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The weekend Pierre Poilievre became prime minister
Notes on an '(extra)ordinarily' successful weekend for the team with a 14-point lead, and the long months (and perhaps years) to come.
Let’s not kid ourselves, on Friday night, before a raucous and revitalized ‘common-sense’ convention crowd in Quebec City, Pierre Poilievre became prime minister.
Much ink will be spilled senselessly over the next few days in regards to the Conservative Party Leader’s feature-film-lengthed speech (certain PMO stenographers at the Toronto Star are of course already griping) when in reality, the only real question left to ask is: but how long is the wait?
Poilievre’s keynote address, if a touch prompter-heavy for a whipsmart one-time attack dog who can work off the cuff — and play off a crowd — better than any Canadian politician in memory, still struck all the right notes.
Gone is the Team O’Toole approach of playing not to lose. Substituted in, and rightfully so, is the relentless pursuit of the ‘ordinary’ Canadian, ingeniously branded as ‘(extra)ordinary.’
As a fan of the golden years of professional wrestling, Poilievre’s emotional plea to the millions who have been robbed of the Canadian dream brought a certain ‘American Dream’ to mind: the late, great Dusty Rhodes, and his infamous “hard times” promo.
If “hard times” put Rhodes ‘over’ for the rest of his career, Poilievre welling up at 1:21:57 at the thought of a young couple who can finally afford a home, sitting out on their porch “as daylight fades to night . . . and kids are heard pleading for ‘ten more minutes!’ of street hockey,” before looking at each other and realizing they made it, should be what permanently solidifies him in the polls.
Such a rhetorical flourish may seem cloying to the most cynical and battle-hardened Tru-Anon foot soldier, who continues to see ‘far-right’ boogeymen behind every piece of comms, as well as LiTeRalLy H*tler behind every parent who wishes to be kept in the loop on matters of potential gender-bending in the classroom, but Poilievre’s team are now the best at what they do for a reason.
After all, they don’t profile losers.
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In adopting this newfangled approach and appealing direct-to-consumer via fresh faces and unvarnished personalities who don’t hate their country or their neighbours because the chattering classes told them so, it’s clear that the Liberals have no idea how to respond.
With the boss away on his Global Privacy Tour, and busy borrowing generously from the wardrobe of Sgt. Pepper and His Lonely Hearts Club Band, Trudeau’s last obedient corporals have been tasked with gate-crashing the CPC convention in an effort to slow down the momentum from a now 14-point Conservative lead in the polls.
Only, in their haste, they didn’t consider the ramifications of coming face to face with independent media in a press scrum not policed by friends and staffers on Parliament Hill.
The results have been . . . delightful.
Our friend and Substack colleaguepractically has enough material for his next book from this weekend alone, after getting the opportunity to elicit sheer disdain from disgraced and embattled ministers Pablo Rodriguez and Steven Guilbeault, for the simple act of performing real journalism by asking the questions that millions of Canadians actually want to hear. (Photos are hyperlinked.)
For fans of a normal and at least slightly more prosperous future, overseen by functioning and emotionally regulated adults, these are the kinds of weekends that provide a welcome and restorative supply of hope and humour, which can oft be found in short supply in an era of one-million missing immigrants, government-approved tent cities and government-approved safe injection murders, and an entire generation being forced to transfer their debts from BMO or Scotiabank to the Bank of Mom and Dad.
Oh, to be a fly on the wall at the next Liberal caucus meeting, where Canada’s prime minister-in-waiting will be the breathless topic du jour, and where the punishments for disobedience (read: providing constructive criticism after the boss deliberately ruined the country) will be as haughty and passive-aggressive as they are swift.
And with the Liberals on borrowed time, one would be wise to prepare for the ugliest of partisan school years. (And yes, even the high probability of a ‘walk in the snow’; that father-son trip reads more like a send-off for the fractured family scrapbook than Just Two Guys Who Are Having A Good Time.)
Even though you’ve never been ‘far-right’ for knowing they’re wrong, with nothing left for the Liberals to lose our (extra)ordinary are about to be called far worse.
Let the insults come. Let the big red abortion button be pushed, and the alert siren fall on deaf ears. Let every trick from the American culture war be escorted up to Roxham Road, only to find fresh fence posts and police officers who are actually allowed to do their jobs.
For both prime ministers and Canadians in waiting, we’ve got nothing but time.
Alexander Brown is a writer, comms director, and part-time politico.
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