Canadians laughed at Prime Minister Mackenzie King during the Second World War when he said “Conscription, if necessary…but not necessarily conscription.” Any serious student of Canadian politics understands what the old fakir was saying. In order to govern Canada, you have to have it both ways. And those divergent paths are those of Quebec and the rest of Canada.
And we see the evidence today of the continued vacillating. It is like the fan that moves in an arc to broaden its range of moving the air. It is a political tactic that is practised by many a politician. Take MP Pierre Poilievre…please.
Poilievre must have learned his French from his adoptive parents. In the French-language debate the other evening, he decided he was in favour of Bill 21—the Quebec law banning religious symbols on people of authority. While he had previously been opposed, he changed his mind when speaking mainly to Quebec voters.
There is nothing wrong with a politician changing their mind. It is less honourable when the only reason for the change is on which side of the Ottawa river you are speaking. This was the wrong time to pivot. Especially when opponents such as Jean Charest and Patrick Brown were there to comment.
(By the way, Patrick Brown has obviously been working on his French. Now, why do you think the mayor of Brampton, Ontario needs to brush up his French? He might just be plotting his return to Ottawa in support of his old friend Jean Charest.)
But it was Poilievre’s turn to be pilloried for his inconsistency. It is hardly likely that anyone really knows where Poilievre will end up on any issue. Anyone who seeks the approval of law-breaking convoy thugs, challenges the freedom of the governor of the Bank of Canada, belittles our Canadian currency does seem to be at odds with what Canadians understand as conservatism.
Maybe he got his strategy and tactics from Donald Trump in the United States. Trump has a peculiar distaste for truth. We can hardly expect Poilievre to waste his time with it.
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