Poilievre’s “Trudeau” obsession ignores reality

It would seem as though the entire “conservative movement” has developed a new malady currently incurable by even m-RNA vaccine-related research, that being something I would call “media shingles”, were such an ICDA code become known to our medical practitioners. It is certainly evident that Conservative Party leader Pierre Poilievre suffers from such affliction, what with his thin-skinned retort to the “This Hour Has 22 Minutes” comedian who has on more than one occasion tried to get His Angerness to just “lighten up” a tad. 

The reality of former PM Jean Chretien actually lapping up such teasing by writing even “meaner” jokes about himself in his own speeches notwithstanding, has anyone of late even noticed that the entire agenda being spewed by Poilievre et Co. is laden with U.S.-style political discussion that the Conservatives find easier to use than explain how they relate to a Canadian democracy, much less engender party policy agenda laden with anti-Canadian sentiment utilizing Justin Trudeau as Public Enemy Number One? 

In particular, what’s with their determination to “defund the English portion of CBC”, other than it is now a “tradition” that Reform-minded MP’s masquerading as actual “Conservatives” express their displeasure of “Mother Corp”, just because their Canadian content shows, particularly those of a comedic persuasion utilize their own words as part of their regular joke monologues. 

Mind you, these same Reformers have also on occasion allowed their anti-bilingual sentiments to go public, but they only want to defund the English component because in their jaded minds they believe that since most “true Westerners” can’t stand listening to French, much less reading it on their canned preserves labels, no one out “our way” (i.e.: the West) will care if Radio Canada is still be available on cable or satellite, because no one watches it, anyway.

Seriously, though, can someone PLEASE explain how the personable AND intellectual Andrew Chang or Ian Hanomansing “offend”? Give it a rest; I know dozens of women who want to believe that Ian’s last name is actually “Handsome Man Thing”. That affection by itself is fully capable of raising blood pressure levels with the Conservative ranks, especially when someone decides to “remind” them how on January 29, 1970 their entire caucus teased the PM during Question Period when Barbra Streisand entered Parliament’s public gallery, caught the eye of Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, and pointed to her watch to indicate that HE was “late” for their evening’s date. 

Such feelings of political recognition and affection, however, have long been stripped from the Conservative Party’s message honed during the Harper years. To him, the Liberals were a political force to be vanquished, not respected, and their sins promulgated upon westerners, particularly the National Energy Program, were never to be forgotten. Equally repugnant to our current crop of ex-Harperite Reformers, Streisand’s feelings towards the younger Trudeau expressed when she and now husband James Brolin visited Justin shortly after his father’s death, only to later comment that “I felt sad and happy at the same time, because it was very moving to be there with his son;…he’s kind, he’s compassionate, and he cares more about the people than the corporations. Pierre would have been so proud of him.” 

In so speaking, Ms. Streisand has voiced the true reason for Poilievre having nothing to say policy-wise, save that the younger Trudeau is now a “wacko” – and “extreme” to boot. Justin is our PM because women, DESPITE Stephen Harper’s constant efforts to paint the younger Trudeau as “unprepared” for the job of PM, put him in that role, and might do so again in 2025. This may sound perfectly absurd at the moment, especially when the Conservative flak machine is drooling over poll projections contemplating 210-plus seats going their way in 2025. Given the unpopularity of the Moe regime at the moment and voters now starting to yawn at Poilievre’s constant ranting, I can foresee the possibility of the Conservatives being of serious good fortune to take even 14 seats in the province, with another 3 also being vulnerable, especially Andrew Scheer’s riding, should the Indigenous communities in that riding decide to vote in block for an NDP candidate, knowing full well that no Liberal will ever see the inside of Parliament coming from Saskatchewan, at least for the next 10 or more years.

And having stated such “blasphemy”, I will return to the point of explaining “why” it is that there has to be a voice of dissent – even if it’s mine – expressing the sorrow of watching our democratic nation potentially ending up pursuing the autocratic vision espoused by the Conservative Party.

