Monday, June 17, 2024

A Pig In A Poke

Pierre Poilievre claims that he's the working man's friend. But the policies he promotes reveal that he's on the side of the working man's overlords. Linda McQuaig writes:

Pierre Poilievre often calls Canada “broken,” but he rarely reveals that his dream Canada is an austere place that few Canadians would recognize or want to live in.

However, in an unscripted comment last month that received almost no media attention, the Conservative leader briefly provided us with a glimpse of the bleak vision he has for Canada.

“I’m very hesitant to spend taxpayers’ money on anything other than the core services of roads, bridges, police, military, border security and a safety net for those who can’t provide for themselves. That’s common sense. Let’s bring it home,” Poilievre told reporters during a campaign stop at a Vancouver gas station.

This suggests an agenda of cuts that goes well beyond axing the carbon tax.

So what is he really talking about?

Poilievre didn’t even mention — among his list of things he considers worthy of taxpayers’ money — Canada’s major social programs including health care, education, pensions and family supports, which are central to the lives of almost all Canadians.

Now, I doubt if Poilievre is planning to cancel or completely stop funding these programs. (Health care and education are provincial responsibilities, although they rely on funding from the federal government.)

But his comment at the gas station indicates a desire to redesign Canada in a profound way — as mostly a supplier of “core services” — infrastructure, police, the military.

As for the social dimension, he favours a bare-bones, U.S.-style “safety net” aimed only at the poor, with the rest of the population forced to provide for themselves and their families in the marketplace.

If he gets a majority, he’s likely to be swift and ambitious in cutting and privatizing. As The Star has reported, the Ford government’s apparent interest in calling an early election is partly driven by its desire to hold the election before a Poilievre government produces a first budget with deep spending cuts, tarnishing the Conservative brand.

Poilievre presents himself as a friend of the working person — but a Canadian government supplying only “core services” would mean cutbacks that hurt working people.

His agenda seems very much in line with the far-right Fraser Institute.

These are very old ideas. They brought about the Great Depression and the Great Recession at the beginning of this century. You'd think that, by now, we'd recognize a pig in a poke when we see it.

Image: English Stack Exchange


Lorne said...

As I have said many times, Owen, the lack of critical-thinking skills in our country is deep and profound. It is exactly that segment of the electorate that Poilievre is cultivating.

Owen Gray said...

Exactly, Lorne. As George Carlin said, "Beware the power of stupid people in large numbers."

Cap said...

PP's funding list is missing continued subsidies for oil and gas. If he'll commit to killing those, he's got my vote.

Owen Gray said...

I suspect he'll keep those subsidies in place, Cap.

jrkrideau said...

I am sure Poilievre is a friend of all Canadian helots.

As I was remarking on another blog, Poilievre makes Stevn Harper look like St. Francis of Assisi. If we surivue a PP government, we might see the distruction of the Progressive Conservative/Reform alliance which is likely to the good.

Can I assume that here in Ontario Doug will be going into hiding for the next three or so years if he pulls off an early election victory?

Owen Gray said...

Doug knows who Poilievre is, jrk. He figures if he wins he can duck and run for cover.

hels said...

I can almost understand why the leader of any Opposition party would propose spending money on roads, bridges, police and the army. Then the universities, hospitals and galleries would close down, and the immigrants would go elsewhere looking for jobs.
My question, as ever, is why would a moral electorate ever consider voting for such a future.
Art and Architecture, mainly

zoombats said...

“I’m very hesitant to spend taxpayers’ money on anything other than the core services of roads, bridges, police, military, border security" states P.P.(Pig in a Poke) but he will be happy to be a Pig at the trough when it comes to all the entitlements at his disposal. Friend of the working class my ass. He should get a real job.

Owen Gray said...

Lorne is onto something, hels, when he bemoans the inability of people to think critically.

Owen Gray said...

He's been a politician, zoombats, since he graduated from university.

Northern PoV said...

"common sense" ?
sure, hire Mike Harris as an advisor and make it a 'common sense revolution'

It's Dejavu all over again - including the Cassandra articles from Linda McQuaig et all

Owen Gray said...

We've seen this show before, PoV.

e.a.f. said...

No voters don't get it. They think it won't happen to them, they have jobs, houses. Life is O.K.
When you think of Conservatives have you ever thought they brought social programs to the table? No the social programs this country has were brought to you by Liberal governments with assistance from the NDP at times. Harper and Mulroney created larger deficiets than the Liberal P.M.s before them. All people need to do is read, On the Take, the Mulroney years, by Stevie Cameron. When Harper was elected about the first thing he did was defund all Women's groups in receipt of federal funds. Then in the name of fiscal reform he started impoverishing injured Veterans and when they objected the Cons accessed their medical files to see what they could use to attack the Veterans. The other issue will be Choice. There are a number of compulsory pregnancy Conservatives and although PP and the B.C. Conservative leaders says they won't "touch" the status quo all that needs to happen is a private members bill to hit the floor and we could be done. Having lived through a time when Canadian women had no Choice, I'm not willing to chance it again. PP may not be Harper, he was his student and he'll be much worse.
The federal Conservative leader has much to say about the Liberals but he really hasn't presented any ideas for how to improve the lives of Canadians. Currently one in five Canadians live below the poverty line. PP could make it a lot worse, like cut the money families receive from the feds each month, cut back on transfer payments, cut taxes for corporations and increase them for the rest of us, he will want to reduce the deficiet, which Conservative P.M.s actually don't do.
The other thing about PP is his going to meet with those who occupied downtown Ottawa and made life impossible for those living in the area. Ya, wouldn't trust that man with anything. If elected P.M. he will be a nasty piece of business. Some may not like Trudeau, but there is now dental care for children and seniors, payments to families for their children. If PP comes to power, you can kiss it all good bye.

Owen Gray said...

Poilievre is counting on Trudeau fatigue, e.a.f. And he hopes Canadians are not paying attention to what he's selling.

Anonymous said...

I can't help myself.....many of us know and see what Little PP is doing.

Owen Gray said...

I agree, Anon. Please initial your next comment.