Saturday, May 18, 2024

Expect Poilievre to come out fighting - again

There have been a couple of critical articles in the Globe and Mail recently, calling out Pierre Poilievre on his duplicity, so you have to know that some serious push-back is on its way. The man hates to be criticized, and is highly adept at turning any criticism against its perpetrator. Indeed, you could call it gaslighting, but it is nevertheless highly effective.

A couple of days ago, an article by Robyn Urback called out Poilievre's hypocrisy about all the "useless and overpaid lobbyists" that should be fired and permanently done away with, because all they do is bend the ear of the Prime Minister in their direction.

Well, yes, that's exactly what lobbyists do, and I'm all actually all for doing away with them myself. But as Ms. Urback points out, Poilievre himself is a frequent recipient of lobbyists, seeing two within just a couple of days of his National Post op-ed, and many more in recent months. So, is he saying that lobbyists should not have access to Prime Ministers but Leaders of the Opposition are fair game?

And then today, an opinion piece by Sharon Proudfoot points out the extent to which Poilievre has a habit (straight out of Donald Trump's playbook, let it be said) of insisting that the Canadian press is totally corrupt and hostile to him, and deliberately supportive of Justin Trudeau's "woke agenda" (his favourite phrase, not mine).

Ms. Proudfoot recounts a whole litany of examples of where Poilievre uses his rhetorical gift to destroy a journalist's entirely reasonable line of questioning, or, even more commonly, to play the victim and portray the question as an unfair partisan gibe and a sop to Trudeau, turning the question around and scoring cheap political points of his own (and generating the social media-ready sound bites his supporters love so much). See the Trump connection here?

I'm not sure how Poilievre can argue that the Canadian press is biased against him. Have you read some of the sycophantic pro-Poilievre panegyrics in the National Post and The Sun recently, not to mention the local newspapers on the Prairies? What he means is: there are people out there who actually disagree with him, and they need to be cut down to size and ridiculed, by any means necessary, because his followers expect no less of him.

So, expect a press release sometime soon. Probably something with the words "woke" and "Trudeau" in it. Poilievre is nothing if not predictable. Depressingly predictable.


Yet another critical Globe article appeared a week or so later, in which Andrew Lawton deconstructs Poilievre's approach to the media, and the way he has systematically honed his media and social media presence over the years, all while portraying himself (and conservatism in general) as being unfairly targeted by a partisan Liberal-biased media machine.

It's undeniably clever and effective, despite its cynical deceptiveness. Like a certain Donald J. Trump, Poilievre has the gift of the gab and an ability to appeal to a particular segment of the electorate. Truth and authenticity never need to come under consideration.

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