous said...

It's too bad Trudeau is the best the Liberals have to offer, isn't it?. The statement reminds me of what Muhammad Ali said to George Foreman during their heavy weight championship bout which Ali won, "Is that the best you've got, George?" Perhaps the Canadian electorate is finally saying "if that's the best you've got, Justin, it's time for you to go." For the good of the Country we should wait a bit before passing judgement.


Owen Gray said...

The clock is ticking on Justin, CD. Let's hope the tide is not rising in Pierre's favour.

Northern PoV said...

If Lil'PP somehow rides his media-mirage to power, Jr. will go down in the history books as a giant loser/betrayer who rode to power promising electoral reform.

Owen Gray said...

That's most certainly that's the way the Conservatives want to tell the story, PoV.

zoombats said...

History seems to repeat itself in Canadian politics. The Canadian voting populace has a short memory though. Cretien rose to power on the promise to end the GST and went on to lead for many years like JT. Falling out of favour of course and allowing the slime Harper to surface in all his malignancy. Methinks that we are seeing the cycle again. We never seem to learn.

Owen Gray said...

We let our anger get the best of us, zoombats.