By Dave Wilkin
Pierre Poilievre’s big win in the Conservative leadership race is a real wakeup call for the Trudeau government. Winning with 68% of the points on the first ballot, taking 330 of 338 ridings, including all but 6 in Quebec, means his support is national in scope.
After seven years of PM Justin Trudeau’s scandal-plagued, virtue-signaling government and its numerous broken promises, national division, and lack of results, Canadians are fed up. They now have an alternative leader and party they can turn to for real solutions and a better future. You can sense the shift; Pierre Poilievre has plugged into the zeitgeist of our times.
Poilievre demonstrates an ability to connect to people using clear and simple messaging that resonates, hitting topics of high importance to Canadians. He has successfully mastered social media to directly reach Canadians, unfiltered by the often-biased mainstream media. His uniting victory speech, with its graceful compliments to the other candidates, including our own Scott Aitchison, signals he is ready to lead. His wife’s brilliant introduction, describing their modest beginning and common struggles, sits in stark contrast to the privileged elitist world from which Justin Trudeau comes.
Trudeau’s attack on Poilievre was swift yet predictable, including familiar vacuous statements like “Buzzwords, dogwhistles and careless attacks don’t add up to a plan for Canadians.” His reference to fiscal and monetary matters, from someone who believes “budgets balance themselves” and doesn’t “think about monetary policy”. His statement ironically fits himself, not Poilievre.
Poilievre’s support for and respect of immigrants, including marrying a Venezuelan, and for LGBT people, insulate him from the anti-immigrant/racist/homophobic labels Justin Trudeau is quick to pin on those he disagrees with. This will help him in key vote-rich urban centres like the GTA. His deep French Canadian roots, French fluency, and clearly stated support for protecting Quebec culture will help him win votes lost to the BQ in Quebec. His humble early years in Alberta will help him expand the Conservative Western vote, which has been drifting away of late. His promise to axe the inflationary Carbon Tax and excessive energy regulations, and to expand Canadian cleantech & energy at home & abroad will resonate beyond Western provinces and into many parts of Eastern and Atlantic Canada.
He’s not afraid to speak out on what he sees as wrong. This included his criticism of Bank of Canada governor Tiff Macklem, appointed by Trudeau. Macklem’s excessively loose monetary policy and money supply expansion, along with Trudeau’s very high COVID-related spending, 2nd highest by GDP of 33 countries tracked by the IMF, were significant factors behind today’s high inflation. Poilievre was right to call Macklem out on it.
Poilievre’s comments on cryptocurrencies were somewhat loose and in hindsight, badly timed. That said, his message of “Canada needs less financial control for politicians and bankers and more financial freedom for the people” and support of cryptocurrencies generally, actually align with the larger digital transformation underway in the banking world. Many of the world’s largest consulting companies, including Deloitte, are on it. I worked in IT and banking for most of my professional career, including at IBM, Scotiabank, and a number of hi-tech start-ups. In many ways, this all looks similar to the dot-com boom in the 1990s and its crash in 2000 that followed. What came next was the global transformational rise of e-commerce and social media. Justin Trudeau doesn’t seem to see or understand the bigger picture.
However, Poilievre’s main message focuses on Canada’s economic future and the main role of the Federal Government. He believes the Federal Government should intervene less in people’s lives and focus more on strengthening the foundation for fair sustainable growth and prosperity, restoring hope to millions of middle-class Canadians falling further and further behind. His wife’s family story about how they survived and then fled their failing Venezuelan homeland for Canada likely helped shape Pierre’s thinking.
In stark contrast, the Trudeau Government prefers a larger, more controlling, and socialist-leaning government, featuring high deficit spending, high taxes, and prioritizing wealth redistribution over wealth expansion. In so doing, his government is compromising Canada’s future prosperity by driving debt much higher and reducing capital investment and productivity growth, putting Canada last in the OECD’s advanced country economic growth ranking. PM Trudeau is making the same economic mistakes his father made and we know how that turned out for Canadians.
The Trudeau government looks tired and increasingly desperate, as the problems and frustrations mount and the finger-pointing wears thin. Anchored on a unified, re-energized Conservative party, Pierre Poilievre is well positioned to present a compelling alternative that Canadians are increasingly likely to vote for.
The longer Justin Trudeau sticks around, clinging to power, propped up by a wobbly NDP coalition, the better the odds for Poilievre to become Canada’s next Prime Minister.
Dave Wilkin is a Professional Engineer, with a master’s degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Toronto. His career spans over 40 years in Information Technology, banking, and energy. He is currently a co-owner in a small energy consulting company and lives in Huntsville, Ontario.
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