April 1st, 2023 | Grant Johnson

Don't Expect Much From Poilievre's Conservatives

The party leader won't break the progressive hegemony.
Many Conservative Party supporters are already thinking they’ve got this next election in the bag. With the recent China scandal and polls looking favourable, perhaps history will resume and it will simply be time for the Conservatives to hold government for awhile. Maybe they’re correct, but Conservative supporters have many blind spots and they seem totally unaware that events are conspiring against them.
One big blind spot is their general hatred of Trudeau. Conservative supporters hated Justin Trudeau from the start and were surprized he was able to sweep into a majority against Harper in 2015. Surely that must have been an anomaly and voters would regain their sanity once they realized the error of their ways?
In 2019, Conservative voters were shocked that Andrew Scheer lost to Justin Trudeau. Peter MacKay said it was like “missing a goal on an empty net”. The media informed everyone that Scheer was too right-wing and had a scary social-conservative agenda, despite him running from these accusations as hard as he could. His brand was supposed to be “Harper with a smile”, but instead the media defined him as the next Hitler and two out of three voters agreed. But hey, he won the popular vote!
Then we got Erin O’Toole, the true-blue conservative who won the leadership against Peter MacKay and his super lame “Liberal-lite” Red Toryism! Never mind that MacKay was more naturally “true-blue” than O’Toole; he lost to a political operative that had a secret plan. Go “right” during the leadership race and veer left during the general election. There was nothing Erin O’Toole didn’t cuck on and he consequently provided the Conservatives with a third loss and Maxime Bernier with almost a million votes. But hey, he won the popular vote!
Now Pierre Poilievre is gearing up for a fourth attempt to beat Trudeau and everyone is getting giddy…but they shouldn’t be. They should be bracing for some tough lessons in power and the reality of hard knocks. One way or another, Pierre Poilievre will lose the next election.
These are five reasons why…

Pierre lacks personal appeal

Most of “politics for normal people” is nothing more than a glancing impression. People make up their minds based on media images and initial gut instincts. As much as it kills us political junkies, there are simply enormous amounts of people that vote based upon who has the nicest haircut, or who you would rather have a beer with.
We can criticize Justin Trudeau for many things, but the guy isn’t bad looking. Fidel Castro fancied himself quite the ladies’ man, so it should be no surprize that his son inherited his dashing flair. Justin is tall, just like his father, and athletic. He looks like a cross between Patrick Dempsey and Rob Lowe. This alone probably explains why he dominates the female vote.
The Conservatives are putting up Pierre Poilievre and as much as Conservatives love his confidence and bravado in the House of Commons, the average voter is going to see a nerd. He’s 5’7” and has glasses and a Poindexter type of vibe. When I think of Pierre Poilievre, I think of “hall monitor” or background character from Revenge Of The Nerds.
When apolitical types see Pierre rage-sniping at Trudeau on the debate stage during the next election and then they see Trudeau look at the camera with puppy-dog eyes saying, “I FEEL you Canadians and I’m trying to help you”, they (especially women) will naturally give Trudeau their support.

A weak NDP

Stephen Harper’s 2011 majority was a fluke. An unlikeable, and relatively unknown Liberal leader combined with a well known and relatively likable NDP leader, led to a perfect storm for winning Conservative conditions.
Jagmeet Singh is no Jack Layton. He’s not building momentum the way Jack did and it is unlikely that voters will warm up to him the longer he sticks around. Disgruntled Liberals may park their vote with the NDP occasionally, but when the writ is dropped they return to the fray on election day. The NDP collect their 3 million votes every election and that’s that.
For Conservatives, this means no left-wing vote split. If there’s no split, the Liberals can’t be overcome.

A Strong PPC

When Max Bernier started his party just in time for the 2019 election, he was seen as a sore loser and a desperate grifter. He got 294,092 votes and 1.62% of the electorate. In 2021, he ran a second time and garnered 840,993 votes and 4.94% of the electorate. This was enough for speculators to posit that his existence cost the CPC a minority win.
I thought the huge uptick in votes may have been due exclusively to anti-Covid lockdown/vaccine people that were characteristic of the Freedom Convoy-types. With the fading of Covid, I suspected PPC support would whither.
It hasn’t.
Now that Pierre Poilievre is revealing himself to be a cuckservative, with one compromise after another; the PPC is solidifying support. Maxime Bernier, free of the constraints of being a sitting MP, is launching one tour after another, meeting people face-to-face and spreading his “more conservative than Conservative” message to the types of people that have never been or are no longer interested in the CPC.
Relentless campaign-style personality politics combined with a wildly more populist and strident flavour of conservatism is turning the PPC into a party that isn’t going to end anytime soon and they’ll be siphoning off CPC voters with each passing cuck.


