Tuesday, March 05, 2024

Easy Marks

Millennials, we're told, are shifting their votes to Pierre Poilievre. Max Fawcett writes that Poilievre is playing them for fools:

Credit where it’s due: Pierre Poilievre has talked a good game about housing ever since he was elected leader of the Conservative Party of Canada. Sure, he keeps fibbing about being the Harper government’s housing minister (no such role existed) and continues to pretend the problem magically started when the Trudeau Liberals were elected, but he’s effectively drawn attention to an issue that’s been overlooked for too long. The huge surge in Conservative support among millennial voters, who now outnumber baby boomers, helps explain why his party is so far ahead in recent polls.

Housing-hungry millennials might want to look a little more closely at what he’s actually saying about the issue, though. Yes, Poilievre has been very good at feeling their pain and harnessing it to his own political ambitions. But if anyone’s expecting him to heal it as prime minister, his recent behaviour suggests they’re setting themselves up for some pretty major disappointment.

It's wise to concentrate on what Poilievre does and not on what he says:

He has, for example, decided to make an enemy out of NDP Premier David Eby, who he recently suggested has “probably the worst housing record of any politician on Earth.” Eby, of course, has been premier of British Columbia for just over a year now. In that time, he’s transformed the housing market in his province, implementing a raft of hugely ambitious and aggressive reforms that target everything from short-term rentals and restrictive local zoning bylaws to design-oriented regulations that can unlock more supply. Leo Spalteholz, a pro-supply housing activist in B.C., described the changes as “transformational.”

Poilievre is apparently counting on Canadians to ignore that progress or the context in which it’s taken place. “Look at the prices,” he said in a video that was clipped and shared by Canada Proud. “Vancouver is now the third most expensive housing market in the world, comparing median income to median house prices. Check it on Demographia.ca for yourself.”

Well, I did. Despite the dead link Poilievre tried to direct people to — it’s demographia.com — the data doesn’t tell the story he might like to pretend. Back in 2015, for example, Demographia’s annual study of housing affordability revealed that Vancouver was the second most expensive city in the world on those same criteria. Maybe, just maybe, it’s about something other than Justin Trudeau and Eby.

Curiously, while Poilievre is happy to blame Eby for the high housing prices that long predate his entry into provincial politics, he’s conspicuously silent about Ontario Premier Doug Ford’s track record. Prices and rents there have soared since his Progressive Conservatives took power in 2018, and most of his government’s legislative efforts on this file have revolved around trying to enrich Ford-friendly developers and exacerbate the province’s existing problems with sprawl. The Ontario PCs have repeatedly ignored the recommendations of their own Housing Affordability Task Force and in some cases, actively opposed them.

As a result, while housing starts were up 11 per cent in Eby’s B.C. in 2023, they dropped 36 per cent in Ford’s Ontario. As The Hub’s Steve Lafleur noted, federal Housing Minister Sean Fraser has been leading the charge for better housing policies in Ontario. “He’s getting municipal governments to make tough reforms the premier hasn’t thus far been willing to impose. Indeed, many of these reforms are straight out of the Housing Affordability Task Force report. The premier doesn’t have to drive the bus, but he really shouldn’t stand in front of it.”

As a New York City official once said of Donald Trump, "I wouldn't believe a word he says -- even if his tongue were notarized."

Image: DiJones


lungta said...

Alberta Talking Points.
1) It is all JTs fault .... NO YOU GIVE HIM TOO MUCH CREDIT
2) Things are tough but lets not trade down.
3) The conservatives are responsible for the current Alberta situation as they had total control provincially for 50 years, not Ottawa and Federally haven't run anything of any talent or expertise recently
4) If endless whining with no solution by an incompetant politician who has never achieved anything for Canadian government beyond taking off his glasses and with no vision beyond Frack JT then pp is your man.
His appeal to the common sense of the common man is a calculated realization of how backward the common man is; it is George Carlins stupid as the average man with a huge appeal to those below average.
And the biggest joke is that if you fail grade ten here and live in mom and dads basement drive their truck and play with the animals until they pass your a millionare when you get the land.
Ignorant and powerful and entitled. Arguably in the 0.1 % AND hard done by. Convoy!!
Anywhere else your a freeloader.

Owen Gray said...

A pretty accurate summary, lungta.

Trailblazer said...

Poilievre,Trudeau or Singh what wonderful choices we have!
Sarcasm aside, is there any wonder fewer people bother to turn out and vote?
As with politicians just about everywhere they are owned and not by the voting masses.


John B. said...

Poilievre learned well. It's right out of Patrick Muttart's playbook - targetting the uninformed. Picking fights with the press is a part of it. They're showing a bias favouring his opponents if they don't suck up to him. Where's a millennial going to go for some easier listening. I know what we'll do. We'll go to YouTube and find something that can entertain and inform us in under seven minutes - maybe up to ten if we look at the comments his volunteers have posted or liked to the top of the pops in "relevance". He's their man.

Owen Gray said...

Things are pretty bleak, TB.

Owen Gray said...

The triumph of the ignorant, John.

Northern PoV said...

I used to work the phones for my party-de-jour (NDP or Lib) during elections.
I often went 'off script' cause the anodyne talking-points we were told to stick to were so limp and often missing the issues that count.

When I heard this type of statement (with former leader's names of course):
"Poilievre, Trudeau or Singh what wonderful choices we have!" it was usually followed by
"why bother voting - no real difference - too bad we don't have Ron Paul (or similar) in this country".

My comeback was that "every few years we get to choose the warden of the prison we are in - and that can make a difference".

I don't work the phones anymore but I still hold-my-nose and make an informed vote. Alas, it takes a little work to sort through the MSM (and now through the social-media-silos) to stay informed.

Owen Gray said...

Choices are usually about choosing between several disappointing options, PoV.