Poirivre upholds a populist mantra and serves Canadian businesses

Let’s be honest, Pierre Polivre is the dead ringer of someone you meet at a private school debate tournament.

I mean no disrespect to the new Conservative leader, or to a private school debate tournament (I confess I attended when I was younger). My point is that all the media hype about him being a fanatical populist is nothing more than chatter. In fact, Poilievre is more an argumentative geek than a populist.

Indeed, the idea that he is a populist, someone who favors working people over elites, is not only wrong, it is downright absurd. He’s actually anti-populist. Instead of defending the interests of working people, he routinely crushes those interests.

Indeed, he’s quick to vilify the “elite” — you know, teachers, public health officials, journalists, or anyone who advocates for mandating vaccines, or overnight when people are trying to sleep. It’s the kind of person who thinks it’s not good to honk inside.

Curiously, his elite includes CEOs, billionaires, hedge fund managers, and other corporate tycoons making decisions that actually shape our economy and affect the wallets of ordinary Canadians. never lower.

Today’s corporate elite is focused on curbing workers’ suddenly resurrected desire to make more money.

This desire to make more money is clearly a “wallet problem” and usually requires workers to act collectively. By itself, it has little power. But, as workers recently rediscovered, together they have a lot of leverage in taking on corporate owners.

So where does the fanatical populist Polyvre end up in this classic struggle? He has a long history of pushing anti-union laws and denouncing “union bosses.”

In 2020, he declared his dedication to introducing “rights to work” legislation in Canada. These infamous US laws have roots in the Jim Crow era and are meant to undermine unions. Barack Obama said it was about “the right to work for less money.”

Polivre has devoted most of his life to serving the interests of the wealthy. In his teenage years, he was already dedicated to helping the rich, and in his essay his contest, he claimed that he would abolish his capital gains tax if he became Prime Minister. rice field. To make the world a better place. Poilievre didn’t win the contest, but he got a job with a corporate sponsor.

He also blended seamlessly into Alberta’s right-wing crowd, including Preston Manning, Stockwell Day, and Ezra Levant. But when he served as Pitbull in Stephen Harper’s Cabinet, playing out the Prime Minister’s most basic instincts, his conservative power really started to flow.

Poilievre could be called Harper Lite or Harper XXL. He has all of Harper’s ideological rigidity, meanness, and ruthlessness, but without the charm.

Harper, of course, is very pre-pandemic right now. So looking to project a more modern persona, Polivre has established himself as a kick-woke, convoy-loving freedom fighter.

This shiny new Poilievre is getting a lot of attention. But Polivre, as I explained in a 2012 op-ed in the National Post, is just a pedantic bore with conventional right-wing ideas beneath his brash bohemian.

Echoing the late Milton Friedman, Polivre called for “replacement of the entire welfare state with a small living benefit for all low-income people.”

As Polivre himself points out, he was born to an unwed teenage mother who gave up for adoption. He thrived in an adopted middle-class family.

Lesson learned: As long as you’re okay, you can drive people in need (including those in the same desperate situation as your mother) to the curb.

Don’t be fooled. Poilievre remains a dedicated corporate warrior. But he hopes we see him as the new-faced hero who leads the populace out of the snowballs of Ottawa and into the land of the free. There is none.

This column was originally toronto star.

Poirivre upholds a populist mantra and serves Canadian businesses

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