The percentage of foreign-born Canadians has never been higher. Immigration has added over 1.8 million people to the country since Justin Trudeau became Prime Minister. Targets of 500,000 a year are now in place… all leading up to the next election.
Conservatives have this notion that they just need to work harder to win the immigrant vote. They cite Jason Kenney and his outreach in the years leading up to the 2011 election as evidence that showing up to events and building relationships with ethnic communities is the key to getting them to vote for you.
There is no hard evidence that immigrants wildly swung to the Conservatives in 2011. It could just as likely have been Canadian-born voters turning out in higher numbers than usual. Nobody really knows because Canada doesn’t do much demographic voting data like other nations do.
The gist from other countries (especially the U.S.) is that immigrants tend to vote left. If they don’t hail from an Anglo-Saxon tradition, then in their eyes the best government is the government that gives you the most free stuff and does lot’s of things for you…the more the better.
Most immigrants move to the big urban centres…at least initially…and they are thrown into a culture in which the heavy hand of government is viewed as a centralizing necessity for facilitating a functioning society. In other words…in the urban mind, socialism is the answer to organizing society and a technocratic bureaucracy masterminding the masses is what is obviously for the greater good.
Millions of immigrants heralding from nations that have no traditions of conservative philosophy and view government as either a parental tyrant (bad) or a grandparental Santa Claus (good), immersed into an ultra-progressive urban environment, is not going to lead to a lot of “conservative” votes.
Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver are write-offs for conservatives and have been for years. Unless Pierre’s election team is banking on “an election anomaly like 2011 occurs!” then he’s not going to win significant seats in Canada’s three biggest cities.

The lessons of 2008

In 2008, Stephen Harper led the Conservative Party to their second victory. Harper garnered 143 seats, while the Liberals got 77, the NDP got 37 and the Bloc Quebecois got 49. It was and is customary for the party that gets a plurality of seats to have first crack at governing, after all, they “won” the election.
In our Parliamentary system, however, a coalition can be cobbled together and the losers can seize power. This is what was briefly attempted in 2008. Stephane Dion was the leader of the Liberal party and along with Jack Layton and Gilles Duceppe, he held a press conference announcing that they were planning a coalition.
Canadians went berserk and the coalition chickened out. Stephane Dion was not a popular leader and his own party gave him the boot. Harper continued to govern and used his power to finally achieve a majority in 2011, using the fear of a “coalition of losers” to help motivate the electorate.
Years later, former Liberal leader Jean Chretien criticized the chickening out. When asked to explain why, he simply suggested that they’d have power if they had worked together, and we never would have had Harper past 2008. This was a lesson learned and absorbed thoroughly by the Liberal party.
The media narrative built after Harper’s win in 2011 was that we were headed towards a fascist state and Canadians needed to save Canada and Stop Harper! Harper in turn attempted to warn of the “Coalition of losers” once again and was hoping for a second majority. Instead, voters gave the 2015 majority to the Liberals and since 2019, Trudeau has been functionally governing much like Harper did from 2006-2011.
The Trudeau-Singh alliance has welded the Liberals together with the NDP, but if the next election isn’t favourable to either of them…and yet combined they can outnumber Conservative seats…they’ll do it. 2008 taught them to stick together.

Progressive hegemony

Conservatives have always been on the defense in Canada, but something fundamental changed since Justin Trudeau was elected Prime Minister.
The rise of woke progressivism has established itself as hegemonic within Canada. This has been a long time coming. As Robert Lewis Dabney put it over a hundred years ago…

This [Conservatism] is a party which never conserves anything. Its history has been that it demurs to each aggression of  the progressive party and aims to save its credit by a respectable amount of growling, but always acquiesces at last in the  innovation. What was the resisted novelty of yesterday is today one of the accepted principles of conservatism; it is now conservative only in affecting to resist the next innovation, which will tomorrow be forced upon its timidity and will be succeeded by some third revolution; to be denounced and then adopted in its turn.