Personally, I could care less as to what Conservative or Sask Party “insiders” criticize what I write; every Canadian has such a right, irrespective of whether they come from “small town” Prince Albert, Calgary, or “The Big Smoke”, as Toronto is called. It took me less than three HOURS from the time I walked into the Dalhousie Gazette (Halifax) office in 1971, bored and looking for something to do between classes to doing a “nose plant” in front of Pierre Trudeau simply because the then-PM met myself and six other sheepish Dal students being escorted out of the Hotel Nova Scotian by a 6’8” member of his RCMP security team, and I was dropped at his feet in rather embarrassing fashion. As a result of this introduction, I now miss being a journalist of sorts, freelancing for four years with the CBC to pay my tuition, being taught how to “do the trade” by luminaries such as W5’s Andrew Cochrane, and writing the stories and doing the research that ended up getting two of my stories onto the front pages of almost every major newspaper in Canada. 

To our jaundiced “conservative” critics, that sounds like bragging; however, being part of a community that wanted to tell Canada’s stories was once a dream profession, that is, until monopolistic ownership and profit before story-writing were the mottos of editorial rooms strewn across our landscape. In truth, today’s printed media are prominently the domain of ultra-rich shareholders promoting a political philosophy that is borders on the autocratic, and making the articles embarrassed reporters have to write as though they were mere stenographers.

Such conditions within our media sources cause me to ask questions that on the surface appear “going against the grain” of current conventional feelings respecting the Conservatives and their out-of-control leader. Why should anyone pay attention to stories created by Poilievre’s all-consuming insults about Justin Trudeau, when he has nothing to say about policy, save that it’d be something other than Trudeau’s. He openly courts the votes of former Freedom Convoy leadership considered to be members of Diagolon, a right-wing and anti-Semitic group considered by U.S law enforcement agencies to be a terrorist organization – with one such individual even harboring thoughts of sexually assaulting Poilievre’s own wife; Jean Chretien, on the other hand, would have turned that man’s face into sausage meat. He runs a campaign which uses rhetoric from the extreme “right” of the U.S. Republican Party, promoting constitutional change that would sap the power of our federal government and turn our provinces into Mississippi or Alabama Norths. And then there’s that “carbon tax” thing, which farmers really don’t want to talk about, simply because they’re more worried about droughts, wildfires, crop destruction, and – of course – climate change and its increasing influence upon our environment because we’ve become addicted to utilizing the products that Big Oil keeps wanting to provide for us.

Poilievre’s apostles are no different in their ignorance, promoting insane theories as to “why” m-RNA created Covid-19 vaccines are killing babies or making teenagers sick with myocarditis symptoms, when they don’t even realize that this rigid and exacting process that allows m-RNA messenger to replicate cellular structure so that life as we know it can be preserved in our genetic constituency. Equally repugnant, they can wax eloquently as to the “Communist China” influence upon potential Liberal candidates, yet are only too willing to dispute the evidence that most of their political opinions are being pushed to their extremes by Russian hackers and disinformation specialists.

Right now, however, our friends and neighbours to the south are starting to again give Justin Trudeau the same form of audience he once enjoyed when Barack Obama was President. For instance, when the PM suggested that the Prime Minister of India may have had some role to play in the assassination of a prominent Sikh dissident in Vancouver, our right-wing media – and premier Scott Moe in particular – lambasted the PM over his callous disrespect and contempt for India in general, and its value to our nation as a trading partner. Now, U.S. intelligence experts are viewing with some alarm what appears to be a very active campaign by India’s leadership to repress any efforts by offshore activists to promote Sikh independence. In the same fashion, Poilievre has vowed to remove the odious media “supplement” resulting from Bill C-18, The Online News Act’s goal of having social media platforms provide compensation to Canada’s print media sources for sharing their stories online, and losing ad revenues as a result. Now, even California governor Gavin Newsom, having in 2022 enacted legislation to protect people from online dissemination of hate and disinformation, is now proposing the same measure as compensation for the work provided by the reporters creating stories of such importance.

Will either of these American turnarounds quiet the rhetoric Poilievre is so wont to spread?

I’m more inclined to interpret this question in the following fashion: Are Canadian voters so consumed with hate and conflict that they’re actually seemingly prepared to unleash over 200 zealots into Parliament whose voices sound more and more like those on the extremist “right” levels of the American “evangelical” and profit over the future advocates selfishly promoting their own “virtues” over the obvious needs for consultation on mapping our future social agenda? 

God, I hope not; however, with Poilievre, nothing will change, simply because the Conservative Party is bereft of policies that promote cooperation and consultation between our various levels of government.

For me, that sucks, big time…

Ken MacDougall is a former journalist and teacher.