Can you imagine conservative leader Pierre Poilievre singing “Solidarity Forever”? That is the image that comes to mind when you read that he thinks his party can win some of the labour vote in the next election. I expect he will. Despite the conservatives classifying the NDP as ‘woke’ there have always been an element in the labour movement that votes conservative. We saw it in some of the long-term conservative ridings in Toronto that switched to being NDP strongholds.
The facile answer at the time was that the liberals had always been the enemy and the former conservatives went to the NDP as their alternative. I think it is more complex than that. In the past 40 years or so, we have seen the more progressive unions switch to the liberals as the party that gets things done for them.
The voters that the Poilievre conservatives are attracting are the young, the angry and the ignorant. They probably know that Poilievre is lying to them and they don’t care. They see their support for Poilievre as getting even. They are counting on him to be disruptive. It is likely the reason Ontario’s Doug Ford won the last provincial election on the promise of “Buck a Beer.” You don’t really believe it will happen but the idea of somebody sticking it to the foreign-owned beer companies gives you a nice warm feeling.
I feel sorry for the young. This part of the electorate think Poilievre speaks for them. He doesn’t. He only speaks for himself. He spells disaster for the conservatives with his extremist right-wing views. He is an ideologue, inculcated throughout his life in the Alberta Reform party and conservative spread of hatred of the supposed liberal establishment of the east.
If he is ever elected prime minister of Canada, any federal effort to stem climate change would go straight into the garbage dumps. Instead of gradually reducing Alberta’s dependence on exploiting the tar sands, he would turn the industry loose to maximize their output and profits.
If you have ever wondered what the supposed freedom is that he is offering Canadians, it is the freedom to fend for yourself. It is the freedom to go hungry if you fall on hard times. It is also the freedom to sleep on the streets if you cannot afford the escalating housing costs. He will not be there for you.
Copyright 2024 © Peter Lowry
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