1984 marks the last real era in which competitive nominal conservatism stood a chance. Brian Mulroney’s personal popularity seems to have been a much bigger component in the PC sweep of ’84 then any sort of conservative agenda. The quick demoralization of Western Canada and the almost immediate rise of the Reform Party is evidence of that.
Since then, conservatism has been shrinking and dying.
I think back to the 1990s NDP and guys like Svend Robinson for example, who were extreme left-wing radicals at the time. Svend’s radicalism is today’s normative foundation. The Liberal Party of 2023 is to the left of Svend Robinson’s 90s NDP.
Meanwhile, imagine if someone from the 1990’s PC party, like Elsie Wayne was an MP today! It would be scandalous and cancellable. Former Canadian Alliance leader Stockwell Day was cancelled in 2020 for suggesting that Canada wasn’t systemically racist. The Overton Window is wildly to the left.
Something fundamental happened when Harper won his lucky majority in 2011. We didn’t know it then, but the system recoiled and reacted with an immune response not unlike what we saw with Trump’s win in the U.S. in 2016. Never again could the permanent state allow someone like Harper to amass the power that comes with a majority government. It simply will not be allowed…even in the face of maintaining the façade of “democracy”.
In fact, if you haven’t noticed, over the past few years, anyone not progressive is “against democracy”. Elections that are won by populists or right-wingers are a “threat to our democracy”, but if progressives win then everything is unfolding in an obviously correct manner. “Democracy” is being redefined to mean “upholding progressivism and everything that goes with it”. The Conservative Party of Canada is being pushed completely outside the Overton Window and efforts are being undertaken to permanently crush any right-of-centre opposition.
Progressives have thoroughly captured the institutions in their long march since the 1960s (possibly the 1920s); Trudeau has purchased what is left of the legacy media; Bill C-10 and C-11 will corrupt the internet and broadcasting; Big Government (especially since Covid) is viewed as the solution (spending) to every problem; mass immigration is speeding up the Great Replacement; CBC is a propaganda bullhorn; and wokeness is now the default setting for our culture.
The real power no longer wants to play political theatre. This is evident in Question Period alone. The scripted, non-answers delivered with a bored and insolent tone gives viewers a glimpse into the future of politics. The ‘illusion of our institutions’ might be enough to fool the Andrew Coynes of the Laurentian triangle, but the mask is off. Progressives simply don’t need Conservatives around anymore and they’ve grown tired of pretending they do.
So, Pierre Poilievre and his band of (kinda) Conservatives are facing quite the uphill battle. The essence of “conservatism” that the majority of people who vote for the party want to see embodied and embraced, is itself becoming “beyond the pale” in Current Year Canada. This is why we are seeing tension within the CPC regarding issues like Christine Anderson and the disqualification of a socially conservative candidate from a nomination contest. The party needs to keep lurching to the left in order to stay inside Canada’s Overton Window and that means jettisoning even basic tenets of traditional conservative philosophy.
Pierre Poilievre is to the left of Jean Chrétien in the 90’s and yet he’ll still be the scary, second coming of Hitler when the next election rolls around. This “all hands on deck” attack against him and his party will likely ensure another loss, but even if it doesn’t he’ll need to overcome the combined might of the Liberal/NDP seat count. Even if he does, he’ll have to govern with more trepidations than Harper did in 2006; and what did that really get us in hindsight anyway?
So many boomers lament the way things are and think it’s a temporary condition solvable with a single election win. They pine for a victory, that is unlikely to come and it’s difficult for them to comprehend that the system itself is broken. Poilievre is correct to say that Canada is broken. The pushback of critics showing world index charts indicating Canada is a great place to live is a legitimate counter, but what made Canada great isn’t being refreshed and renewed and reformed. We’re coasting on momentum from the past and quickly running out of steam in the present. Our trajectory is inertia, decline and mediocrity…at best. Getting rid of Trudeau isn’t the solution…he is a symptom, not a cause. The state of Canada today is fundamentally unsound.
As the consequences of progressivism continue to mount and we start to see serious deterioration, we may be in for some real instability and friction that will provide opportunity for better and longer lasting positive change. Tumultuous change that may occur outside the confines of traditional politics. Rather than some subtle course corrections, we may see some big historical changes. But that’s for another essay.
In the meantime, don’t put your hopes in a Pierre Poilievre Conservative Party. They’ll take your money and efforts and squander it like they always do. Throw them your vote on election day if you’re so inclined, but don’t expect much from it. I’ll personally be supporting the PPC for a truer reflection of my values, but I’m well aware that I’ll be “throwing my vote away” in the process. I don’t care though, because I’ve given up on the alternatives. A constantly cucking Conservative Party isn’t going to provide anything other than a brake pump on the progressive fast track.
It’s time for new horizons. 
APRIL 2023


March 2023