On Saturday, the Conservative Party of Canada elected a populist as leader.
Pierre Poilievre won an easy first ballot victory seizing more than two-thirds of the points available. He ran on a platform promising Canada would be the “freest country in the world.”
Of course, that is his platform. But what he will do as Leader of the Opposition is a different matter. And if he and his party actually gain power, that will be an entirely different thing again.
Consider he was first elected in 2004, has spent the last 18 years living on your money, and in that time didn’t accomplish anything with respect to making Canada the “freest country.” Indeed, Prime Minister Stephen Harper dismantled many of the sureties we have.
What is frightening is how easily he panders to the lowest common denominator. In his acceptance speech, he promised to keep more money, more of your hard-earned dollars, and he would beat down Liberal inflation. What hogwash.
Many things can be said about the rate of inflation in this country right now but to ascribe it to the Liberals is wrong. Or maybe Poilievre thinks Justin Trudeau is really in charge of the entire world.
In the United States, inflation has reached double-digit levels. Declines in gasoline prices as the world supply chain adjusts to the new normal are perhaps the only good point there. The United Kingdom and Europe are similarly suffering from double digit inflation rates. Indeed, if you look at the comparator countries in the OECD, Canada is doing better than most.
But people are angry about paying more for gas. They are fed up with the price of vegetables. They are struggling with mortgage payments. And they are looking for someone to blame. So, it is easy to take a cheap shot at the Liberals and blame inflation entirely on them.
What is Mr. Poilievre’s solution? He effectively announced a National Energy Program where the government would control the supply of oil within the economy and make sure all of it comes from Canadian oil fields. Wait, where have I heard that one before?
Todd Whitcombe is a chemistry professor at UNBC.