Conservative MP and leadership candidate Pierre Poilievre arrives for a news conference outside the Bank of Canada in Ottawa on April 28.Justin Tang/The Canadian Press

Earlier this week, Conservative Party leadership candidate Pierre Poilievre held a press conference and once again swept the Bank of Canada.

The message was confusing – something about banning the bank from establishing a digital currency and bringing in the Auditor General. Informed heads were shaking with disapproval.

But Gerald Butts, former principal secretary to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, offered this tweet:

“His crypto stuff is crazy banana muffins, but Poilievre’s French is fantastic. Guess which of these two things matters most in a general election.

Smart liberals know that Mr. Poilievre is not really campaigning against a central bank-based digital currency. He campaigns against the empowered elites — the “gatekeepers,” he calls them — who have made housing unaffordable and vaccines mandatory, who are more worried about global warming and recognizing unceded indigenous lands than the gasoline prices and having to give up beef for chicken.

Smart Liberals know the MP for Carleton is the most serious threat they have faced since Stephen Harper brought the Conservatives together in 2004.

Mr. Poilievre continues to generate large crowds and disapproving headlines. Tom Brodbeck of the Winnipeg Free Press accused him of engaging in “Donald Trump politics.”

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“The former US president made a political career out of lying to Americans and attacking the integrity of public institutions, such as the courts, intelligence agencies and the US Federal Reserve,” Brodbeck said. wrote. “Poilievre’s tactics are very similar.

Mr. Brodbeck mirrors the progressive narrative: Pierre Poilievre is harnessing incoherent anger in a populist campaign that, if successful, could polarize Canadian politics and cause great harm to the country.

The progressive narrative also asserts that high levels of immigration and young voters’ embrace of women’s and minority rights have combined to create a diverse and tolerant society that some less-educated, rural, evangelical white voters hate, although their influence will diminish over time.

The facts, however, say otherwise. In the United States, there are 28 states with Republican governors and only 22 with Democratic governors. In Canada, Conservative governments of one brand or another dominate every major province except British Columbia.

Donald Trump was probably the worst president in American history and the Democrats managed to defeat him. But many analysts expect Democrats lose control of the House of Representatives and the Senate in this year’s midterm elections. And unless President Joe Biden reverses his dismal approval rating, the GOP is likely to win back the presidency in 2024.

In Canada, Justin Trudeau’s Liberals have won three consecutive elections. But they lost the popular vote in two of them. And one Nanos survey this week, the Conservatives have 36% support and the Liberals 30.

What struck pollster Nik Nanos was that young voters preferred both the Conservatives and New Democrats to the Liberals.

“The combination of fatigue with the Liberals, the pandemic and the pressure on the cost of living is shaking what was once the bedrock of support for the federal Liberals,” he said.

(One thousand adult Canadians, by phone, using a four-week moving average of 250 each week, with an accuracy of 2.9 percentage points 19 times out of 20.)

Young conservative-swinging voters contradict the progressive narrative. The same goes for Labor who support the Conservatives. But on the eve of the Ontario election campaign, the International Union of Workers supports Progressive Conservative Premier Doug Ford and runs an ad tackle Liberal Leader Steven Del Duca.

“The Ford government has done more in these four years on labor, on labor laws, for workers and on training than the Del Duca Liberals did when they were in power,” said Joe Mancinelli, leader of the Eastern Canada Union, to Brian Lilley. from the Toronto Sun.

As for the angry white populist trope, in the United States there is growing support for the Republican Party among Latinos. In Ontario, Doug Ford is popular with suburban immigrant voters, and Mr. Poilievre is actively courting those same voters.

Prime Minister Pierre Poilievre is far from indispensable. The Liberals have plenty of time to assess the threat and deal with it, perhaps with a new leader. But ask yourself this:

How likely is the usual Liberal tactic of accusing conservatives of being pro-gun, anti-abortion, racist and stupid to work on Pierre Poilievre?

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